La Huasteca Potosina, a picturesque sub-region in Mexico’s state of San Luis Potosi, is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls, turquoise blue rivers, and fascinating attractions in all of Mexico. Although La Huasteca Potosina is located just a few hour drive away from major cities like San Luis Potosi and Ciudad de Valles, it is so remote and off the grid that most visitors traveling through Mexico have never even heard of it.
After getting recommendations from locals to see this region, we ended up spending 3 weeks in La Huasteca Potosina exploring all the best places to visit in this area. With cenote-like swimming holes, hot springs, blisful camping spots and lush green landscape, it quickly became our favorite area in Mexico.
To our surprise, there wasn’t much information on La Huasteca Potosina for international travelers in guidebooks or online so we created this guide with all the top places to visit along with some helpful tips to make the best of your trip here. If you love to seek out less visited areas with vibrant waterfalls and marvelous landscape, visiting La Huasteca Potosina will be a treat.
Top things to do in La Huasteca Potosina:
- Media Luna Swimming Park (Laguna de la Media Luna)
- Tamasopo Waterpark and Waterfalls (Cascadas de Tamasopo)
- The Bridge of Gods (El Puente de Dios)
- El Trampolin Park
- Micos Waterfalls (Cascada de Micos)
- Minas Viejas Waterfalls (Cascadas de Minas Viejas)
- El Salto Waterfall (Cascada el Salto)
- El Meco Waterfal And Camping (Cascada El Meco Mirador)
- Tamul Waterfall (Cascada de Tamul)
- Cave of Swallows (Sotano de las Gondrinas)
- Edward James Surrealist Garden in Xilitla (Las Pozas)
- Sotano de Barro
Map of top places to visit in La Huasteca Potosina:
1. Media Luna Swimming Park (Laguna de la Media Luna)
Media Luna is a tropical swimming park located in the Rio Verde jungle that offers camping, diving, and hot springs. This water park is made of warm lazy rivers running through the park along with a few smaller pools hidden in between a forest. The park also has a bigger lake area overgrown with colorful vegetation that is used for scuba diving. A two-hour diving tour at Media Luna costs around $800 pesos ($40 USD) and that includes equipment and a diving instructor.
The park entrance fee to Media Luna is only $40 pesos ($2 USD) and allows you to exit and reenter for as many days as you’d like, as well as park overnight for free in their massive parking lot, while tent camping inside the park costs $70 pesos per tent. The park is also full with food vendors, snorkeling rentals and souvenir shops so it’s easy to stay here for days, enjoying nature and a variety of water activities.
2. Tamasopo Waterpark and Waterfalls (Cascadas de Tamasopo)
The waterparks in La Huasteca Potosina are like no other. Located in the city of Tamasopo, the Tamasopo waterpark is a popular attraction featuring marvelous waterfalls, rope swings, zip lining, and swimming. Like most attractions in San Luis Potosi, this park is well developed with many comforts such as paved walkways, restaurants and even lifeguards on duty.
At the center of it all is the Tamasopo waterfall which is wide and lush, along with a few smaller waterfalls with diving boards and rope swings every few feet. The entrance fee to Tamasopo waterpark costs $55 pesos ($3 USD) and includes a one-day admission to the park, but does not have any overnight camping options on site.
3. The Bridge of God (El Puente de Dios)
Puente de Dios in the city of Tamasopo features a cenote-type swimming hole, a waterfall, and a cave located in the midst of the jungle. In order to reach this swimming area, visitors need to hike down steep stairs, cross a river, then swim through a cave to emerge through a small opening into this gorgeous natural pool. Ropes are added in certain sections to assist the swimmers and the whole experience is quite fun and adventurous!
An entrance fee to Puente De Dios is $35 pesos ($2 USD) plus $20 pesos for parking ($1 USD) at any of the nearby parking lots. Prior to arrival, make sure to get the exact location of the entrance gate on the other side of the railroad tracks because locals are known to lure visitors into random parking lots that are far away from the entrance to make an extra buck from parking fees. Several camping options are available in the surrounding establishments but none inside the park.
4. El Trampolin Park
El Trampolin is a park next to a river that feels like a fairytale forest come alive. While most attractions in the San Luis Potosi region require a fee to enter, El Trampolin was created as a free option for locals and visitors to enjoy. The park is located around a beautiful turquoise blue river and has camping areas, swing ropes, and waterfalls, all surrounded by lush, dense trees.
While camping at El Trampolin Park is free, one of our favorite paid camping spots in San Luis Potosi area was located just on the other side of the river from El Trampolin. We found this paid camping area by taking the wrong turn and stumbling upon it. For $80 pesos ($4 USD) the owner let us stay in his large grass field right next to a river with private waterfalls and diving boards. Since this camping spot was not listed anywhere, follow this Google map pin to find the exact location.
5. Micos Waterfalls (Cascadas de Micos)
If you’re looking for fun and adventurous activities to do in La Huasteca Potosina, head over to Micos waterfalls. At Micos visitors can participate in activities like waterfall jumping, canoeing, swimming and even zip lining right above the turquoise blue river.
Life jackets and tour guides are recommended for first-time waterfall jumpers but those who feel more adventurous can skip the tours and head up the river themselves for a fun time diving off waterfalls, including a 20-foot plunge. Entrance fee to Micos waterfall costs only $30 pesos ($1.50) plus another $30 pesos for lifejacket rentals.
Camping is available inside the park for $30 pesos per tent or you can park and camp in their parking lot for free.
6. Minas Viejas Waterfalls (Cascadas de Minas Viejas)
A trip to La Huasteca Potosina would not be complete without visiting the Minas Viejas waterfall. With turquoise blue water and coral pink sand, Minas Viejas is a waterfall that will take your breath away and is one of the top things to see in the San Luis Potosi region. It looks similar to the highly popular US version in Havasupai, but with no people, no reservations, and an entrance fee of only $30 pesos ($1.50 USD).
The waterfall is located a quick walk down a row of stairs and has beautiful bridges leading to different areas where visitors can jump in for a quick, refreshing swim. For the adventurous type, rappelling tours are also available next to the waterfall.
Camping is free within the park so it’s one of the best deals in the area.
7. El Salto Waterfall (Cascada el Salto)
At a height of 229 feet, El Salto is one of the most impressive waterfalls in San Luis Potosi but is only visible during the rainy season. The rest of the year, water is diverted to an electric plant and El Salto is left out dry. El Salto waterfall is popular for its swimming pools that are located right in front of the falls along with a cliff where visitors can cool down by jumping into the river.
8. El Meco Waterfall (Cascada El Meco)
El Meco is a wide cascading waterfall with a free viewing platform for visitors to enjoy. The viewing platform is located off the “El Meco-El Salto” road, but for closer look canoe tours are also available in the area.
Close to the base of the waterfall is a great camping area on the grounds of Sundial Bar and Restaurant. Located right on the river, this charming and secluded camping spot includes wifi, showers, and multiple rope swings for $50 pesos per tent. They also offer canoe rentals and tours to the bottom of El Meco waterfall, as well as tasty and inexpensive food at their restaurant.
9. Tamul Waterfall (Cascada de Tamul)
Tamul waterfall is one of the most popular and top visited waterfalls in the San Luis Potosi region. A wide river runs up a towering canyon leading to Tamul waterfall as the main attraction. The only way to access this waterfall is by jumping on a canoe from one of the local tour groups and spending a few hours paddling up the river with other lively local tourists.
The whole excursion lasts around 2-3 hours and costs around $120 pesos ($6 USD). The tour includes stops at the famous Tamul waterfall viewpoint and a cave for swimming, as well as the opportunity to go overboard and float in the river on the way back. A tour out to Tamul is a great way to spend an afternoon full with swimming and water activities while also enjoying a view of one of the most impressive waterfalls in Mexico.
Camping is allowed in their large grassy area right by the docks for free.
10. Cave of Swallows (Sotano de las Golondrinas)
Cave of Swallows, also known as Sotano de las Golondrinas, is a huge sinkhole in Huasteca Potosina’s jungle where every morning thousands of parrots fly out of at sunrise. It is over 1200 feet deep and a popular attraction for rappelling after the birds have exited the cave for the day.
Entrance to Sotano de las Golondrinas costs $30 pesos ($1.50 USD) and visitors should be ready for a 15-20 minute hike in the dark down hundreds of stairs to catch the parrots as they leave at sunrise. A local will usually set up at the main viewpoint and tie tourists by the waist who are willing to crawl up to the edge to see the funnel of birds flying up, an experience you definitely shouldn’t miss.
11. Edward James Surrealist Garden in Xilitla (Las Pozas)
Las Pozas, also known as Edward James Surrealistic Garden, is one of the best things to see in the state of San Luis Potosi. Built by the British poet and surrealist art aficionado Edward James, Las Pozas is a fascinating jungle garden filled with surrealistic structures that have stairs that lead to nothing, doors that open into nowhere and bridges that end abruptly, all with elaborate decorations. This surrealistic garden in the city of Xilitla is a must see place that feels like a fantasy and makes you question reality.
The entrance fee to Las Pozas – Edward James Surrealist Garden is one of the most expensive attractions in San Luis Potosi at $70 pesos for a ticket ($3.50 USD) but gives you access to the endless gardens and all the buildings. Visitors should give themselves at least a few hours to explore these gardens and take in all the unique art is has to offer.
12.Sotano de Barro
Another popular sinkhole attraction in the Huasteca Potosina jungle is the Sontano de Barro cave. At 1500 feet this sinkhole is even deeper than Sotano de las Golondrinas and can be spotted sloping from the distance in between the trees, but is less visited because a 2 hour guided hike is needed to reach it. Sotano de Barro is a great location to watch the green military macaw birds fly out of at sunrise into the jungle, but be aware that visitors need to show up at least 2 hours ahead of sunrise to make it in time. That usually means getting there around 4 am so plan accordingly.
A guide leading visitors to Sotano de Barro sinkhole costs around 250 pesos for a group ($12 USD) plus 25 peso admission ($1 USD).
Helpful Tips To Know Prior To Arrival in La Huasteca Potosina:
- Before traveling through Mexico we recommend any visitor to download the iOverlander app where other travelers make notes of campsites, hotels/hostels, fees, and any other useful information you might need
- Most of the above-listed attractions are government operated so entrance fees are set, but be aware that many locals will try to charge international tourists more for everything. If the prices aren’t written on official signs, then chances are you can negotiate a better price than the first amount you get. It’s always great to reference the iOverlander app for pricing
- Most places in this region only accept cash so bring enough pesos to cover entrance fees, guides, rentals, food, camping etc. Ciudad Valles is at the center of it all and is the best place to stock up on everything
- Most of the attractions above will try to sell visitors on tour guides but only Tamul waterfall requires a guided boat tour and all others are easily accessible on their own
- The best time to visit La Huasteca Potosina is during the winter season when the weather is warm yet not too hot. Try to avoid the hot summer months when temperatures rise into the 100’s F or the rainy season (June-August) when roads become too muddy and harder to navigate through
- Avoid this region during Semana Santa in the Spring that’s equivalent to Spring Break in the US, usually the weeks immediately before and after Easter Sunday
- The closest airport to La Huasteca Potosina is the San Luis Potosi International Airport, around 3 hours away from Huasteca Potosina
- Most travelers camp at the attractions listed above or stay in hotels in Ciudad Valles or Xilitla, although Xilitla is much farther from most attractions
La Huasteca Potosina in one of the most beautiful yet most underrated and least visited areas in Mexico. It’s a must-see region for those who enjoy crowd-less places, lush green landscape, and refreshing jungle waterfalls.
Our best tip for you is to visit this region while it’s still much under the radar. With its vibrant and exquisite landscape, our guess is that it won’t stay that way for long.