When most people think of visiting Mexico, they think of Mexico City or one of the many beach areas. The interior areas of Mexico are not even considered despite an abundance of beautiful and interesting areas to explore.
San Luis Potosi, one such area, is located in north-central Mexico. Within this Mexican state are some of the most beautiful natural areas of Mexico: Xilitla, Tamul, Micos, Tamasopo, and Hacienda Gogorron. Each of these areas is easily accessible for a weekend trip, or can be combined into a longer escape.
The fertile mountains and natural springs of Xilitla create green panoramic landscapes throughout the area. The natural beauty of Xilitla inspired the eccentric English artist, Edward James, to create Las Pozas (or “the Pools”). James’ original house, located near the center of town, is known as El Castillo and is now a hotel welcoming guests to relax and explore this beautiful area of Mexico.
Las Pozas is an interesting and unique garden in a subtropical rainforest located just outside the town. The 32 hectares (80 acres) of natural waterfalls and pools are interspersed with towering surrealist sculptures in stone and concrete. Las Pozas is James’ idea of a “Garden of Eden.”
A historical foundation preserves, owns and operates Las Pozas. Daily tours of the garden can be guided or independent. Bring your walking shoes as there are numerous uneven steps through the garden. If you wish to submerge yourself in the chilly waterfalls or pools, you will also want your swimsuit.
It costs 50 MXN (about 3 USD) for admission into Las Pozas. Guided tours, averaging two hours but may be longer or shorter depending on your interests, are an additional 15 MXN (1 USD) and well worth the cost.
The Tamul Waterfall is about two hours by boat from the town center of Tanchachin. Boasting a 105-meter (344-foot) drop, it is the highest waterfall in the state of San Luis Potosi and one of the most beautiful in Mexico. During or following the rainy season, the falls create a spectacular site as the water plunges into the famous crystalline turquoise water of the river below. The falls are formed by the waters of the Gallinas River at its confluence with the Tampaon; Tamul Falls cascades into the Tampaon River.
While you can fly over the falls via airplane or helicopter, the best way to view the spectacular falls is to paddle upstream in a kayak or canoe. Allow at least two to three daylight hours for this adventure. You will get wet, so bring a change of clothes. Water shoes are highly recommended! Don’t forget your waterproof camera as you will want some pictures.
Twenty five miles downstream from the falls, as the crow flies, the Tampaon River meanders past the ancient pyramid site of Tamtoc. Tamtoc is considered by some to be the origin of the Aztec people who are historically important to Mexico.
The cost for guided river excursion is 300 MXN (17 USD).
Micos, translated to “The Monkeys,” is a series of waterfalls and river pools that beckons visitors to play in the warm waters. These waterfalls, famous due to their steep falls in the middle of hills, are surrounded by vegetation creating a peaceful and serene area for camping and enjoying the falls.
Located just 18 kilometers (11 mi) from Ciudad Valles, the falls are part of Tampaon River, otherwise known as Micos River. This name was given due to the abundance of spider monkeys inhabiting this area. This river traverses noisily through a large series of falls with a vertiginous acceleration. Rafting through the rapids of this river is a popular activity. At the top of the waterfall there is a scenic viewpoint, while at the bottom are beautiful pools for swimming.
Picnicking and camping are available within the Micos Park area. Overnight camping has an additional fee depending on the type of site you desire.
Basic admission is 20 MXN (1.25 USD).
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El Puente de Dios, “Dios,” is two miles (3 km) northwest of the town of Tamasopo. The town itself is fairly small but “Dios” attracts hundreds of visitors, especially on weekends. Vendors sell trinkets and Mexican food/drink options both inside and outside the park entrances.
“Dios” is a series of waterfalls through a narrow gorge and into a cavern beneath grand rock arches through which the Gallinas river runs rapidly. Blue and clear water pools for swimming are at the top and bottom of the cavern.
There are approximately 200 stone steps down to the pools on a fairly steep grade (you must be in good physical shape to access these waterfalls and pools); of course, there are also 200 steps back to the top as well! But, swimming in these warm pools is heavenly and unique. Jump in and enjoy the water. By the way, you exit the water by pulling yourself up the sides of the cavern via a rope.
Be sure to bring your swimsuit and towel; water shoes are highly recommended. Life jackets are available at the pools at the bottom of the trail.
The cost is 20 MXN (1.25 USD).
Hacienda Gogorron is a traditional eighteenth century hacienda located about 41 km (25 miles) outside the city of San Luis Potosi. For many years the hacienda was operated as a highly productive farm growing a wide variety of crops including corn, wheat, potatoes, beans, and other vegetables.
Textile and mezcal factories were added to the farmlands during the nineteenth century as were many pools filled with therapeutic waters. The water flowed from 16 wells drilled on the property at 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). The natural springs attracted many visitors to heal a variety of ailments.
The property is currently managed by a local foundation. The original house, a church, and the remains of the mescal and textile factories are open to the public. Tours are available or you may wander the grounds independently.
Admission is 20 MXN (1.25 USD).
Mexico, a land of great diversity and beauty
These are just a few highlights of the beautiful and historic areas to visit around the San Luis Potosi, Mexico area. Enjoy the culture, sights, and sounds of the area by spending a few days enjoying each of these areas or as separate weekend excursions. History, natural beauty, and different cultures are just a few of the reasons to spend time here.
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