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The Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls: What You Need To Know

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Your Comprehensive Guide To Visiting All The Major Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls

The Huasteca Potosina is one of the most spectacular regions in all of Mexico and a highlight of anyone’s travels here in this country. Within the Huasteca Potosina are some of the most gorgeous waterfalls we have visited on our road trip through the Pan-American countries.

We spent five days driving all across the Huasteca Potosina seeking out the best waterfalls to escape Mexico’s heat and humidity.

If you’re interested in visiting the Huasteca Potosina and looking for things to do in Huasteca Potosina, keep reading below!

We talk about the six major waterfalls that we visited during our trip and give each waterfall our personal rating.

Go Back: Mexico Travel Guide

What Does 'Huasteca Potosina' Mean?

‘La Huasteca’ is a geographical and cultural region within Mexico located just north of Mexico City and runs along the Gulf of Mexico. This was the region dominated by the Huastec indigenous people during the Mesoamerican Period.

The La Huasteca region covers over 7 different states in Mexico. These states include:

  • Tamaulipas
  • Veracruz
  • Puebla
  • Hidalgo
  • San Louis Potosi
  • Queretaro
  • Guanajuato

The ‘Huasteca Potosina’ is a portion of the La Huasteca that is located today in the state of San Luis Potosi.

Is It Worth To Visit Huasteca Potosina?

There are many reasons to visit the Huasteca Potosina region. The beautiful tropical rainforest, the sugarcane fields, and all you can eat oranges and grapefruit (if you arrive in November!).

But by far the #1 reason to visit the Huasteca Potosina is to visit, and swim in, some of the most gorgeous, stunningly blue, lush, and ‘jump friendly’ waterfalls in the world.

And because most of the waterfalls here are bunched so close together, it’s easy to visit most of these places in just a few days.       

Our Humble Opinion: In our opinion, the waterfalls in San Luis Potosi state are absolutely worth the trouble to get here.

Best Time To Visit Huasteca Potosina

Different seasons shape the Huasteca potosina waterfalls differently. And each season has its pros and cons. We will discuss each below.

Dry Season At Huasteca Potosina

November → March

For the most stunningly blue waters, visiting the waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina during the dry season is a must. The running water is more calm and doesn’t kick up as much sediment, which is the cause of murky waters.

The temperature will also be more suitable for travel. It’s less hot and humid during this season.

We arrived in late November and witnessed some of the most beautifully colored waters we’ve ever seen throughout our Pan-American road trip.

The cons of traveling to Huasteca Potosina during the dry season is that the total volume of water flowing over the waterfalls here will be considerably less than during the wet season. So if seeing large, powerful waterfalls is your thing, consider going during the wet season.

Rainy Season At Huasteca Potosina

April → October

What the waterfalls lack in brilliant blue colors they make up for in sheer force.

With all the rain coming down, the waterfalls all throughout the Huasteca Potosina region become considerably bigger and more forceful.

Hotter outdoor weather might also mean a more refreshing swim each time you enter a waterfall pool. When we visited the Huasteca Potosina region in November, we felt we were never really ready to jump into the cooler waters and it took us a while to warm up when we got out.

How To Get To Huasteca Potosina

Your Own Car

Clearly the best way to visit Huasteca Potosina is with your own vehicle. Whether you bring your own vehicle or rent one when you arrive in Mexico, having your own transportation is a huge plus.

Plus there are several waterfalls that public transportation does not get you to (i.e. El Salto and Minas Viejas waterfalls). So you may be limited to the number of waterfalls you can visit without having your own car.

Public Transportation

Though a bit harder, it is possible to get to the various waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina by public transport.

From Ciudad Valles, you can find public bus options to get you to Tamasopo and Puete de Dios waterfalls.

And to go onwards, you can easily find public busses from Ciudad Valles to head up north to El Naranjo, where El Salto and El Meco waterfalls are.

The Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls

Map of waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina region in Mexico

Below are the six major waterfalls we visited on our five day road trip through San Luis Potosi state.

We detail our experiences at each waterfall and how much we paid to enter the site.

We also give a final rating for each waterfall, based on our experience there.

List of Major Waterfalls In Huasteca Potosina

El Salto

El Salto Waterfall in Huasteca Potosina, Mexico
Floating in the blue pools below El Salto waterfall in Mexico's Huasteca Potosina region.

A bit anti-climactic, but the first waterfall we visited on our trip just so happened to be our absolute favorite of all the waterfalls in the Huasteca Potosina region.

Also Read: Las Grutas de Tolantongo: Hot Springs Resort Travel Tips

The Pros

It was our favorite for two important reasons.

First, it was by far the least touristed waterfall of the six that we visited. We spent close to 3 hours swimming and relaxing by the waterfall and only encountered two other families. It was peaceful, quiet, and serene the entire time we were there.

Second, El Salto had the most unimaginably blue waters of all the waterfalls and pools that we visited. It was the perfect place to take those Instagram-worth photos.

Lastly, unlike many of the other waterfalls, El Salto was totally free to visit. No entrance tickets, no parking fees, and no mandatory water vests that we had to rent.

The Cons

The only downside is that getting there can be a bit tricky. If you are using Google Maps to guide you to “Cascada El Salto”, the route will take you to down a little paved road straight to the gates of a hydroelectric plant.

When you get to the gates of the powerplant, look for a concealed dirt road just before the gates on the left hand side. The dirt road is quite bumpy but we made it in our Ford Transit campervan.

If you’re vehicle is less than 2 meters in height, you should be able to drive on the dirt path right up to the waterfall.

If your vehicle is over 2 meters, we recommend parking your vehicle about 50 meters before the road ends and walking the rest of the way up. There are some low hanging branches that prevented our high-top Transit from going all the way up.

We loved El Salto and we think this waterfall should be on everyone’s list when driving through San Luis Potosi!

Rating

Waterfall: 7/10
Atmosphere:
10/10
Fees: 10/10
Jumping Opportunities: 6/10
Overall: 9/10

El Meco

El Meco waterfall in Huasteca Potosina
El Meco waterfall in Huasteca Potosina (source: zonaturistica.com)

Just next door to El Salto waterfall is it’s considerably larger big brother, El Meco.

In our opinion (and we know this is subjective territory here), the El Meco waterfall itself is the most beautiful of the waterfalls we visited.

We loved the multi-tierred characteristics of El Meco. Water flows through many different mini-falls and pools as it cascades down El Meco.

All the different paths the water could take to get to the bottom of El Meco sort of reminded us of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

To get the best view, you will need to hire a boat to take you right up to the base of El Meco.

But if you don’t want to pay the fee, there is actually a very nice look out point by the side of the road just at the top of the waterfall.

Also, right next to the waterfall is a decent, but pricey hotel restaurant. You do not need to be a guest of the hotel to enter the restaurant, so you can simply order a coffee, grab a seat, and enjoy sitting right next to El Meco.

Rating

Waterfall: 9.5/10
Atmosphere:
7/10
Cost/Fees: 8/10
Jumping Opportunities: 2/10
Overall: 7.5/10

Minas Viejas

Minas Viejas waterfall in Huasteca Potosina
Bird's eye view of Minas Viejas waterfall (source: rutahuasteca.com)

After El Meco, we continued our drive south and arrived at Cascada Minas Viejas.

We loved Minas Viejas because you could swim right up to the waterfall and feel the water come crashing down on your shoulders.

There are also some great spots for jumping into the various pools throughout the area.

Minas Viejas waterfall in the Huasteca Potosina

Unlike El Salto and El Meco, there is a charge to enter Minas Viejas.

Entrace Fee: 50 pesos per person
Parking: 20 pesos per vehicle
Life Vests: 30 pesos each for 2 hours

Rating

Waterfall: 8/10
Atmosphere:
7.5/10
Cost/Fees: 6/10
Jumping Opportunities: 5/10
Overall: 8/10

Tamasopo

Tamasopo waterfall in the Huasteca Potosina
Waterfalls in Tamasopo in the Huasteca Potosina (source: Instagram: @kitetou.ecotravel)

The waterfalls at Tamasopo are awesome! What the waterfalls lack in height, they make up for in quantity. There are several waterfalls here and you can swim up to virtually every one of them.

There are also LOTS of opportunities to jump (and even rope swing) into the waterfall pools. And with different jumping heights, from 1-5 meters in height, there is something for everyone.

The single biggest downside of Tamasopo, however, is that the entire area has now become a pricey Ecopark catering to weekend domestic tourists.

Our total costs were:

Entrance Fee: 100 pesos per person
Parking: 50 pesos per vehicle
Water Vests: 60 pesos per vest

Tamasopo was the most expensive waterfall we visited, but even so, to visit and swim in this waterfall park is worth the price.

Rating

Waterfall: 9/10
Atmosphere:
9/10
Cost/Fees: 2/10
Jumping Opportunities: 9.5/10
Overall: 8.5/10

 

Micos

Mico waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina
Birds eye view of the Micos waterfalls

If you fancy yourself a waterfall jumping connesour, then a trip to the Micos waterfall is a MUST.

Though there is no single amazing waterfall in the Micos waterfall system, the river is full of mini waterfalls that offer a perfect environment for jumping.

You can actually start at the top of the river and jump you way through a system of 6-7 waterfalls, each of varying heights, and end up at the main swimming pool downriver.

However, if jumping isn’t your thing, we would advise to simply skip Micos altogether. The entrance fee is 50 pesos per person to enter and the main swimming area is not as attractive to swim compared to the other surrounding waterfall locations.

Rating

Waterfall: 6/10
Atmosphere:
5/10
Cost/Fees: 4/10
Jumping Opportunities: 10/10
Overall: 6/10

Tamúl

Tamul waterfall in the Huasteca Potosina

The Tamúl waterfall is beast. At 105m high, it’s the tallest waterfall in the Huasteca Potosina region. And if you go just after the rainy season, you’re rewarded with massive volumes of water cascading down the waterfall each second.

To view the waterfall, you have to drive to the nearby town of La Morena, park you vehicle by the river side and catch a paddle boat to take you to the falls.

These paddle boats charge 150 pesos per person and try to fit as many as 8-20 people before setting off on the hour long excursion to the falls.

Unfortunately, the boats, however, do not take you right up to the waterfall. But rather they all gather at a bottle neck region a few hundred meters from the base of the waterfall.

Tamúl was actually the last waterfall in our road trip through Huasteca Potosina, and so we were a tad underwhelmed by the experience. We had gotten used to swimming in sparsely populated pools and getting right up to the base of the waterfalls.

And so though we enjoyed our time at Tamúl, we would even say this was our least favorite waterfall experience of the six waterfalls that we visited.

Rating

Waterfall: 8.5/10
Atmosphere:
5/10
Cost/Fees: 4/10
Jumping Opportunities: 0/10
Overall: 5/10

Top Tips When Visiting Huasteca Potosina

1. Avoid Peak Season and Mexican Long Weekends

The waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina are increasingly popular with Mexico’s domestic tourists. If you visit on any normal weekday, you might be one of the only visitors at the waterfalls. But if you happen to arrive during a Mexican long weekend (especially during Semana Santa), each waterfall site will be inundated with tourists.

We recommend to avoid visiting during holiday weekends at all costs.

2. Rent A Car, Avoid Public Transportation

We already mentioned it above, but it’s worth saying again. Having your own vehicle to explore Huasteca Potosina’s abundant waterfalls will make your experience much more positive. You’ll spend less time getting from one waterfall to another. You’ll also be much more time efficient, which should help offset the cost of a rental car.

3. Consider A Wetsuit Top For Swimming

No matter what season you arrive, the swimming areas in Huasteca Potosina will be cold. Though we loved swimming amongst each of the waterfalls here, if we’re honest, the waters here were just a tad too cold to fully appreciate.

If you’re also sensitive to colder waters, we recommend bringing along a wetsuit top to keep your upper body warm while you swim. It could be the difference between swimming only 5 minutes in a waterfall pool, or 30 minutes.

What To Bring: Huasteca Potosina Packing List

Is Huasteca Potosina Safe?

Short answer: YES! Please visit this amazing and beautiful region.

The longer answer: Technically, Mexico is one of the more dangerous countries in the world. But with proper safety measures, you can realistically negate most risky situations while visiting the Huasteca Potosina. These safety measures involve: 1) Not driving at night, 2) Sticking to large highway roads instead of smaller, local roads, and 3) Learning to develop a 6th sense to tell you when a situation doesn’t feel right.

But given what you might hear about Mexico in the news, we still very much recommend visiting Huasteca Potosina. Visiting this beautiful and fantastic region is a must on anyone’s Mexico travel itinerary.

3 Must Have Items When Visiting Huasteca Potosina

1. Water Shoes

We really recommend getting a pair of water shoes.

These shoes help protect you from the loose rocks at the bottom of the pools as well as to easily walk around the riverbanks as you get in and out of the water. We were always climbing over rocks and these shoes definitely saved our feet quite a bit.

2. Wetsuit Top

A wetsuit top would have allowed us to appreciate swimming in these chilly pools for much longer periods of time. No matter which season you visit Huasteca Potosina, the waters will be fairly chilly!

3. Waterproof Cell Phone Pouches

We didn’t buy these waterproof pouches for our cell phones, but we regret not getting them earlier.

Having one of these waterproof pouches provide 2 major benefits while visiting all the waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina

1. It allows you to take pictures while you are in the water. This is great because you’re always jumping in the pools and swimming near the falls.  Without a pouch like this, it’s virtually impossible not to get your phone wet.

2. Having this waterproof pouch allows you to bring your valuables with you instead of having to rent expensive lockers or risk leaving your valuables by the riverside. Instead of leaving your valuables behind,  bring your phone and money with you instead with these waterproof pouches.

Planning To Travel To Mexico? Check Out: Mexico Travel Guide

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