San Luis Potosi
The state of San Luis Potosi, located in central Mexico, is known for its rich mining industry as well as its magnificent landscape of mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, valleys, and plateaus. San Luis Potosi’s major regions are the Sierra Madre Oriental, the Río Verde Valley, and the Huasteca Potosina. More mountain ranges separate the Río Verde Valley from the Central Plateau, aka Altiplano.
Each region offers distinctly different climates, culture and history. The dry Central Plateau communities are rich in mining and traditions; the Huasteca Potosina, an area loaded with tourist attractions, offers a culture greatly influenced by the Huastec Indians; and the Río Verde Valley is a historically rich agricultural region.
San Luis Potosi has many off-the-beaten path attractions, such as their numerous stunning waterfalls, several located not far from one another. Along the way you’ll see lush farmlands and rustic roadside stands manned by native Huastecs selling fruits, nutmeats, chiles, salsas, and honey. The bumpy, winding, dusty roads will make travel times longer than expected. The side-trips will be adventurous and slow-going, but well worth the time.
The Huasteca Potosina region with its flourishing hills and beautiful waterfalls is little known by tourists, but that may soon change because the area is rich in attractions and just waiting to be discovered. It’s an excellent area for tent campers, and the foothills of Huasteca are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, rappelling, rock climbing, and spelunking (cave exploration).
And its lush rainforest, with the highest concentration of rivers and floodplains in the country creating some of Mexico’s most amazing waterfalls, is an ideal spot for river rafting and kayaking while enjoying the areas abundance of dramatic cascades and crisp bubbling streams.
It’s also home to the fascinating and unusual Taninul Resort. Originally a sugar-producing hacienda, the Sugar Workers Union took over the sprawling stone structure in 1986 and turned it into a 130-room hotel surrounded by manicured gardens. The 700 acre reserve’s highlights are its beautiful gardens, natural mineral pool, and its parrot cave. Located just 15 minutes from Ciudad Valles where there is also much to do and see!
Ciudad Valles is San Luis Potosi’s second-largest city and is famous for its beautiful Cascada de Micos. It’s a series of 7 steep waterfalls in the middle of the hills surrounded by the fast-flowing Río Tampaón, thick flora, and wild fauna. Within the city, the Museo Regional Huasteco de Antropologia is a popular attraction.
White-water rafting enthusiasts, check this out! Located southwest of Ciudad Valles is the wide, fast-flowing Rio Gallinas. Gallinas merges with the Río Santa María, whose confluence becomes a third river, the Río Tampaón. It’s a thrilling ride, along which, you might see wild jaguars, cougars, toucans, or collared peccaries that freely roam the area.
Other interesting attractions along these rivers include the Cascada de Tamul (Tamul Waterfall), the largest waterfall in the state with a height of 105 meters, and the Cueva del Agua, a huge water cavern with a dome-shaped roof, filled with swimmable sapphire waters.
The town of Xilitla sits on a mountain slope overlooking lush green valleys and the spectacular mountain of La Silleta, and is a great location for mountaineers and hikers. Amid the fresh mountain air, you will breathe in the scent of fresh-roasted coffee, the cultivation of which is a vital part of the town’s economy.
While here visit the16th century Ex-convent of San Agustin, and don’t miss the Feria del Café festival, which features coffee, as well as handcrafted items, artwork, and culinary arts.
The amazing Las Pozas Garden is near Xilitla, but it’s not your normal garden. Ornate concrete images and symbols, winding staircases, paths on several levels and in all directions, platforms perched atop crenelated pillars, and massive floral fountains make up this mountain-side garden.
The town of Tamasopo is famous for the incredible El Puente de Dios (the Bridge of God), a natural rock formation that spans and arches between two hills over the Tamasopo River, creating what looks like a bridge. Visitors here can enjoy the Tamasopo Waterfalls and a cave with interesting stalagmite and stalactite formations, all in a well-developed park-like setting. Tent campers will find sites in the nearby community of El Cafetal.
Located in the central plains is the state’s capital, San Luis Potosi City. Anyone visiting here will find much to do and see!
Nearby the city of Santa Maria del Rio is El Original hill, an ideal place for rock climbing. In the city you can purchase handcrafted shawls for the cooler mountain evenings as well as other woven goods.
Guadalcazar is an interesting town where visitors can tour 17th century architecture such as 2 Franciscan Temples, an ancient parish, and the Church of San Pedro with its outstanding gold altar piece adorned with paintings and sculptures. Also check out the nearby De las Comadres Hill, the top of which offers a stunning panoramic view of the entire valley.
The tiny ancient mining town of Real de Catorce has awesome scenery in a serene environment. Activities here include hiking in the mountains and touring mines, such as Dolores Trompeta and Padre Flores.
In the Sierra Gorda mountain range, explore magnificent grottos featuring extraordinary stalactite and stalagmite formations. In the Gruta de la Catedral see a virtual cathedral with a pulpit, a choir, and benches. And don’t miss the recently discovered Gruta del Angel with formations in the shape of an angel, located about 700 meters from the Gruta de la Catedral.
Whether you are looking for adventure or just want to lavish yourself in nature’s beauty, you’ll find it in San Luis Potosi!