9 Hidden Treasures of San Luis Potosí, Mexico
In northeastern Mexico lies a state of extraordinary natural beauty and rich history: San Luis Potosí. You may have never heard about it before, but I’m here to change that and open your eyes to one of the most amazing destinations in Mexico.
San Luis Potosí is home to the fascinating Huasteca Potosina, a collection of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, natural pools, and breathtaking landscapes of unparalleled beauty. However, not everything in San Luis Potosí is a natural landmark, you also get historic ghost towns and mystical gardens.
Keep reading to learn more about San Luis Potosí and the nine hidden treasures you can’t miss when you go there!
Where Is San Luis Potosí?
Located in the northeast of Mexico, San Luis Potosí (SLP) is a historically rich state both economically and as a natural wonder. During the three centuries of Spanish domination in Mexico, SLP played a crucial economic role due to its silver mines that filled Spanish ships with this precious metal.
Its importance is underlined by its strategic location, as it borders Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and Veracruz to the east, Coahuila to the north, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, and Querétaro to the south, and Zacatecas and Jalisco to the west.
San Luis Potosí is a state that brings together the Mexican north with the south, as well as its east and west. It’s a crossroad state, as you can see on this map.
Why You Should Visit San Luis Potosí
For centuries, San Luis Potosí was a mining state with a vibrant capital in San Luis Potosí City, a place of impressive colonial architecture. In recent years, the natural beauty of the state has been rediscovered, particularly the Huasteca Potosina. The state is now a top ecotourism destination.
What you find in San Luis Potosí isn’t the typical image of Mexico promoted in travel magazines. Here, you won’t get the stunning white-sand beaches and warm waters of the Caribbean, nor the pyramids of archaeological sites, and that’s precisely what makes it so interesting and unique.
San Luis Potosí’s weather typically varies over a range of 41ºF to 83ºF (5ºC to 28ºC), with short but warm summers. The best time of the year to visit SLP is from late April to mid-June.
9 Hidden Treasures of San Luis Potosí
Although the main attraction is the Huasteca Potosina, this isn’t a single destination. The Huasteca region offers canyons, waterfalls, rivers, natural pools, and caves. Most (but not all) of the hidden treasures on this list are part of the Huasteca Potosina.
1. Xilitla San Luis Potosí
Located in the heart of the Huasteca Potosina, Xilitla is a magical town that seems to move in slow motion with its cobblestone streets and natural surroundings.
Xilitla is a gorgeous village in the mountains and a fascinating attraction in itself. Its value is even greater as a base camp from where you can explore the area’s many natural wonders.
2. Puente de Dios – God’s Bridge
Located in the municipality of Tamasopo, Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge) is a spectacular natural pool of an incredible turquoise blue that contrasts with the deep green of the surrounding vegetation. Puente de Dios is one of the most popular San Luis Potosí cascadas (waterfalls).
3. Real de Catorce
Real de Catorce is the most famous Mexican ghost town. Located in the middle of the desert, this magical town was once a buzzing mining town. When the nearby mine (that you can visit) closed its production, it almost disappeared from the map.
That is, until a relatively recent rediscovery of the mystical atmosphere surrounding everything that has to do with Real de Catorce and the area. The Huichol people take their yearly pilgrimage to this place which exudes a special energy.
4. Sótano de las Golondrinas – Cave of Swallows
Featured in National Geographic, the Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows) is one of the largest natural depressions in the world.
Located near the town of Aquismón, the Sótano de Golondrinas is a circular hole in the ground that’s 60 meters in diameter, 512 meters in depth, and 370 meters of vertical drop. Visitors practice BASE jump, paragliding, parachuting, and rappel. However, the effort is well worth it, like the ecosystem, you find below is simply amazing.
5. Río Tampaón – Tampaón River
Río Tampaón (Tampaon River) is one of the best rafting spots in all of Mexico. The Tampaon starts at the spectacular Tamul waterfall and travels across the Cañón del Sistema del Río Santa María.
The water has a gorgeous turquoise color, and lush vegetation is all around. Rafting enthusiasts love the Tampaon for the high levels of adrenaline it produces in them.
6. Cuevas de Mantetzulel – Mantetzulel Caves
Between the town of Aquismón and the Cueva de las Golondrinas, you’ll find the amazing Mantezulel Caves. Practice rappelling, hiking, and going camping in the area.
The caves called Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit), La Luz del Sol (Sunlight), and Aguacatillo (Little Avocado) are full of stalactites, stalagmites, and columns that took millions of years to form.
7. Cascada de Tamul – Tamul Waterfall
Of all the San Luis Potosí cascadas (waterfalls), Tamul is the tallest at 344 ft (105 m) high, and definitely one of the most beautiful ones. Tamul is near the town of Tanchachin and there is a dock at La Morena.
Hike to the cascada and enjoy the spectacular landscapes so typical of the Huasteca Potosina. Once at the cascada, you can swim in its fresh waters and practice rappel, rafting, kayak, or paddleboarding.
8. Surrealist Garden
Known as Las Pozas, this surrealist garden created by Edward James in 1947 is the masterpiece of this American artist. Located in Xilitla, the garden is an eclectic mix of nature with surrealist sculptures and buildings.
It covers an area of 37 hectares. Among the most representative buildings and sculptures are a bamboo palace and a movie theater. Think of a kind of Parc Güell (Barcelona) in a botanical garden setting, but with a mystical atmosphere.
9. El Salto del Meco
Located in El Naranjo, San Luis Potosí, El Salto del Meco (Meco’s Jump) is a waterfall of immense beauty and biodiversity. With a height of 125 ft (38 m), it isn’t the tallest of cascadas, but it’s still an attractive spot for paddleboarding, kayaking, body surfing, tubing, or just swimming and relaxing.
Visit San Luis Potosí and Practice Your Spanish
As you can see, San Luis Potosí is Mexico’s best-kept secret, and it’s full of hidden treasures and natural wonders. Remember that late spring and early summer are the best times of the year to visit and that there’s an international airport in San Luis Potosí City.
Learning Spanish makes traveling to Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico much easier. Plus, it helps you make the most of your visit, as you can communicate easily with the locals and learn more about their culture and region.
Prepare for your trip to Mexico by speaking Spanish with a certified, native Spanish-speaking instructor. Sign up for a free trial class today at Homeschool Spanish Academy. We offer flexible scheduling and tailored Spanish packages for students of all levels.
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