To end my sixth month in Mexico with a bang, I decided to visit the Huasteca Potosina region, which is north of Mexico City and in the general direction of my return drive north towards the border, through Texas.
I had never heard of this area before coming to Mexico. I heard it whispered about while in Mexico… but largely, I think Huasteca Potosina, the bountiful waterfall and cave region, is a well-kept secret (but I’m sure that’s to change soon)! I say that because I did not see any other foreign visitors or tourists during my four days and four nights in June 2022 — I encountered only Mexican tourists.
While doing some last-minute research on how best to visit Huasteca Potosina, I made an executive decision— I decided to book a tour package! This was definitely a bit out of character for me for a few reasons: 1) I’m on a budget, and in my past experience, packages are not always cost-saving 2) while other travelers require and benefit from transportation, I have my own (Mexico road-tripper here!) and 3) I have a dog, which can make joining tours next to impossible.
Well, I found a GREAT tour package (more to come on that in a second) — and here are the reasons why I’m so glad I booked it:
- COST: The cost was VERY reasonable. My package included four nights of single accommodations (three nights in a cabin and one night glamping) — dog-friendly, I might add — three days of adventure tours and equipment, and all my meals — for about $150 a day. While this was technically over my daily budget, I felt it very reasonable and worth the “splurge”! BONUS: My accommodations were at wild cat sanctuary and eco lodge Selva Teenek — and I got to see the amazing animals UP CLOSE! (IYKYK: the cats are fenced in. I actually wondered if they were loose when I got there, because I know many of them were illegally kept as pets at one point. Don’t worry, you’re safe!)
- TRANSPORTATION and PARKING: Basically, all the activities were in different directions from my hotel, with about an hour’s drive each day, each way. And let me tell you, these roads were NOT great… plus, the cost to park. So to be able to not worry about directions, navigating potholes, the expense of gas, and parking… excellent!
- MY DOG: Guess what… Penny was more than welcome on the tours, in the eco lodge, and basically everywhere we went — and when there was an activity she couldn’t do (like waterfall jumping, pictured), a staff member stayed with her. If it was just me out there, I wouldn’t have been able to do nearly as much if I was responsible for her.
- THE ADVENTURE!: On that note, I wouldn’t have been able to see and do so many activities in all their glory without the teamwork of the group and the guidance of the guides. I mean, rappelling, waterfall jumping, whitewater rafting, canoeing, and cave swimming… definitely not if I was caring for Penny and definitely not all by myself.
- EVERYTHING WAS TAKEN CARE OF: Like I said before, this area is not super touristy. I think they’re still figuring things out in terms of infrastructure, signage, etc. That means you really have to be “in the know” about where things are and how to best experience. I got to be in the passenger seat, and that was worth every penny.
Top places to visit in Huasteca Potosina (grouped by general location):
- Near Ciudad Valles:
- North of Ciudad Valles: Cascadas de Micos*, Cascadas de Minas Viejas*, Cascada El Meco, and Cascada Salto del Agua
- West of Ciudad Valles: Cascadas de Tamasopo*, Puente de Dios, and Manantial Media Luna
- South of Ciudad Valles: Cascada de Tamul* and Cueva del Agua*
- Near Xilitla:
- North of Xilitla: Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows) and Jardín Escultórico Edward James (Edward James Sculpture Garden)
I starred the places I visited. Next time, I’ll see the others. P.S. Cascada means waterfall!
Day 1 in Huasteca Potosina: Minas Viejas and waterfall jumping at Micos
Day 2 in Huasteca Potosina: Class III rafting the Tampaon River
Day 3 in Huasteca Potosina: Canoeing to Tamul Waterfall and swimming at Cueva Del Agua
Day 4 in Huasteca Potosina: Visiting Tamasopo Falls
And Huasteca Potosina by night: Sleeping (and eating) at Selva Teenek Ecopark
So what was my favorite activity? Waterfall jumping! And next would be seeing the wild cats at Selva Teenek — animals have my heart.
Bottom line, I’m sure you could see Huasteca Potosina solely as a solo traveler, with or without a dog, but I am really glad I joined a tour group for all the reasons I stated above… plus, the social aspect was a huge plus. ❤️ Questions or comments, let me know!