The Huasteca Potosina Waterfalls: What You Need To Know

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

We drove across the Huasteca Potosina for five days, seeking 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 introduce the six major waterfalls we visited during our trip and give each waterfall our rating.

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. The Huastec indigenous people dominated this region during the Mesoamerican Period.

The La Huasteca region covers over seven 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 see 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 so close together, it’s easy to visit most of these places in just a few days.

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 to 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 to October)

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

With all the rain coming down, the waterfalls throughout the Huasteca Potosina region have become considerably more extensive and 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

The best way to visit Huasteca Potosina is with your own vehicle. Whether you bring your 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 Puente de Dios waterfalls.

To go onwards, you can easily find public buses 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 Meco
  • Minas Viejas
  • Tamasopo
  • Micos
  • Tamul

El Salto

Yuko floating in the pools just below El Salto waterfall in Huasteca Potosina
Floating in the blue pools below El Salto waterfall in Mexico’s Huasteca Potosina region.

It was a bit anti-climactic, but the first waterfall we visited on our trip was our absolute favorite of all the waterfalls in the Huasteca Potosina region.

The Pros

It was our favorite for two crucial reasons.

First, it was the least-touristed waterfall of the six we visited. We spent three 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 we visited. It was the perfect place to take those Instagram-worth photos.

Lastly, unlike many other waterfalls, El Salto was free to visit—no entrance tickets, parking fees, and no mandatory water vests 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 down a little paved road straight to the gates of a hydroelectric plant.

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

If your vehicle is less than two meters in height, you should be able to drive on the dirt path 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. Some low-hanging branches 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

Bird's eye view of El Meco waterfall in Huasteca Potosina
El Meco waterfall in Huasteca Potosina (source: zonaturistica.com)

Just next door to El Salto waterfall is its considerably larger big brother, El Meco.

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

We loved El Meco’s multi-tiered characteristics. Water flows through many 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 reminded us of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

El Meco waterfall
Riverside view of El Meco waterfall

To get the best view, you must 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 a lovely lookout point by the side of the road, just at the top of the waterfall.

Also, a decent but pricey hotel restaurant is next to the waterfall. You do not need to be a guest of the hotel to enter the restaurant, so you can 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 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
2nd shot of Minas Viejas waterfall

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 fantastic! What the waterfalls lack in height, they make up for in quantity. There are several waterfalls here, and you can swim up to virtually each one.

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, there is something for everyone.

However, the biggest downside of Tamasopo is that the entire area has 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, seeing and swimming 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
Bird’s eye view of the Micos waterfalls

If you fancy yourself a waterfall jumping enthusiast, 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 start at the top of the river, jump 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 advise skipping Micos. The entrance fee is 50 pesos per person, and the main swimming area is not as attractive as 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 a beast. At 105m high, it is 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, drive to the nearby town of La Morena, park your vehicle by the riverside, 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 do not take you right up to the waterfall. But rather, they all gather at a bottleneck region a few hundred meters from the waterfall’s base.

Tamúl was the last waterfall in our road trip through Huasteca Potosina, so we were 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 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 average weekday, you might be one of the only visitors at the waterfalls. But if you arrive during a Mexican long weekend (especially during Semana Santa), each waterfall site will be inundated with tourists.

We recommend avoiding 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 appreciate fully.

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

What To Bring: Huasteca Potosina Packing List

  • Water shoes – Protect your feet against stones and gravel at the bottom of the waterfall pools.
  • Waterproof phone pouch – Great for protecting your phone while wading in the pools. You can still operate this phone in the plastic pouch, so it’s great for taking photos under the waterfall.
  • Wetsuit shirt – The waterfall pools are always chilly, no matter the month. If you’re sensitive to low water temperature, like us, we recommend getting a wetsuit t-shirt. This lets you stay in the water for longer.

Is Huasteca Potosina Safe?

Short answer: YES! Please visit this fantastic 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 the 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 highly recommend visiting Huasteca Potosina. Visiting this beautiful and fantastic region is a must on anyone’s Mexico travel itinerary.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our Huastica Potosina visitors guide. If you have any questions about this region in Mexico, please let us know in the comments section below.

Happy planning!

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