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10 Stunning San Luis Potosi Waterfalls

Huasteca Potosina is well-known in Mexico for its milky blue waterfalls and natural swimming holes. Here’s our pick of the best San Luis Potosi waterfalls to visit.

If there’s one thing that San Luis Potosi is famous for, it’s the waterfalls — dreamy cascades with milky blue natural pools and aquamarine running streams, surrounded by lush sub-tropical rainforests. The waterfalls in this northeastern state of Mexico look absolutely out of this world, so rich in their turquoise hue because of the high calcium content in the surrounding rocks.

Most of these waterfalls are concentrated in the sub-region of La Huasteca Potosina, a lush and naturally stunning region studded with vast caves, swimming holes and wild jungle. In recent years, it’s developed into an adventure hub, where you can go hiking, whitewater rafting, canyoning or ziplining. It’s gained popularity amongst Mexicans, but it has surprisingly remained a secret outside of Mexico.

coolest waterfalls in san luis potosi - huasteca potosi waterfalls

San Luis Potosi Waterfalls

The state of San Luis Potosi is home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Mexico, and they range from dramatic cataracts to mystical drops and spurts. On our recent road trip in Huasteca Potosina, we tried to visit as many waterfalls as we could in 10 days and have handpicked the 10 most beautiful San Luis Potosi waterfalls here for you!

How To Get to Huasteca Potosina

This is the tricky part – there are no airports in Huasteca Potosina. The nearest airports are in San Luis Potosi and Tampico, which are still a few hours’ drive away. Both airports serve mainly other cities in Mexico and a few destinations in the US. I recommend renting a car from these airports to get around Huasteca Potosina.

  • San Luis Potosi International Airport (SLP) – located in San Luis Potosi city, this airport mainly receives flights from within Mexico and a few cities in the US. It is approximately a 4-hour drive to Ciudad Valles. You can rent cars from the usual agencies at the airport.
  • Tampico International Airport (TAM) – located in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas, this airport is actually closer to Ciudad Valles than San Luis Potosi Airport. It’s a 2.5-hour to drive to Ciudad Valles, and the airport has all the usual car rental options too.
san luis potosi waterfalls - salto del agua

How to Get around Huasteca Potosina

The best way to explore la Huasteca Potosi and see the best San Luis Potosi waterfalls is by renting a car. The Huasteca Potosina region is so remote that public transport is very limited in the area. Renting a car will get you out to the rugged countryside and explore a few waterfalls in one day.

For all my car rentals in Mexico, I always book with Discover Cars as they offer the best prices and excellent customer service. An economy rental car with pickup/dropoff at San Luis Potosi Airport costs only $150 for a whole week, which is less than $21 a day. You will need to pay extra for insurance and add-ons, but that’s a really decent price to pay.

Check Car Rental Prices

san luis potosi waterfalls - salto del meco

San Luis Potosi Waterfalls Map

I’ve pinned this list of San Luis Potosi waterfalls on this map:

How to use this map: Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. To open a larger version in a new tab, click on the top right corner of the map. Star the map to save it to your own Google Maps.


10 Best San Luis Potosi Waterfalls

1. Cascada Salto del Agua (el Naranjo)

With several cascades tumbling 60m into a series of travertine natural pools, Salto del Agua is my absolute favorite San Luis Potosi waterfalls. Because of its remote location, it’s one of the least-developed waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina. You won’t find Tarzan swings, jumping boards and lifeguards here, but you will have the place to yourself. 

Even though it’s a short 15-minute drive from the more popular Salto del Meco (read next), Salto del Agua was surprisingly empty when we were there. We visited Huasteca Potosina at one of the most important Mexican holidays, Semana Santa (Easter), and found many falls rather crowded – Salto del Agua was the only falls we had all to ourselves.

Note: Salto del Agua doesn’t flow all year round. In winter, it is diverted into the hydroelectric plant next door; but you’ll still be able to swim in the natural pools surrounding it. 

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8am-5pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 30 MXN (US$2) to enter, life jackets are mandatory and available for 50 MXN (US$3) to rent
  • How to Visit: Stay in El Naranjo and drive 15 mins here OR book a day tour here
san luis potosi waterfalls - salto del agua
san luis potosi waterfalls - salto del agua

2. Salto del Meco

The 35m high Salto del Meco is a postcard-perfect waterfall located close to the town of El Naranjo. You can’t really swim in the falls, but you can take a panga (wooden boat) and get close to the falls. Catch a boat from the Sundial hotel, to get as close as possible to the falls.

The best spot for panoramic views of the hotel is from the mirador (viewpoint) perched along the road to El Naranjo. For even better views, I recommend staying at Hotel Salto del Meco (like we did), with bungalows and an infinity pool overlooking the cerulean waters.

See also  Hierve el Agua: Oaxaca Waterfalls Guide 2024

The hotel organizes activities such as a panga boat ride (free for guests), tubing, SUP rental and canyoning. It’s not cheap to stay here (at US$244/night) – but it was well worth it for the spectacular location. 

san luis potosi waterfalls - salto del meco
san luis potosi waterfalls - salto del meco

3. Cascadas de Minas Viejas

Enroute from Ciudad Valles to El Naranjo, we made a stop at the Cascadas de Minas Viejas and were blown away by the sheer scale of it. Two cascades plunge from over 50 metres high into a beautiful milky blue pool, which then flows into smaller pools. Minas Viejas is so magical, it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico in our opinion.

We spent quite a few hours swimming through the falls and lounging on the green grass surrounding the running river. Here, you can also go rappelling down the falls with just a harness and ropes. Book your experience with HuaXteca.com.

Cascadas de Minas Viejas is rather developed, with food stalls, restaurants, shops and bathrooms along the path that leads to the falls. However development has been limited right around the falls, so they still retain their natural charm.

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 7am-6pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 70 MXN ($4.50) for entry and 30 MXN ($2) for parking 
  • How to Visit: Stay in El Naranjo and drive 30 minutes here OR book a day tour here
san luis potosi waterfalls - minas viejas

4. Cascada Tamul

Cascading down an impressive drop of 100m (330 feet), this curtain of waterfalls is the tallest and most impressive of all the San Luis Potosi waterfalls. We also named it one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico. Sadly, when we were there, Tamul wasn’t flowing as it was diverted to irrigate the fields nearby. That said, even when the falls are not flowing, we could still take the boat trip and swim in the nearby cenote and surrounding river.

What makes Cascada Tamul so special is the level of difficulty to reach this phenomenal waterfall. You can’t just park and walk there. You either hike to the base of the falls or take a lancha boat upriver to get close to it. Booking a tour might be a good idea for those without transport.

Note: Cascada Tamul doesn’t flow all year round. At the time of our visit (April 2024), it was diverted to irrigate agricultural lands. Be sure to check with your hotel before planning your trip.

huasteca potosina waterfalls - cascada tamul

How to Get to Cascada Tamul:

Option 1: Hiking to the Base of the Falls

It’s mandatory to hire a local guide from the town of El Naranjito to hike to the falls. Once you’ve arranged your tour, you’ll need to drive the bumpy road to the trail, with your guide in the lead. The road is terrible, but you should be able to make it on a normal sedan – just go real slow! 

Park your car at Campamento Tamul and follow your guide to the trail. It takes around 20 minbutes to hike to the lookout point where you can admire the falls from the top. You can then continue down all the way to the river to see the falls from a different angle. Warning: this part of the trail requires you to climb backwards down a rickety ladder or a series of steps. It’s quite steep and nervewrecking, but the views from the base of the falls are spectacular!

san luis potosi waterfalls - cascada tamul

Option 2: Taking a Boat to the Falls

The more popular way to get to Tamul is by taking a boat to the falls. This tour for example brings you on a lancha boat close to the falls. You can also drive to where the boats leave – the ’embarcadero’ or pier at La Morena – and join a boat. The boat tours cost 1,000 MXN (US$60) for a group of 5 or 250 MXN ($15) per person if you wait for the boat to fill up.

You’ll need to help paddle and it takes around 1 hour to reach the falls. However, you don’t get super close to the falls as a large rock in the river prevents boats from getting closer. These boat tours usually bring you to a nearby cenote where you’ll get to swim.

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 7am-6pm 
  • Entrance Fee: No entry fee, but the boat tours are about 250 MXN per person ($15 USD) and the hike is about 1,000 MXN (US$60) for a group of 5 
  • How to Visit: Stay in Ciudad Valles and drive 1 hour here OR book a day tour

5. Cascadas de Micos 

Cascadas de Micos are the closest waterfalls to Ciudad Valles and  – as you’d expect – one of the most popular waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina. Sprawling across 1km of the Micos River, Cascadas de Micos is a string of seven small falls and natural pools. The falls aren’t exactly impressive as they’re rather small, but there are a few adventure activities you can do here that make Micos one of the most adventurous and fun waterfalls in San Luis Potosi.

Adventureland Micos offers ziplining tours that will whisk you high above the falls and through the rainforest surrounding the falls. Its newest attraction is Skybiking, where you can bike across the river on cables, with fantastic views of the falls from above. You can choose from various packages, with prices starting from 700 MXN (US$41) for basic ziplining to 1,050 MXN ($62) to do skybiking, ziplining and a walk along the hanging bridge. We did the complete package and had a blast!

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 7am-4pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 30 MXN (US$2) to get in, but the boat tours are about $250 pesos per person ($15 USD)
  • How to Visit: Stay in Ciudad Valles and drive 30 minutes here OR book a day trip here
san luis potosi waterfalls - cascada micos
skybiking san luis potosi waterfalls -

6. Cascada el Aguacate

Approximately a 45-min drive from Cascadas Micos, el Aguacate is lodged deep in the rural countryside and far from civilization. As the second-highest waterfall in San Luis Potosi, el Aguacate is a single cascade that falls from a height of 70m. It’s a long walk down the steps from the restaurant to the falls, but it’s well worth the trek.

See also  Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Flight: All You Need to Know

The beautiful azul waters tumble from the falls into a natural pool and splits into several streams. There’s a boardwalk that leads over the water and over the river and natural pools. The water in this place is cold because it originates from Tamasopo, but it makes for a refreshing dip in the sizzling heat. 

Despite its rural location, this waterfall has a surprisingly good restaurant with excellent food and drinks (try their fresada, a strawberry-flavored piña colada mocktail). There are also Instagram-worthy swings and birds’ nests where you can snap photos in!

TIP: We stayed at a beautiful log cabin near this waterfall and highly recommend it! There aren’t many restaurants or amenities in the village, but the log cabin is comfortable and great for a night’s stay.

  • Location: Google Maps (1h10m from Ciudad Valles)
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 9am-6pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 70 MXN (US$4) for entry and includes parking
  • How to Visit: Stay in this Airbnb and drive 10 minutes
san luis potosi waterfalls - cascada el aguacate

7. Cascadas de Tamasopo 

Cascadas de Tamasopo is one of the most developed waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina, having been transformed into a waterpark of sorts. It has three impressive waterfalls and several natural pools and swimming holes, equipped with Tarzan swings, jumping boards and lifeguards. Kids can even challenge themselves to the obstacle courses that hang over the turquoise waters. 

It sprawls across a big area, with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops selling waterproof cases, floaties, and swim gear. There are many picnic tables and green spaces, as well as sun loungers perfect for lying out under the sun. Plan to spend the whole day here, as there’s so much to do! We had a great time jumping off the platforms and swimming under the falls here. This is my daughter’s favorite San Luis Potosi waterfalls.

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8am-6.30pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 160 MXN (US$10) to get in, and 100 MXN (US$6) for parking.
  • How to Visit: Stay in Ciudad Valles and drive 1 hour here OR book a day tour
san luis potosi waterfalls - cascada tamasopo
san luis potosi waterfalls - cascada tamasopo

8. Puente de Dios

Just a short 15-minute drive from Cascadas de Tamasopo is Puente de Dios, a favorite among the daredevils. Translated to mean ‘Bridge of God’, the waterfall is accessible via a steep descent down hundreds of steps into a rugged canyon.  It’s made up of a series of small rapids and falls surrounding a big 20m-deep natural pool filled with indigo water – but the star of the show is the cavern that’s you can swim in. 

The electric-blue water is crystal clear, and you can see the stalagmites in the cave floor as you swim around them, as well as the stalactites that hang from the ceiling. It reminds me of the cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula! You can actually swim through the cave to the other side, where you’ll find some calmer spots to swim in.

The current in the pool itself is really strong and the use of a life jacket is mandatory. There are life jackets for rent at the carpark. There are also ropes so you can hold on and lifeguards watching over the area. The ground is very slippery so I recommend wearing water shoes. 

  • Location: Google Maps (1h15m from Ciudad Valles)
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8am-5.30pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 100 MXN (US$6) for entry and 40 MXN (US$4) for parking
  • How to Visit: Stay in Ciudad Valles and drive 1 hour here OR book a day tour
waterfalls in huasteca potosina - puente de dios

9. Los Comales

Located in the town of Xilitla, Los Comales is far from being the most impressive waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina but since it’s right next to the famous Edward James’ Sculpture Garden, it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. The surrealist garden designed by British poet and artist, Edward James, is a must-see in Huasteca Potosina. 

Blending naturally into the forest, his home is a unique sculptural space unlike any other in the world: Columns with gothic arches, dramatic gates, pavilions with undetermined levels and spiral staircases that end abruptly in mid-air. In short, Edward James made concrete flourish along the lush flora and fauna of Xilitla, making surrealist architecture possible. 

Los Comales falls are at their most impressive from June to August, though it was pretty powerful when we visited in April. The pool at the base of the falls is shallow, and makes for a refreshing place to dip in after a visit to the gardens. It’s a short and beautiful walk through the rainforest to get to the falls. 

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8am-5pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 75 MXN (US$4.50) to enter and 50 MXN (US$3) for carpark
  • How to Visit: Stay in Xilitla and drive 10 mins here
san luis potosi waterfalls - los comales

10. Laguna Media Luna

Located in the town of Rio Verde, Laguna Media Luna is a protected natural area and lagoon. Its name translates to mean “Half Moon Lagoon”, thanks to the crescent shape of the lagoon. Technically it’s not a waterfall, but it’s one of the best spots for swimming in San Luis Potosi.

The surreal, mint-green colored lagoon is fed by six thermal springs with temperatures ranging between an appealing 27°C and 30°C (80.6°F and 86°F). The water is so crystal clear that visibility reaches all the way to 30m deep, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving. 

Besides its natural beauty, Laguna Media Luna also holds some historical value. The remains of two mammoths can be seen on the river bed. They have been immaculately preserved by the alkaline water in the lagoon which is of karst origin. At the beginning of the 1970s, a group of archaeologists and divers rescues hundreds of idols and vessels from the bottom of the lagoon, originating from pre-Hispanic cultures.

  • Location: Google Maps 
  • Opening Hours: Daily, 8am-5pm 
  • Entrance Fee: 100 MXN (US$6) to enter and 50 MXN (US$3) for carpark
  • How to Visit: Stay in Rio Verde and drive 30 mins here
See also  Huasteca Potosina Travel Guide 2024
san luis potosi waterfalls - laguna media luna

My 10-Day Huasteca Potosina Itinerary

One of the challenges we faced when planning our Huasteca Potosina trip, was figuring where each waterfall was and which to visit first. To make things easier for you, I’m sharing our Huasteca Potosina itinerary below. Feel free to bookmark this article or print it out and refer to it during your trip!

Basically, there are three main towns in Huasteca Potosina that you can use as your base – Xilitla, Ciudad Valles and El Naranjo. I recommend spending the first two days in Xilitla, the next 4 days in Ciudad Valles, and the last 3 days in El Naranjo. From these bases, you can easily drive to the various waterfalls named below.

Day 1: Explore Xilitla

Day 2: See Edward James Gardens + Museums

Day 3: Drive to Ciudad Valles (stop at Sotano de las Golondrinas)

Day 4: Cascada Micos + Cascada El Aguacate + Selva Teenak

Day 5: Cascada Tamul

Day 6: Cascada Tamasopo + Puente de Dios

Day 7: Drive to El Naranjo

Day 8: Salto del Meco

Day 9: Salto del Agua 

Day 10: Drive to San Luis Potosi

san luis potosi waterfalls - driving to san luis potosi

Rules for San Luis Potosi Waterfalls

Most San Luis Potosi waterfalls are privately owned by ejidos (farm land owners) and therefore have different rules and entrance fees. But these rules apply to most waterfalls in general:

  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere near the waterfalls.
  • Stay within the designated areas.
  • You can climb and jump off from platforms only if there are signs indicating that it’s ok.
  • Do not litter.
  • Pets are not allowed (except in Cascada Tamasopo)
  • Carry sunscreen, preferably biodegradable.
  • Bring repellent, there are a lot of mosquitoes especially in the evening.
san luis potosi waterfalls -  jumping off the falls

What to Pack for San luis Potosi Waterfalls

Most of these San Luis Potosi waterfalls have slippery surfaces so you’ll NEED water shoes. If you don’t have water shoes, sandals or KEEN shoes will suffice. I wore my Teva sandals inside the falls and to climb up to the jumping platforms.

You’ll also need a waterproof phone holder if you’re planning to take photos. I bought one for 100 MXN (US$6) in one of the shops at Cascadas Tamasopo, but it’s not the best quality.

Be sure to read my guide on what to pack for Mexico for more details.

Packing List for San Luis Potosi Waterfalls

san luis potosi waterfalls - water gear

Tips for Visiting San Luis Potosi Waterfalls

If you’re going to one of these waterfalls in Mexico, here’s a list of tips you should follow to have the best experience on your adventure:

  • Respect the rules —  Always make sure to read the rules at the park entrance, whether that is wearing a floating vest all the time, not diving, or not climbing certain places. All of it is for your own safety.
  • Prepare to climb lots of steps — Most of the waterfalls are accessible via hundreds of steps, so get ready for a workout!
  • Wear sunscreen —  Apply some sunscreen before your adventure and again after you’ve been swimming or practicing any kind of water activity. You don’t want to end up sunburnt the next day, trust me, it could ruin your vacation!
  • Drink enough water —  A nice swim may freshen you up after the long hike some of these waterfall sites need you to do to get to them, but don’t forget to bring your own water bottle and drink enough so you don’t dehydrate.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings —  There are no security cameras or anything in these waterfalls. Keep an eye on your belongings and try not to bring anything valuable.
san luis potosi waterfalls - steps to the falls

Enjoy Your Trip to San Luis Potosi!

Thank you for reading this far! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best San Luis Potosi waterfalls. There’s an impressive amount of waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina, and you’ll need a lifetime to see them all. By narrowing them down to the 10 most impressive falls, I hope I’ve saved you some time and helped you plan an epic trip to Huasteca Potosina.

Which of these Huasteca Potosina waterfalls have you been? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments field below. I’ll be more than happy to answer them!

For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out some of these articles:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!


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san luis potosi waterfalls - huasteca potosina waterfalls

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