The state of San Luis Potosi is full of hidden treasures and is a great state to get in some adventure travel. The scenery is full of rugged mountains, sugar cane fields, wild orange trees, lush rivers and super tropical landscapes that just get more and more tropical and stunning the farther east and then south from Ciudad Valleys you go. From Rio Verde east, there is a brand new toll road that will make driving in this region much more accessible.
I had read years ago about an area called Tamasopo that had groupings of waterfalls and the picture I saw enchanted me. I really wanted to go if I was ever near it. And we were! So I convinced Sam that we would sort out things like camping and directions along the way (he was not a huge fan of this approach, but I am very convincing).
We had vague directions, however, we have found that in almost all areas in Mexico with “natural wonders” there are many camping options around them. Mexicans are huge tent campers, and we have seen a surprising amount of campgrounds in more rural areas of Mexico. I had faith it would work out. I really believe if you approach everything with a positive attitude, the universe conspires to help you out. And it did.
We arrived in the very small town Tamasopo exhausted from a horrible sleepless night in a Pemex (it got dark and we were forced to stop). As we stumbled out of our car a woman approached us and told us she worked at a campground near a river and told us we could camp there. She also gave us a map of the waterfalls, showed us which ones were the best and helped us get breakfast in the municipal market. This town is in the La Huasteca region and the town was almost 100% Huasteca people. They were super warm and friendly and had the cutest kids I have seen so far in Mexico.
At breakfast (a stand with six women cooking, no menu and packed with local people) we had know idea what was even available. A man who spoke some English saw we were confused and helped us order, he even had the women get us fresh orange juice at another stand. We had huge plates of chorizo, eggs, black beans and freshly made blue corn tortillas. This is a town that does not see many gringos, in fact it was empty of almost all tourists, so we totally stood out. However, we were given so much kindness it wiped out our horrible night. It reaffirmed my belief that good things happen if you approach people and places with an open mind and heart.
Here is a breakdown of what we saw and where we stayed. It will make it easier for future travelers who want to visit this region:
Puente de Dios
This is by far the most stunning area. You drive through sugar cane fields to get here and there are almost no signs. Here is the GPS coordinates to help you N 21.93167, W 99.41588. Start at this waterfall and wear your bathing suit and wear shoes that you can hike in because there are miles of trails where you can hike to different waterfalls and along the river. We saw only one other family here, we were definitely in off season. It was a really special place, it exceeded my expectations.
El Trampolin and Cascaditas y Paraiso
After hours at Puente de Dios we headed through the town of Tamasopo and to the town of Agua Buena where we were told to camp. From here we explored the other waterfalls. My favorite one was El Trampolin, which felt like we were in the Shire from Lord of the Rings. It was so idyllic, we pretty much hiked around with our mouths gaping. The entire road (of the same name) is beautiful and you can walk up it and then hike through fields to different waterfalls. In fact, we ended up hiking into Cascaditas y Paraiso without paying on accident by climbing across the top of a waterfall (a local showed us how to do it, we were not intentionally being naughty).
Cabanas San Sebastian
The campground the sweet woman told us about was Cabanas San Sebastian and we were the ONLY ones in it. They charged us 100 pesos ($8.00) and told us we could camp anywhere we wanted. It was one of the most beautiful campgrounds I have ever been to hugging that perfect river. Here is the GPS coordinates N 21.953511, W 99.390367.
Overall, obviously, we loved it here. Part of the magic might have been that it was deserted. But I bet even in peak season, you would have a pretty tough time not loving this place. Here is a short and shaky video of our waterfall swim.