If you purchase a copy of the most recent Lonely Planet guide for Mexico and you look into “San Luis Potosi” you will find about 10 pages of information. San Luis Potosi is a state in Mexico and it is also the name of the city that is the capital of that state. Most of the content in the book relates to that city – a colonial city with several museums and lovely architecture. However, you won’t find a word about Punte De Dios or the Cascadas or Lago Media Luna. When I traveled in the ’90s the Lonely Planet books were the bible and they still take up the largest amount of space of any collection of books in a travel store or the travel section of a Barnes and Nobles – so – I don’t feel like it’s a slam to mention that we visited something amazing that wasn’t in the books – just maybe that it was cool that we found something that hasn’t surfaced on the travel trail yet and maybe that it will in the future! Here’s our findings from the beautiful and very water-full state of San Luis Potosi!
“San Luis Potosi” is translated into English as “State full of waterfalls, and jungles, and more waterfalls, and lakes, and blue rivers” ….. Well, no, maybe it’s not. But that is how I think of it now. For what it’s worth the only reason that I found out about this place was that I was researching the drive from Texas into Mexico and it was really looking like the distance from Laredo to SLP (San Louis Potosi) was about as long of a drive as we were interested in doing in one day. I had a blog that I followed which routed a safe drive to the Yucatan in 3 days but they were talking about driving 14 hours a day for 3 days straight and while I appreciated the insight into the safe route, their distances were way off target from what we were planning – so – I hit on trip advisor to see what was around SLP and what emerged were stacks of photos of gorgeous waterfalls which put Hawaii to shame.
There are waterfalls literally all over the place in this region and the water that comes forth from them is perfectly clear and blue. The water is all spring water and it seems to pour out of every rock and crack in the hills where the cascades are found. This is one of those places that actually is even better in person than in pictures – even if the pictures look awesome. It’s also somewhere that I would say isn’t incredibly hard to visit. From what the locals say there are definitely crowds at times. The posts at tripadvisor recommend not coming on a weekend. I have to imagine that this is true. There are plenty of people that live in the towns nearby to the falls. FYI we only visited a few of the falls. There are at least 6 major fall sites in the area within a couple of hundred miles of each other. We made it to the city of Tamasopo which appears to have some of the most “swimmable” falls but I wouldn’t trust 100% my judgement on that because I haven’t been to some of the other areas and the pictures of places nearby are equally cool.
So for what it’s worth this is actually a trip you could take from the United States in a normal vacation. There are flights to San Luis Potosi from Tijuana Round trip for about $450 and from there you could rent a car and spend a whole week in the area. It’s an amazing part of Mexico that will surprise you. We actually missed the fact that there is a Mexican Ghost Town (look up “Real Catorce” – looks so cool I wish I had seen it in advance. Even without going there if you rented a car at SLP it’s only a few hours driving to the lakes, the waterfalls, etc. We actually made it to Rioverde in a one day drive from Laredo Texas – it was without question a full1 day drive – waking up in Laredo at 7AM and getting to the lake at dusk – but – we were still there on the first day. From the airport in Mexico it would obviously be a lot closer drive 🙂
The places that we visited were #1) Llago Del Media Luna Which is in the city of Rioverde. If you are driving East of SLP this is the first natural stop and is only about 1.5 hours away from SLP. This was the beautiful and clear lake where you could see to the bottom which is purported to be more than 60 feet. We stayed here for a day and the people were super friendly.
#2) We drove to Tamasopo the next day. This is where Puente Del Dios is located. This is another 1.5 hour drive from the lake. Tamaposo is more of a puebla style village and we walked around quite a bit, ate at a restaurant, explored the local culture, found an ATM and an internet cafe. It was a pretty typical Mexican town but it was fun. We also rode our beach cruisers from the spot where we camped into town and that was quite enjoyable.
Finally we can’t say enough about the Cascadas de Tamaposo – this place is right off the road with no work to get there required at all. It’s a combination of natural waterfalls with some man made walls that “steer” the water but it’s just absolutely lovely. We’re trying to figure if it would work for our wedding – that’s how lovely it is! Rope swing and diving boards included 🙂
Wish I had more time to write about this magical place! See you next time.