Our final stop in the Mexican State of San Luis Potosi was Xilitla and specifically La Pozas de Edward James. A jungle masterpiece of art, architecture, randomness, green lush jungles, concrete, water, waterfalls and … lots of stairs to nowhere that left me wondering – “Did we just see the best thing that we are going to see on this entire trip?”. The pictures help to explain. Just imagine – the pictures are exactly what this place looks like. It’s sort of like One Man’s vision of Burning Man, in the jungle, built over the years of his life. It’s like a good dream of Salvador Dali (it was very much inspired by Salvador Dali). The nice story here is that Edward James was a rich kid who decided to build this fantasy world in the jungle of Mexico to his own design.
Without question this will be one of the coolest places on our trip and quite frankly the blog headline is not in any way superfluous. This is a place we will both remember forever and it is somewhere I can’t imagine that we won’t come back to. While it’s not exactly “On the beaten path”, on the other hand it’s a 5 hours flight from San Diego followed by a roughly 4 hour road trip (bus or car).
The city of Xilitla is a few minutes away from where Edward James built his magical gardens and it is an amazing place in itself. This part of the state of SLP looks more like the Amazon than it does what people expect when they think of Mexico. Cut into the mountains and rising out of massive deep canyons in the limestone is the town of Xilitla which seems to grow out of the sides of the hills. The streets in the city make San Francisco look like a flatlander’s paradise. We couldn’t imagine that any resident wouldn’t be a contender in a calf muscle contest. Everyone walks up and down the cliff like streets as if it’s nothing. People jog along the streets that rest at angles that would qualify for double black diamond status at most resorts. The centro is full of brightly lit buildings and walking around makes for a fun evening.
The centerpiece of the trip is, however, the gardens. While the property is pretty impossible to describe in some ways, in others it is not. It’s a place where the “through the looking glass” photos that you see here are pretty representative of what you would see if you visit. The only thing missing is the scope of the place. It spans for probably dozens of acres with structures and pathways arranged without much order or sense so you wander and then suddenly you find something new. We are incredibly happy that we decided to stay an extra day after the first day of magic because we found out that we had actually missed at least half, if not more of the place. We discovered to our delight that there are multiple waterfalls and that you can climb to an elevation about 1000 feet above the property to a cliff top tree house that overlooks the whole town.
In leaving we wish we could stay longer. We found one more place where we think it would be amazing to have our wedding and on the whole, given the fact that this place is part of the same trip as visiting the waterfalls of Tamasopo I would highly recommend for others to look into this glorious part of Mexico for a vacation you will never forget. I know we won’t and I can only hope that somewhere else on our curious adventure outdoes this. I’m not holding my breath!
6 thoughts on “Xilitla Mexico – Save the Best For First? Gorgeous, Surreal w/photos and video”
Spectacular and no one else there! GPS / Google Earth / Lat / Long co-ordinates?
By chance we were there in the off season – it was quite cold at night so the locals stay away until it’s warmer – happy for us! Apparently on weekends and in the spring there is a huge line to get in – we thought it would probably be pretty dangerous.
Absolutely surreal! I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s like being inside a perfect dream. When was this constructed?
Thanks for the discovery. If you liked this, check out Nek Chand’s gigantic Rock Garden in Chandigarh if you eventually make it to India. It’s off the Western tourist track and is fantastic.
Thanks for the tip Patrick – we’ll look into that when we get there!!!