This Jungle Paradise Full Of Picturesque Waterfalls Is One Of Mexico's Best Hidden Gems

Mexico is well-known for its beautiful weather, stunning beaches, and unique gastronomy. Each year, millions of tourists flock to the country from around the world. In 2022, the country received more than 38 million visitors. Considering what a popular destination Mexico has become, it's hard to believe that there are any hidden gems left to be discovered, but that's precisely what you'll find on a visit to the Huasteca Potosina region of Central Mexico.

Huasteca Potosina is an ideal destination for outdoor recreation enthusiasts. It's located about eight hours from Mexico City by car, in the state of San Luis Potosí. Reaching Huasteca Potosina isn't easy — it's off the beaten path and falls outside of the usual Mexico tourist circuit. If you're up for the adventure, you'll be met with some of Mexico's most beautiful landscapes, like unspoiled rivers, mountains, caves, and plenty of tumbling waterfalls. If you're looking for a Mexican vacation destination that allows you to experience authentic villages and breathtaking natural settings, put on your hiking boots, pack your bags, and head to Huasteca Potosina.

Chasing waterfalls in one of Mexico's most beautiful regions

Huasteca Potosina is a perfect addition to any Mexico itinerary if you're feeling outdoorsy. You'll be worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Mexico's popular resort cities, and you won't find any wild beach clubs or all-inclusive resorts with bottomless margaritas. In the remote Central Mexican region, there are still vast stretches of jungle that remain unexplored, and it's one of the most biodiverse places in Mexico. Indigenous culture is prevalent, and Teenek, Nahua, and Pame people call the area home.

You can base yourself in Ciudad Valles, an underrated Mexican city with a central location from which to explore the natural wonders the region is known for. Tamul Waterfall is located just an hour from the city, and at nearly 345 feet high and 984 feet wide, it is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Mexico. You can take in the majestic falls from above, or take a boat ride to view it from below for about $35. In the lush jungle surrounding the falls, you might choose to enjoy some thrilling opportunities to hike, rappel, or mountain bike. Other waterfalls worth visiting in Huasteca Potosina include El Salto, El Meco, Minas Viejas, Micos Falls, and Tamasopo Falls.

The Cave of the Swallows is another must-visit spot. With a depth of nearly 1,680 feet, the massive chasm appears bottomless — and the entire Empire State Building could fit within it. It's a popular spot for base jumpers looking for a heart-pumping adventure.

Planning your trip

The remote location of Huasteca Potosina deters many would-be visitors, but for those of you who are seeking adventure and off-the-beaten-path exploration, you couldn't choose a better Mexican destination, even if it does require a little extra planning. Renting a car is one of the best ways to reach Huasteca Potosina, although if you've never driven a car in Mexico before, it may be a stressful experience. From Mexico City, the drive to Ciudad Valles takes about eight hours. It's possible to find inexpensive rental cars in Mexico City for an average of $15 per day.

If you'd rather not drive, you can choose to fly into either San Luis Potosí, which has some international flights to the United States and is located 3 to 5 hours from Huasteca Potosina by car, or to Tampico, which has regional flights from Mexico City.

Within Ciudad Valles, you'll find plenty of hotels and accommodation options for under $100 per night, making it an excellent budget-friendly vacation spot. Backpackers can book hostel dorms for under $20 per night. Airbnb is another excellent option, especially if you're traveling with a group. You can find private homes that sleep multiple guests for anywhere from $80 – $200 per night.