Very similar to our Havasupai Falls, Grand Canyon journey, this roadtrip via northeast Mexico was a waterfall journey.
This seems distant… and is distant… However automotive leases are low cost, and it was all simply accessible (apart from the half solely obtainable by way of canoe). I actually really feel this is able to be an excellent group/household journey for anybody and it’s very low cost!
The automotive was low cost, the meals and lodging have been low cost, and the leisure was principally nature and swimming in waterfalls. To get into a few of these parks and swim, it often prices 10 to 20 pesos ($zero.50 to $1).
This publish consists of many footage (and video) of the waterfalls and websites we noticed, together with a number of logistics for driving and renting a automotive.
Plus, I’ll present you the higher route you need to do, and provides a number of additional options on the place to cease that we missed.
The Route We Did
Like I stated, I’ll give an alternate route, which incorporates some locations we needed to skip because of a household emergency inflicting us to drive to Mexico Metropolis early and reduce our journey brief.
Right here’s our video:
Right here’s what we did:
- Began in Monterrey (I don’t advocate doing a oneway like we did)
- El Meco Waterfall
- Cascadas de Minas Viejas
- Micos Waterfalls
- Puente de Dios (superb!)
- Tamul Waterfall
- Las Pozas
- Peña de Bernal
Then it stopped.
If you wish to bookmark locations, it may be best to do it from the map I’ll share within the part on “My Recommended Road Trip Route”.
So let me first assessment what we did see…
El Meco Waterfall
We didn’t get within the water right here, and it’s a smaller space… Plus, it’s the furthest north. So it’s probably the most apparent skip for a way I might route it coming from the south (not a oneway automotive rental).
I imply, it’s good, however there are waterfalls ALL over, and larger/higher ones on our journey.
Cascadas de Minas Viejas
This place was superior. It’s a nature playground.
However it’s the most distant, by far. Which suggests it’s just a little out of the best way…
However there have been no individuals there!
All of the waterfalls have been only for the three of us!
Bridges and walkways above the large waterfall after which all alongside the underside.
It’s not as loopy of an expertise because the upcoming Puento de Dios or Tamul Waterfall, however it’s lovely and we have been utterly alone. It was only a nice expertise.
I’ve a bias towards this waterfall as a result of we have been in a rush to Puente de Dios and I didn’t get to correctly expertise it.
With this one, you cannot stroll proper as much as the waterfalls, and it seems individuals lease little canoes to exit after which leap off the waterfalls.
They did look prime for leaping… However it was a bit extra crowded and out of the best way.
Puente De Dios
An expertise of its personal.
A lot in order that we made a video simply of this one small space.
Right here’s the video (which in all probability is one of the simplest ways to elucidate what it’s):
Kind of, it’s a collection of waterfalls alongside a river, with one half that’s extra like a cenote, after which it sweeps you right into a cave.
Does that make sense?
Identical to different cenotes in Mexico, there’s a pit of water. Nevertheless, the partitions all the best way round are waterfalls.
It’s superb to leap into this pool and be utterly surrounded by partitions of waterfalls.
It appeared that the one approach out was climbing up to the place we jumped in. Then a woman who had simply climbed out knowledgeable us that there’s a cave.
I had observed the present and the ropes, however hadn’t made the connection. The present was taking you right into a small gap, which opened up right into a cave tunnel space. And the rope went during the tunnel, again to the place you bounce in.
You bounce in. You swim or drift into the small cave opening and into the cave tunnel. What’s neat is that the cave is type of glowing from the sunshine spreading within the water, reflecting off the white sand under… no less than that’s the one method I understand how to explain or clarify it. The cave corners are darkish, however the water seems lit up, shiny blue, all from the sunshine on the entrances.
Sadly I couldn’t deliver my telephone into the cave or to the opposite aspect. However on the opposite aspect, there have been smoothed rocks on the base of yet one more smaller waterfall.
You then swim or pull your self out with the ropes.
Simply a spotlight, and near my second favourite “Tamul” Waterfall.
Two different notes about Puente De Dios:
It’s a pleasant space with different waterfalls close by. We skipped the close by “Cascadas de Tamasopo”, which seems to be nice however have been once more brief on time.
There’s a small hike down, I imply very small – like 5 to 10 minutes down stairs. After which there’s a station proper on the important space the place you possibly can lease life jackets, that are required for the primary space. It’s solely 10 pesos if I keep in mind appropriately.
We drove to a cabin we obtained on Airbnb within the Tanchachín space and the host launched us to a ship proprietor to take us to the Tamul waterfalls the subsequent morning. That’s the way it goes. Everyone seems to be on the lookout for the gig, and everybody has a cousin or pal able to promote you.
It was about $40 (USD) for the boat and it took a couple of hours, and there have been two younger guys serving to us row (upstream for the primary half).
So very value it.
Even in the course of the drive out the surroundings was implausible!
The surroundings stored altering when on the river. There was what appeared like a flooded grassy space that poured down into the river from one aspect creating a really lengthy collection of 10 foot waterfalls that have been coming straight out of the grass.
Then the rocks alongside the river was extraordinarily sharp pillars, with clean sides. Simply tremendous distinctive wanting.
And then you definitely get to Tamul Waterfall.
*Private drama begins right here*
There have been already a couple of boats parked right here, with the small teams of vacationers on the river aspect strolling as much as the waterfall.
We parked out by a bit rock island within the river, 100 ft down from the primary Tamul Waterfall (proven above), and took pics.
After a couple of minutes the boat driver introduced that we have been going again.
In my greatest Spanish (which was sufficient for this dialog) I attempted to make clear.
This man seems to be like he’s 16, by the best way, and he and his buddy are simply in a rush to not be working anymore – is my greatest guess.
However we took all this time to get right here, and now I can’t stroll 100 ft to go as much as the waterfall?
I simply stored asking “why?”, and considered one of them stated that you simply want a allow (to which the previous man ready at one other boat rolled his eyes).
I nonetheless can’t consider that I didn’t simply bounce within the water, swim to the aspect, and stroll up. They might’ve waited 2 minutes – I have the cash.
I used to be as bitter as bitter could possibly be, however received again within the boat and rotated, however I gained’t go into any greater than that.
The primary level is that you must make clear earlier than heading out that you’ll get out and stroll as much as the falls.
*finish of private drama*
On the best way again, we stopped and noticed a comparatively lame cenote, which was truly the supply of the water that floods the grassy fields.
General, a fantastic canoe experience (like a very lengthy 10 individual canoe), nice surroundings, and an amazing waterfall. A child stopped me from seeing the primary falls up shut, however I’d nonetheless advocate it to others. An incredible household / group exercise.
Las Pozas (the surrealist sculpture backyard)
We truly stayed in a tree home (which I’ll clarify in a minute) proper outdoors of Las Pozas, however lots of people keep within the city of Xilitla, which is a cute Mexican mountain city, however nothing too particular.
Las Pozas, aka “Jardín Escultórico de Edward James, Las Pozas”, is a surrealist sculpture backyard in 80 acres of the rainforest.
Briefly, beginning within the 40s a British artist spent many years constructing a surrealist backyard of eden.
They are saying he labored on 80 acres, however I feel we walked throughout all the open areas in two hours.
I definitely wouldn’t fly to Mexico solely for this, however an apparent cease alongside the street journey.
The tree home was on airbnb for reasonable and it actually drove house the center of nowhere rainforest really feel. The room was quite simple, and the toilet was indifferent – you must stroll 30 ft outdoors to make use of the restroom or bathe, which truly was completely advantageous.
We merely stopped in Bernal for the night time and it’s a very small metropolis middle, however lovely. I feel spending a dinner there was applicable.
Click on Right here to see my Google Maps route.
That approach it can save you locations in your google, or confirm the place the situation is.
We skipped two main issues:
1) “Grutas Tolantongo” (a bunch of scorching spring infinity swimming pools within the aspect of a cliff), which I used to be alright with as a result of it was thus far out of the best way.
2) Teotihuacan (historic metropolis and pyramids). Skipping Teotihuacan was extra of a loss to me.
The route ought to NOT be a oneway.
With out going into particulars, the worth of our oneway rental obtained tousled regardless of the contract not having a oneway charge. Plus, you need to all the time lease from a serious, reliable firm.
So begin on the Mexico Metropolis airport and get proper out of the town… You don’t need to drive in Mexico Metropolis, and also you definitely don’t need to even be round it at rush hour.
In case you can fly into Guanajuato or San Luis Potosi that may be even simpler. Nevertheless, I really like Mexico Metropolis, so it’s value the additional time when you have it.
The Advisable Route Particulars:
- Begin at MEX
- Grutas Tolantongo (though it provides three hours of mountain driving)
- Las Pozas
- Tamul Waterfall
- Puente De Dios (and close by “Cascadas de Tamasopo”)
- Cascadas de Minas Viejas (provides almost 2 hours)
Cities/cities so as to add:
- San Luis Potosi
- Santiago de Querétaro
Different issues so as to add extra out of the best way:
- Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (provides 2.5 to three hours getting back from Guanajuato or Querétaro)
- Actual de Catorce (provides 7 hours when you roundtrip from San Luis Potosi) – individuals love this small distant desert city, however it was too out of the best way for me.
- Micos Waterfall (which I visited and talked about above)
- El Meco (which I visited and talked about above)
With all these ideas, you’ll be able to work out what number of cities and cities you’d like to combine in. I personally felt like the agricultural waterfalls have been most fascinating, for me.
Basically, my recommendation is that you simply don’t want a ton of time in any spot (though some spots would make nice tenting spots or areas to only hand around in), and to imagine the driving takes longer than you assume.
Two nights someplace is just too many. But, regardless of issues being shut collectively, I won’t drive that far earlier than attending to the subsequent keep.
A couple of logistical ideas for this roadtrip:
Everybody informed me to not drive at night time in Mexico – cattle, pot holes, or no matter – and I held to this. Principally, I received uninterested in mountain driving. Going south from Las Pozas was lovely and tiring. Up and down, winding, with altering velocity limits and narrowing lanes.
Solely lease automobiles from trusted manufacturers, and don’t do oneway leases (or at the least learn rigorously within the phrases for oneway charges).
If it’s muddy and had simply been raining a ton, don’t take the street going from Puente De Dios north in the direction of Cascadas de Minas Viejas and El Meco. It’s a filth street. It rained the day/night time earlier than we drove it and we have been high-quality, even in a tiny financial system automotive, however it was muddy. I can’t even think about if it had flooded the day earlier than. If we needed to go round, it might’ve taken endlessly.
Typically I saved a pin on Google maps, not the place the factor is labeled to be, however the place I feel it’s.
For instance, for those who lookup “Parque Ecoturístico EL MECO” and discover it on Google Maps, you see the little city middle (though, it’s not likely large enough to be referred to as a city or have a middle). Nevertheless, the primary waterfall is up stream somewhat bit.
I figured that out just because I had used the streetview to get my bearings and realized the primary waterfalls weren’t with the remainder of the “El Meco” parque. It made no sense on the map, however due to streetview, I figured it out.
Then with our lodging within the Tamul space (actually the city of Tanchachín), we confirmed up and couldn’t discover the place. However it was such a small city that the primary individual we requested knew the place it was and lead us there on his dust bike. Although there have been solely three cabins on the property, it’s such a small city that he knew the proprietor and the place the cabins have been.
Individuals are pleasant, and my guess is that these cities need to develop their tourism and need you to have a great time. Or they’re simply all pleasant as a result of they’re all pleasant.
Within the cities and cities lodging is straightforward, however in rural areas you’re definitely not going to seek out model motels in any respect. In reality, in some areas you won’t have any lodges. Like close to “Cascadas de Minas Viejas”, there’s actually nothing within the space however forest. (Additionally, apparently you possibly can camp there, which I feel can be cool). For that night time we stayed in a really low cost, very native lodge within the nearest city (El Naranjo), however there was little else out there.
In Tamul we stayed on the cabins/”cabanas” we discovered on airbnb.
In Las Pozas we discovered the tree home on airbnb.
If airbnb is a bust, reserving.com is usually the most effective place to seek out small, native lodges.
And you might have to plan your journey round the place you need to keep. Keep within the Puente De Dios space and go to the neighboring falls from there.
This a part of Mexico is gorgeous.
You’ll see all types of landscapes. Rainforests to abandon and again in a day.
Regardless of my warnings about driving, it was a simple journey! At the least as straightforward as you need it to be. When you took two weeks to do that route (an excessive amount of time, imo), then you definitely can be doing little or no driving a day.
And in contrast to a Europe street journey, parking isn’t ever a problem. We all the time felt protected. We had no points on the street or at any website. And every part is tremendous low cost. Plus, you’ll be able to spend a while in Mexico Metropolis, my favourite metropolis in Latin America.