My most favorite places in Mexico are in the Huasteca region of San Luis Potosí. Skeptical of what would be there and wondering how to get to Xilitla, I soon discovered it truly is a surrealists dream set in the jungle.
In 2011, the town of Xilita was named a Pueblo Magico, or Magic Town, in the state of San Luis Potosi. Xilitla forms part of the Huasteca Potosina region along with Ciudad Valles, El Pozo de las Golondrinas, Tamúl, Tamasopo, Consuelo and Taninul. In case that makes no sense to you,‘Huasteca’ refers to the northeast part of Mexico (compromising of some of the states around the Pánuco River) and home to the indigenous Huastec people and speakers of the Huasteca Nahuatl dialect. ‘Potosina’ refers to the state, San Luis Potosí.
Xilita is most famous for The Surrealist Gardens of Edward James (a.k.a Las Pozas, El Castillo de Sir Edward James, Enchanted Gardens, or El Eden) Sir Edward James was an eccentric English man and supporter of the surrealism movement who moved to the middle of no where Mexico and expressed his surrealist ideas in 80 acres covering Xilitla. The property is designed with heavenly gardens, natural waterfalls, dreamlike sculptures and a concrete complex of truly well, surreal, architectural masterpieces. A fantasy world of flowers, fountains, and greenery lead along the seemingly endless and maze-like paths, while at every twist and turn a strange figure enchants you.
My boyfriend and I visited the Huasteca Potosina in March 2010. After taking a 8 hour bus from Mexico City, we arrived directly into Xilitla. It was early morning as we made the hike south of the city’s center up the lush mountains towards the Castle. The fog still lingered in the high altitude and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. For the ultimate English-Xilita resource, (how to get to Xilita, what’s the distances, where to eat, stay and do) check out this link.
I don’t think any picture you see or information you read on this place will do it justice, it’s that amazing. On our 4-day trip through La Huasteca Potosina, we perfectly pieced together all the wonders of this region. The “surreallness” extends far beyond Xilitla and the Castle of Sir Edward James. The waterfalls of Tamul, Tamasopo, and Sótano de las Golondrinas were all fantastical and fit perfectly into the theme of breathtaking to-hard-to-believe-true imagery.
I will be sure to detail the perfect trip in La Huasteca Potosina region, but for now, it starts with Xilitla.