20 Things To Do In San Luis Potosi

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Discover the heart and soul of Mexico in San Luis Potosi, a state with a rich history, strong tradition and exciting places to visit. San Luis Potosi is divided into various regions, each with its own appeal. The Altiplano region is a must-see for those who love history and adventure. Here you can explore the abandoned mining towns of Mexico’s colonial past and experience the beauty of the high plateaus.

In the Central region, you’ll find the state capital that goes by the same name, the Middle region of San Luis Potosi state offers opportunities for diving and cycling, and the Huasteca Potosina region will take your breath away with its stunning rivers and waterfalls. Adrenaline junkies will be in heaven with plenty of great opportunities for rappelling, mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking to make for a memorable trip. After reading our list of 20 things to do in San Luis Potosi, we’re sure you’ll want to experience this Mexican state’s magic.

San Luis Potosi, Mexico

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20 Things To Do In San Luis Potosi

1- Visit The Former Mining Town Of Real de Catorce

realde catorce ruins with blue sky and cactii around it
Explore the ruins of Real de Catorce in San Luis Potosi.

Get ready for a wild adventure in the magic town of Real de Catorce, a former mining town in the heart of the Altiplano region.

Founded in 1778, this once-bustling town was one of Mexico’s largest silver mining towns, reaching its peak in the late 18th century.

Today, Real de Catorce is a top tourist attraction in San Luis Potosi, known for its beautiful decay and spiritual energy.

Real de Catorce is a popular pilgrimage site for those seeking tranquillity and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

The real adventure can be found in the surrounding areas of Real de Catorce, where exploring on horseback or in an off-road vehicle will lead you to small mountain towns and places full of history, legend and tradition.

To get to Real De Catorce, you’ll have to journey along steep mountain paths and cobblestone roads, but trust us, it’s worth it.

2- Visit The Door To The Huastecas Regions, The City Of Ciudad Valles

Get ready to be transported to a land of adventure, culture and taste in Ciudad Valles, the second-largest city in San Luis Potosi.

Ciudad Valles was founded in 1533 and is the gateway to the Huasteca region, making it the perfect base if you want to spend most of your trip exploring the different waterfalls and sinkholes of San Luis Potosi.

From Cuidad Valles, you can also go rafting along the Tampaon River.

As you wander around the city, check out the central area, where you’ll find the Teenek and Nahua natives crafting beautiful wooden sculptures, mud pieces and colourful textiles.

For beautiful views of the Valles River, don’t miss Luis Donaldo Colosio Park.

Finally, visit the Huasteco Joaquin Meade Regional Museum, where you can admire over 8,000 fascinating archaeological pieces, including musical instruments, artefacts and ceramics.

3- Have An Adventure Of A Lifetime At Media Luna Lagoon

Laguna Media Luna in Rioverde is a nature lover’s paradise, surrounded by rolling hills, caves, rivers and lagoons.

This lake is home to crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and even more magical in the colder seasons when steam rises from the thermal waters.

With temperatures ranging from 27 to 30 degrees, it’s a paradise for diving enthusiasts, whether you’re a newbie or experienced.

Snorkelling is the best way to appreciate the beauty of this location. Look out for the impressive petrified trees and turtles dwelling in the underwater tunnels.

Another great idea is to come here for a picnic with friends and family or on a weekend camping trip.

4- Visit One Of The Most Beautiful Waterfalls In Mexico, Tamul Waterfall

San luis potosi tamul waterfall
The stunning Tamul Waterfall is a natural wonder in San Luis Potosi.

Step into the wild and experience the thrill of Mexico’s tallest waterfall.

Tamul waterfall is a breathtaking natural wonder at 350 feet (107 m) tall and cascading into the Tampaon River with a 300-foot (91 m) wide splash.

It’s a stunning sight, especially from October to May, when the water returns to its gorgeous blue-turquoise hue.

Before basking in its beauty, brace yourself for an adventure like no other because to arrive here is a two-hour upstream paddle in a canoe or a traditional boat tour. Do you have what it takes?

The area around Tamul is also a hub for extreme activities such as rappelling or river rafting and kayaking in the Tampaon River. You may also like this two-day guided tour to Tamul and Zilitla.

5- Discover The Opulent And Historic Capital Of San Luis Potosi

san luis potosi city plaza de las armas
Wander around Plaza de Las Armas in San Luis Potosi City for colonial treasures.

Step back in time and explore the historic Silver Road of Mexico in the state capital of San Luis Potosi.

From 1598 to 1882, the Silver Road was used to transport silver from the San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas and Guanajuato mines to ports in Spain.

The beautiful capital city of San Luis Potosi was part of this route and, as a result, boasts a historic centre recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Visiting the Centennial Center of the Arts will give you a glimpse into the city’s creative artistic side.

The towering Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe is also a must-see landmark and one not to be missed.

For outdoor fun, Tangamanga Park is a sprawling urban forest with 420 ha (1038 acres) of green space.

You can take a leisurely bike ride, play sports, cool off at the water park or relax by the lake.

Suggested tour: Private tour of the Mezcal Route with ancestral drinks.

6- Pick Your Character At The Regional Museum Of Masks

plaza del carmen and museum of the masks
Plaza del Carmen and the Museum of Masks in San Luis Potosi city.

Step into the masked dance and ritual heritage world at the Museo Nacional de la Mascara in Plaza del Carmen of San Luis Potosi.

Filled with a diverse collection of masks and costumes from all over Mexico and hosting a collection of over 1,300 masks, this stunning Neoclassical-style building is the perfect place for history buffs and art lovers.

From depictions of demons and angels to saints, conquistador heroes and mythical creatures, you’ll be transported to a world of magic and wonder.

The Museum Nacional de la Mascara is at Plaza del Carmen, Centro Historico, 78000 San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi.

7- Visit The Surreal Gardens Of Las Pozas

San luis potosi las pozas secret garden
Discove the enchanting secret garden of Las Pozas while visiting San Luis Potosi.

Nestled in the heart of the Mexican jungle in Xilitla lies a surrealist wonderland that will leave you in awe.

Las Pozas, which means ‘The Pools’ or ‘The Wells,’ was the brainchild of Edward James, a wealthy British poet and art collector with an eccentric streak.

James arrived in Xilitla in the late 1940s and began constructing his dream home, inspired by surrealist paintings.

Over 40 years, James crafted a unique garden with over 30 concrete structures, some reaching 100 feet (31 m) tall.

The centrepiece of this surrealist garden is the nine pools surrounded by towering sculptures and whimsical structures that will transport you to a wonderland.

The surreal gardens of Las Pozas is at Camino Paseo Las Pozas s/n, Barrio La Conchita, 79902 Xilitla, San Luis Potosi. It’s one of the top attractions in San Luis Potosi and you can join the Xilitla Surrealistic Garden and Huahuas Abyss Tour to experience it.

8- Spot The Birds In The Jungle Sinkhole Of Sotano De Las Huahuas

Deep in the heart of the jungle, the enormous sinkhole known as the Cave of Swifts and Parrots is a marvel of nature.

This breathtaking abyss is home to thousands of swifts and green parrots.

Every day at dawn and dusk, these birds converge in and out of the cave in a whirlwind of fluttering wings and chirps.

While it may require a little more effort to reach than its more touristy counterpart, Sotano de las Golondrinas, the Cave of Swifts and Parrots offers a more authentic and intimate experience.

To reach the cave, there’s a short jungle trek through lush forests filled with magnificent cedar trees and an array of local bird species.

The journey through the jungle is a breathtaking experience, with sights and sounds that will leave a lasting impression.

The sinkhole reaches a depth of 1568 feet (478 m) and is also a popular destination for rappelling enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a bird-watcher, an adventure seeker or a nature lover, the Cave of Swifts and Parrots is a must-visit destination worth the extra effort. 

9- Visit An Impressive Sculpture Museum In A 17th Century Building

Step inside the 17th-century walls of the once-hospital-turned-school and what is now the Federico Silva Museum, a hub for iconic Mexican artists’ work.

Art lovers will not want to miss this, particularly sculpture enthusiasts.

The neoclassical finish of the building blends seamlessly with Silva’s haunting, monolithic sculptures to create a unique and captivating space.

Although the signage is only in Spanish, the stunning artwork and the museum’s atmosphere more than makeup for it.

The Federico Silva Museum is at Alvaro Obregon 80, Centro, 78000 San LuisPotosi, San Luis Potosi.

10- Swim In Turquoise Waterfalls At Cascada De Minas Viejas

san luis potosi el salto waterfall
You’ll be amazed at the colour of the water at El Salto Waterfall’s pools.

The Minas Viejas waterfalls are a true gem hidden in the northwestern Huasteca Potosina region and a must-see destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

The 48 miles (78 km) journey from Ciudad Valles is well worth it for the stunning turquoise waters that flow from a 180-foot (55m) high waterfall down to a series of cascading pools and terraces.

This area is a popular spot for those looking for a refreshing swim or a thrill, with many adventure groups jumping over the terraces.

Minas Viejas is part of a trio of breathtaking waterfalls, including El Salto and El Meco, which can be combined on your visit. For an amazing adventure, go on a rappelling tour at Minas Viejas and Micos Waterfall.

11- Rappel Into A Cave Of Swallows At Sotano De Las Golondrinas

las golondrinas cave mouth
Las Golondrinas cave is an amazing natural phenomenon in San Luis Potosi.

Embark on a thrilling journey to Swallows’ Cave, an awe-inspiring sinkhole near Aquismon.

This natural wonder boasts a jaw-dropping depth of over 1640 feet (500 m), with a free fall of over 1213 feet (370 m), making it one of the world’s deepest pits.

It’s home to thousands of white-collared swifts which nest in the caves and create a mesmerizing spectacle at dawn and dusk, swirling and spiralling noisily in massive flocks towards the opening.

Swallows’ Cave is a popular destination for adrenaline junkies, as it’s a favourite among rappellers and base jumpers who take the plunge from the cave’s mouth. Are you brave enough?

12- Go On A Pilgrimage To Templo De La Purisima Concepcion

The grand neoclassical church of Templo De La Purisima Concepcion is the destination for thousands of devout Mexican pilgrims who visit this site annually to revere the St. Francis of Assisi statue.

The statue is considered miraculous, and its assistance is sought to help solve problems and cleanse sins.

As you enter the church, take a detour to the left of the altar, where you will find a room filled with an impressive collection of retablos – small, intricate pictures depicting the moments where St. Francis intervened to save people from dangerous situations.

The Templo De La Purisima Concepcion is at Juarez, Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi.

13- Swim In Beautiful Sinkholes At Puente De Dios

San luis potosi tamasopo falls framed by tree roots and lush greenery
Visiting Tamasopo Falls is another thing to do in San Luis Potosi.

Puente de Dios is a serene oasis just 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Tamasopo, with stunning rainforest views and turquoise-coloured waters.

The main attraction, ‘God’s Bridge,’ has a 1968-foot (600 m) long wooden walkway over an idyllic backdrop.

This is not one to cross if you’re scared of heights.

Immerse yourself in the turquoise waters of the waterhole, and if the water levels are low enough, you can even explore the adjoining cave.

This hidden treasure is perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature away from the hustle and bustle of other more popular sites.

Check out this full-day private tour to Puente de Dios and Tamasopo.

14- Visit The Elaborate Temple del Carmen

The Templo del Carmen in San Luis is an architectural marvel and a testament to the rich history and culture of San Luis Potosi.

Constructed in the 18th century, this church stands out as the most magnificent structure in the city.

Its facade is a breathtaking work of art featuring intricately carved stone sculptures of angels, showcasing the influence of indigenous artisans.

The temple’s interior is just as captivating, with the entrance and roof of the chapel adorned with an abundance of small plaster figures, creating a rich and dynamic visual experience.

Temple del Carmen is at Manuel Jose Othon 410, Centro Historico, 78000 San Luis, S.L.P.

15- Visit The Seven Waterfalls Of Los Micos

One of the most stunning natural wonders in Huasteca Potosina is the Seven Waterfalls of Los Micos.

This breathtaking sight showcases the incredible power of nature as seven cascading falls of varying heights plummet down into the riverbed.

Whether you prefer to take in the view from a boat tour or get up close and personal with a jumping expedition, you can easily choose from a range of exciting experiences.

Get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with breathtaking scenery and exhilarating experiences.

16- Visit The Magical Town Of Aquismon

Embark on a journey to the magical town of Aquismon, right in the heart of the beautiful Huasteca Potosina region.

Recently recognized as a Magic Town, Aquismon is a hub of cultural and natural wonders waiting to be explored.

Inhabited by the Teenek Indians and sprinkled with Nahuatl and Xi’u or Pames speakers, the town boasts a vibrant heritage.

Discover the rich textiles, coffee, vanilla, piloncillo and the skilled work of the local artisans at the Mercado de La Mora, where the Teenek women proudly showcase their embroidery skills.

For adventure seekers, Aquismon is the perfect starting point to conquer the breathtaking rivers, waterfalls and sinkholes.

17- Be Enchanted By Xilitla Magic Town

Nestled in the heart of the Huasteca region, Xilitla is a town shrouded in mystery and enchantment.

A mix of modernity and ancestral traditions, the town is home to the Nahuas and Teenek natives, who live in harmony with nature.

In the mornings and afternoons, the scent of coffee fills the streets as Xilitla is known for its high-quality organic coffee!

Enjoy a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and gather the courage to explore the town’s many wonders, including the oldest Hispanic building in Potosi territory, the convent of Saint Augustine and Edward James’ sculptural surrealist garden of Las Pozas.

18- Revitalise At The Castle Of Health

Step into the fantastical world of the Castle of Health of Beto Ramon, where traditional medicine meets magic.

Nestled in the charming municipality of Axtla de Terrazas, just 15 miles (25 km) from the enchanted town of Xilitla, this mystical sanctuary was built by the Nahuatl doctor Beto Ramon, in 1974.

Ramon uses his ancestral knowledge of medicinal plants to promote wellness in his community.

There are many beautiful and artistic quarters of the Castle, including the Church of the Lord of Health, the Eye of God, the Tower of Babel, the Ark of Noah, the House of the Deer, the Book of the Holy Scriptures, and the Tree of the Heart.

Stroll through the botanical garden, and indulge in the many health-focused products, including ointments, teas, syrups and creams made from medicinal plants.

In the Casa del Curandero, a shaman awaits to take you on a traditional spiritual journey with a Nahuatl cleansing ceremony.

19- Go On A Rafting Tour On The Tampaon River

Embark on an adventure of a lifetime with a rafting tour down the Tampaon River in Ciudad Valles.

With a knowledgeable guide leading the way, this rafting experience is perfect for families, nature enthusiasts and first-timers seeking a relaxed yet exciting adventure.

A tour is a great way to do this as it takes care of things like lunch and transportation. All you have to do then is sit back and relax.

Check out the tour here.

20- Visit The Centre Of Art In San Luis Potosi

The Centre of Art in San Luis Potosi city has a modern and dynamic design where creativity and inspiration converge to create an unforgettable experience.

Stroll through the galleries, where you’ll encounter masterpieces that bring together different styles, techniques and mediums.

From paintings to sculptures, installations and photography, the Centre of Art showcases the best of local, national and international artists.

Many of the exhibits are interactive, making this a fun experience for families with kids.

Touch the walls that come to life with music, stroll through the labyrinth of mirrors and be transported to a world of illusions.

The Centre of Art is not just a museum; it’s an experience.

The Centre of Art is at Calzada de Guadalupe 705, Col. Julian Carrillo, San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi.

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Jane Williams is a writer living in Mexico. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she has visited over 30 countries and lived in Japan for two years. Passionate about culture and history, her fascination for ancient civilisations has led to her to explore the world's iconic sites, such as Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. Even though she loves uncovering the secrets of the past, she feels equally at home exploring contemporary culture. A mother of two with a degree in anthropology, she enjoys sharing her travel adventures with others.