Mexico’s wastland is awash with all kinds of outdoor adventures, from exploring tropical beaches to traversing huge canyons and 2,000-metre (and more) mountain peaks.
It will definitely surprise you.
Some think of Mexico’s west as the arid part of the country. However, the tropical landscapes are just as stunning as Tulum’s beaches. You shouldn’t miss this waterfall-dotted part of Mexico, especially if you want to escape the tourist crowds. Although La Huasteca can get busy, it is not as busy as the beach destinations most tourists flock to, and is mostly known by Mexicans.
I faced many fears in Mexico during my 7-month stay – I couch-surfed, hitchhiked and visited Mexico City’s most dangerous neighbourhood.
But the only time I was truly scared was when hanging from a rope, 720 meters above a waterfall in the middle of a beautiful rainforest.
The La Huasteca region was on my radar from the first time I heard about it. An area in the San Luis Potosi state, north of Mexico City, dotted with spectacular waterfalls. It isn’t hard to understand why I needed to see it. Especially since I lived in the city of Monterrey, where it was extremely rare to see water, even in the rivers.
So, there I was at Adventureland Huasteca, having figured out the public transportation to bring me to the starting point of my adventure (another adventure on its own).
Need to Know
- Your adrenaline-inducing adventure can be booked online from Adventureland (check online for current pricing). Packages are available to combine their different offerings.
- It is possible to pay when you arrive, but it may be worth booking ahead just in case the park is busy.
- Be sure to bring sturdy shoes and clothing that won’t restrict your movement. Bring swimwear if you want to swim in the river.
I registered, put my things in a locker, and received my safety harness and helmet. Then, we were guided to the zipline, and as I stepped onto the first wooden platform, my heart was absolutely thumping.
My initial idea was to only go on the Sky Bike, but little did I know there were two ziplines to get through before I could sit comfortably on a bicycle. I nervously stepped up and watched how the other people who signed up for the tour got ready. When finally everyone was ready, it was time to fly.
As the guide looked at me, my nervousness was already rising, and my hands were a little sweaty. I told the couple next to me that they should go ahead. I didn’t want to be the first person. What if there was a mistake? I wanted them to test it so I could see that everything worked.
Once I’d watched the other couple arrive safely at the next platform, I stepped tensely to the edge. I watched how the guide harnessed me to the line, and before I could think more about my fear, I was in the air. My heart was pounding, but I was doing it. I was flying over the valley.
At the next platform, I watched everyone else fly safely across. Then I realised that they were all leaving to take a different tour. A guide stayed back with me to continue on to the following line. When I stepped up to the platform, I couldn’t believe my eyes. This zipline was four times longer than the other. I couldn’t clearly make out the end.
There was no backing out for me, though. No time for fear, only to think about the way forward. The way of the zip line. Again, I was tense, and my heart raced as I flew into the unknown.
Then I saw it behind me – the most gorgeous waterfall. I was flying over it. Realising how much I’d been tightening every muscle, I let go of my fear and soaked up the feeling of flying over this natural spectacle.
When I landed, I was full of adrenaline and smiling. Thankfully, the main event was still to come. A short 3-minute’ walk uphill brought me to the starting point for the Sky Bike. My state was still heightened from the previous zipline, so I needed a short break, but this was the experience I’d been waiting for.
When I researched the La Huasteca area and saw the bike zip line, I knew I needed to do it. The reason is simple: I love cycling, but I’m afraid of heights. The perfect combo to challenge myself (yes, I love challenges).
Feeling the familiar comfort of a bike seat was okay on the platform, surrounded by the tree canopy. It wasn’t until I took off and the tree branches disappeared that my fear of heights kicked in again. To my surprise, it was more challenging on the bike because crossing was much slower. I focused on the end of the leash and my breathing until it got easier.
I found peace before arriving at the end of the line, letting go of the fear and just enjoying the scenery. The return was easier, too, having already gotten used to the experience. I even got to finish my adventure with a refreshing dip in the nearby river.
My starting point was Ciudad Valles. This city is a perfect location to stay and explore the waterfall region outside the city. I also visited Cascada Tamul, which was very touristy. You can take a bus or collectivo from Ciudad Valles to Cascadas de Micos (Micos Waterfalls). A collectivo is a shared taxi for an affordable price. I recommend renting a vehicle if you want flexibility and plan to see lots of waterfalls in the La Huasteca area.
What should you know about your adventure time in Mexico?
If you are up for multiple adventures in the waterfall region of Mexico, keep in mind that it takes some time to reach a waterfall, especially if you are travelling by public transport. Public transport can be unpredictable – you might not reach your destination on time, or the bus might not even go all the way (Cascada Tamul).
The easiest would be to book a tour with pick up at your accommodation. Or you level up your adventure, take a bus, and hitchhike the rest of the trip, like I did to Cascada Tamul. It’s also a great way to learn Spanish.
Adventure at La Huasteca – Mexico’s waterfall region
At the Micos Waterfalls, you can find various adventures, like rafting, canyoning and, of course, the ziplines. I booked my zipline and Sky Bike via Adventureland. I was very happy about the bang for buck. It was a fantastic experience. La Huasteca is definitely one of Mexico’s adventure regions. There’s an experience to suit every taste, whether it’s white water rafting or a chilled boat tour at Cascada Tamul (including a dip in a water cave). If you are looking for a different kind of adventure, I recommend the ghost town Real de Catorce.
Have you visited La Huasteca? Experienced the Sky Bike? Or got it on your bucket list? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.