You always wanted to have breakfast near a waterfall in the jungle and sleep under mango trees? Or would you like to jump from eight different waterfalls?
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Three weeks ago I visited the Hotel Huasteca Secreta Salto del Meco near El Naranjo, San Luis Potosí. Many colleagues recommended the hotel, however it was always fully booked. But this time I was faster. At the moment most of the sights in the Huasteca are closed, but the hotel is located directly at a river so you can go swimming and enjoy nature.
Accidentaly we also discovered the Bel-Há Ecoparque* which is located near the Cascadas Minas Viejas (currently closed, 23.07.20). You can also stay the overnight there (in small huts with palm roofes in the middle of the jungle). After an agreement we received a private tour and jumped from several water falls. Unfortunately I lost my action camera :'(.
Best travel time: The best travel time for the Huasteca Potosina is between January and April (but you shouldn´t arrive on a long weekend or over easter). In May it rains from time to time and from July till September there is officially rain time in the Huasteca. During that season many rivers are bigger than normal and you cannot swim in them. After the rain season it takes a while till the rivers returned from brown to their beautiful blue color.
How to get there
Flight to San Luis Potosí
The airport of San Luis Potosí can be reached directly from seven different cities (Tijuana, Mexiko-City, Houston, Dallas, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta, Querétaro, Cancún). Cheap flights you can find at Opodo*. Sometimes it can be cheaper to arrive to the airport Leon-Guanajuato (BJX). There are several bus toures available, but I would recommend a rental car* , because you will be more independent.
With the car from San Luis Potosí to the Hotel Huasteca Secreta
From San Luis Potosí you need to follow the known way (Highway 57 to the north, then 75D to Rioverde), but this time don´t drive via Rioverde and Tamasopo to Ciudad Valles. Leave the toll road after Rioverde direction north (Exit: Tula/México 101/Cdad. Victoria). Then follow the street 101 till you reach the 80 in direction Cd Mante – El Huizache . From there you need to drive 100 km to El Naranjo. After Ciudad del Maiz the street will become more curvy and the landscape greener and more beauftiful.
Drive straight through El Naranjo and take a left after the Pemex petrol station to Salto el Meco . After 5 km take a left in Ejido El Meco and one kilometre later you will arrive to the hotel. It is hidden befind a big gate to your left.
Hint: From El Naranjo a street leads direction south to Rioverde. Because of the pot holes I wouldn´t recommend this road.
Accomodation #1: Hotel Huasteca Secreta Salto del Meco
Hint: There are two hotels Huasteca Secreta. Here we speak about the one directly at the waterfall. Salto del Meco.
After your arrival you will find many mango trees. If you arrive in the correct season (e.g. Mai/June) you can even try some of the fruits.
Hint: You don´t find any reception in the area of the hotel, only behind the restaurant. There is also no Wifi.
Two kinds of rooms are available in the hotel: Big bungalows for up to six persons (directly at the pool; bath/shower inside) or small solid "tents" (called velarias) for up to four persons (under mango trees; bath/showers outside behind the tent). All rooms have air condition, light and electricity.
Preise und Verfügbarkeit haben sich leider an die gute Lage und Ausstattung des Hotels angepasst. Die Bungalows kosten um die 3800 Peso pro Nacht (150-160€), die Velarias um die 1900 Peso (75€). Ein Frühstück im Restaurant direkt am Wasserfall ist bei beiden inklusive. Die Bungalows sind in der Regel schon Wochen vorher ausgebucht – wenn ihr Glück habt, erwischt ihr noch einen, ansonsten nehmt ihr ein „Zelt“, so wie wir.
You reach the restaurant following a long stairway next to the big waterfall (if you are not good walking you can also take the car). It has a small selection of Mexican food, prices are okay for a hotel. I can recommend the Cecina Huasteca - a regional dish made of smoked thin meat (the preperation process can take several months and includes washing, drying, smoking, again drying). Because of the location of the restaurant you can hear the rushing noise of the waterfall.
The hotel is located directly near the river El Salto. Dessen Strömung und warmes Wasser laden euch zum Schwimmen und Entspannen ein. Auf der großen Wiese am Ufer könnt ihr euer Handtuch ausbreiten und die Sonne genießen. Die Treppe hinauf zum Restaurant bietet ein 10 m Sprungbrett für Mutige.
A nice pool also belongs to the complex (with view on the river and the jungle). The pool has a narrow and a bit deeper part with a bar (perfect for Piña Coladas).
The hotel offers several activities in the area. A small boat tour to the waterfall is already included in your stay. You can float in the river on your way back (life jackets are mandatory).
You can book additional activities at the reeption, for example: Stand-Up-Paddlie (during the day or in the night with LEDs under the board), kayak, jumping from different waterfalls, rappel from waterfall Minas Viejas, Tubing and more.
Unfortunately you cannot book the hotel via the known travel portals, but only via the own webpage or via telephone. Here you can find the webpage: https://huastecasecreta.com/hotel-salto-del-meco/.
Accomodation #1: Bel-Há Ecoparque
The Bel-Há Ecoparque* is located on the way to Cascadas Minas Viejas. From the hotel Salto del Meco you need to return to El Naranjo and on the west side of the city you take the street direction south to Ciudad Valles . After around 27 km take a right to Minas Viejas . After three curves you will find a sign "Bel-Há Ecoparque". Follow the dirt road for one kilometre and you will reach the target.
Hint: There is no mobile phone signal nor Wifi in the area.
Finally cookings like real Mexicans - delicious!*
Also in the Bel-Há Ecoparque you can stay over night (but less comfortable then in Huasteca Secreta - therefore even more close to nature). There are huts with one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. You will sleep under mosquito nets, there is no AC but a fan. The stay costs 890 Peso per person and included dinner, breackfast, coffee or tea and snacks (fruits).
The toilettes and the bath room can be found in another hut a bit apart. Electricity from a Generator is available different times a day. You an find hammocks at some huts and aroud the dining room.
Because the electricity is limited the food is cooked with fresh ingredients. We didn´t eat here but there are many recommendations regarding the good food.
The complex has a clear layout. There are several huts for overnight stays, some of them with hammocks in front. A dining hall with a small kitchen is located centrally. A bit apart you can find the bathroom/showers. South of the complex is an area for bonfires and for swings. In ten minutes you can reach the river through the forrest.
Temazcal - Sweat hut (if it isn´t warm enough for you)
South of the complex you can find a small sweat hut (called Temazcal). Like in a sauna water with spcies is poured on hot stones to create steam. You will detox your body and your spirit. I just don´t know if I need that when it is outside already >30°C.
Next to a hike along the river you can do a waterfall jumping tour (eigh waterfalls of different heights - unfortunately I lost my camera there...). Bird watching and bonfires are also possible, also a tour to rappel at minas viejas.
If you can´t live without the amentities of a city and mobile phone signal you should have a look in Ciudad Valles. The Grann Hotel* with pool and good restaurant could be an option. AirBnb`s you can find also (if you are not registered yet you can here* get up to 34€ discount for your first reservation).
Hotels in Ciudad Valles*:
The huasteca potosina is full of beautiful sights - here you can find a few:
- Huasteca Potosina – Puente de Dios
- Huasteca Potosina – Las Cascadas de Tamasopo
- Huasteca Potosina - Las Pozas - surrealistic sculpture garden in Xilitla
- Huasteca Potosina – Laguna de la Media Luna
- Huasteca Potosina – Cascada de Tamul
- Huasteca Potosina – Sótano de las Huahuas
- Huasteca Potosina – Cascadas de Micos
- Huasteca Potosina – Castillo de la Salud
- Huasteca Potosina – Sotano de las Golondrinas
- Huasteca Potosina – Cascada de Minas Viejas
- Huasteca Potosina – Cascada el Salto – waterfall without water?
- Huasteca Potosina – Grutas de la Catedral
- Huasteca Potosina – Cascada de Minas Viejas
Conclusion Huasteca Secreta Hotel Salto del Meco and Bel-Há Ecoparque
Back to nature! Both accomodations provide a unique experience in the jungle of the huasteca potosina. Perfect to get out of the big city on the weekend. Unfortunately many sights are closed currently due to Corona, but both accomodations have enought to see/do so you won´t need anything else.
What to bring: