Mexico is a huge country with many different regions, climates, cultures and nature. Yucatan is tropical and flat, Chiapas has beautiful waterfalls, Oaxaca delicious food, but we think the Huasteca Mountains are the most beautiful part of Mexico that we got to know. There is an abundance of water that ensures green mountains and valleys, the people are hospitable and there are remote roads for cycling. Most world cyclists opt for western Mexico and go via Baja Calafornia. We chose the other side and discovered this beautiful region. We named it the Ruta Huasteca and put together all our tips. As far as we are concerned, a must do route in Mexico!
The route starts in Pachuca, Hidalgo and continues to El Naranjo in the province of San Luis Potosi. Especially on the first part there are many meters to climb and unpaved roads in poor condition, but in exchange you get to see unique culture and beautiful waterfalls. Most of the route is very quiet, only the part between Tamazunchale and Aquismon is on a busy provincial road.
Some highlights on the route are:
- Cascada Minas Viejas: different waterfalls in azure blue water. The waterfalls are a few kilometers off the route with a steep climb, but definitely worth the detour
Sotano las Huahuas: a sotano is a deep cave where thousands and thousands of swallows live. In the morning they fly out to forage and in the evening they all return to their sleeping place. With thousands they circle above the cave and then dive into the cave in large groups. In addition to the swallows, there are also parrots that come out of the cave scratching.
- The valley around Metztitlan: a very beautiful and fertile valley.
- Cascada La Meca, cascada El Tamul, Cascadas los Micos and Cascada El Salto.
The route goes through a lot of nature and along many waterfalls. Wild camping is easy or you pay around 30 pesos at each of the waterfalls.
There are a number of warmshowers in Pachuca, but there are no warmshowers further on the route. We went to Ciudad Valles for a rest day and slept in an Airbnb.
According to the locals, April and May are the rainy months, but we didn’t have a drop of rain on our helmet. Maybe we were lucky, maybe the climate has changed here too.
It was hot everywhere in April, even above 2,000 meters. We almost always slept in our Amazonas hammock because the tent was too hot. At the waterfalls it is hot and humid, but the water is wonderfully fresh and sometimes even a little cold. However, we do not recommend drinking the water.
There are many small villages on the route where you can buy food. There are not always restaurants, but you will always find a small shop. We could always buy fruit and vegetables in the villages and took almost no food for several days. In Tamazunchales and Ciudad Valles there are supermarkets where you can buy food, although Ciudad Valles is a detour. The waterfalls and the swallow caves are touristy with tents to buy food and drinks, at least in the period that we were there (semana santa)
We got water everywhere in all the villages, mostly from a large water bottle, sometimes from the tap. There are many rivers, but we did not trust the water because of all the agriculture and houses.
More highlights: There are many more waterfalls and other sights in the area. On the map we have added a number so that you can adjust the route yourself.
Avoid the week before Easter: The waterfalls are touristy and depending on the time of the year it can be busy. We had an unfortunate timing and were in the Semana Santa at the falls. In the week before Easter, everybody in Mexico is free and they travel with the whole family to the countryside. It was incredibly busy at the falls and on the routes to it. Only if you want to experience this Mexican holiday frenzy, you will enjoy it.
More tips: in our blog cycling in Mexico you will find more tips, prices of basic items and recommendations.