For outdoor adventure, the region known as the Huasteca Potosina is an ecological paradise offering a variety of ecotourism attractions. Activities center around the town of Ciudad Valles (256 km east of San Luis Potosi), which is nestled into the Sierra Madre Oriental. River rafting, rappelling, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and camping are all practiced along the numerous rivers, grottos and lagoons in the area. In the heart of the Huasteca region are the towns of Tamazunchale, Tamasopo and Tamuin. This area is characterized by its beautiful aquatic features – clear rivers, natural springs and enormous waterfalls – as well as its archaeological sites and preserved cultural heritage. The popular swimming and diving hole, Media Luna, is also located here.
Tamazunchale is gaining popularity due also in part to its proximity to the village of Xilitla where an eccentric English millionaire by the name of Edward James built an exotic mansion with large statues. This “surrealist garden” is an interesting stop if in the area. Besides offering an “authentic” Mexican experience, Tamazunchale is popular with bird watchers for its 200 species of birds found in the surrounding area. The unspoiled natural surroundings also boast more than 20 varieties of orchids, huge butterflies, tree squirrels, wild boar and wolves.
The spring of La Media Luna, or Half Moon, was considered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau to be one of the best places in the world to learn the techniques of cave diving. It is located in the city of Rio Verde, an hour away from the capital San Luis Potosi, and it continues to offer cave diving today.
The uniqueness of the underwater scenery comes from its six craters, overflowing with water. Petrified trees overlook it from a precipice like sleeping giants and there are hundreds of marine species. La Media Luna is also a magical place, full of history. A fossilized mammoth’s head was brought up from its depths, as were a variety of offerings once deposited there by the ancient settlers in the area who used the spring as a center of worship.