(Tips to form responsible & experienced tourists)
The quantity of information that can be found on the internet when planning to visit a place is incredible. There is so much information out there about the tourist attractions and tips when traveling, it seems infinite and with time travel tips change because also the nature of the location changes. Nowadays with technology and the internet around we can easily travel anywhere in seconds. The information we give you here is going to be short and concrete from our point of view as former adventure tour guides in the Huasteca Potosina. This month we are going to share with you everything you need to know when traveling to the Huasteca Potosina or to Ciudad Valles for that matter.
Where To Find The Famous Puente De Dios?
The famous Puente de Dios we are talking about here is located in the Huasteca Potosina, part of the state of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. It is located in a small village called Tamasopo (translated from Tenek: Place that drips) which is just 1 hour away from Ciudad Valles on Highway 70 connecting the capital San Luis Potosi with Ciudad Valles.
What Is Puente De Dios?
Puente de Dios or as it translates to English as 'Bridge of God' is a natural pool which is fed by a river flowing into the pool in form of a waterfall and on the other side of the pool into a cave, where the water flow over years formed a natural under earth passage. On the walls of the pool, there are plants and trees growing with small water strains flowing down forming mini waterfalls. This gives this place the atmosphere of a sunken oasis. On the other side of the cave, the river continues flowing further downstream. Nowadays we are lucky to be able to swim through this natural bridge under the earth which gives, with the light entering and breaking in the water, the impression of underwater light beamers. Depending on the season the cave always looks different and has different colors.
Importan Things When Visiting:
There are slippery surfaces all over so be careful when walking
Due to the vegetation, the sun is tolerable here, please do not use sunscreen
In the water pool, there are ropes so you can move easier within the water & there is a 5 to 6m jump into the water pool
Big parkinglots are available and charge around 20 pesos (1$), the entrance to the attraction is around 40 pesos (2$), there are restrooms and showers available.
During the rainy season (End of August - End of October) the water levels are rising and change the color of the river. Many times Puente de Dios is closed then and cannot be accessed by anyone due to strong currents.
On the curvy road leading up to the parking lot of Puente de Dios, there is a sign saying: Viagra Natural! Here they sell freshly made and locally produced Sugar Cane to try. Trust us, it really is worth trying and here, with Don Mayo, is the best place to do so.
Pick up all the trash you see and make sure to not leave any trash or belongings behind to keep nature clean.
The place allows you to use any kind of Leggings, Sportswear, bathing suits, and wetsuits. Make sure to not use anything made out of jeans, because it's impossible to swim in.
Use suitable watershoes with a good tennis sole.
Do not forget to tie your glasses to make sure you do not lose them in case you need them in the water. If using contact lenses be aware that they can move when jumping into the water. If you can leave them outside.
Pro Tip: Buy a drybag online to be able to carry your most essential belongings like phone, car keys, and money with you at all times.
You can buy a waterproof phone case at the attraction, just be aware that they are not always made with good materials and are not always 100% waterproof.
If you have a GoPro or any other waterproof camera feel free to take it with you, attached to a floating device at best.
Hold on tight to your phone or camera when jumping into the water to make sure you don't lose it or give it to someone that doesn't jump.
You can take this beautiful picture on the train tracks, just be careful because trains are still passing by here a few times a day.
How To Stay Safe While Traveling?
When visiting Puente de Dios as well as any other water activity it is essential to follow the indications of your personal guide or the personnel working at the pool. They know the place best and also know about the possible dangers here. It seems like a relaxing swimming pool but do not forget that you are in nature and there will always be water currents that may surprise you. That is also the reason for the ropes within the pool to make sure the current of the river does not drag you. When visiting this place be sure to not enter into the water if you are drunk to not put yourself or others at risk. Puente de Dios can only be accessed wearing a life jacket. You can either rent it in the parking lot for around 50 pesos (2.50$) or if you book a guided tour they are already included. Once you enter the water never take off your life vest, even if you know how to swim.
When traveling to the Huasteca with your own car in general make sure to have a basic first aid kit with you, because accidents happen always when you are unprepared. Also, be aware that the location you are visiting is mainly covered in jungle with all the animals and insects that live in it, so do not leave the paths and just enjoy the place where it is indicated.
As already mentioned before there is a jump of 5 to 6m you can do to get into the pool. You do not have to jump as there is also a natural slide of about 1m to enter it in case you do not feel like jumping. If you are afraid during water activities make sure to let your guide know and they will take special care of you. If you decide to jump do so with the decision, the worst accidents happen once you start doubting and slip instead. You do not have to jump, in the pool, there are several smaller jumps if you want to and there are also different ways to enjoy the place if you decide to not enter into the water at all.
Where To Eat?
When walking from the parking lot to the entrance of Puente de Dios you may have noticed that there are many food-stands selling everything that you might like after taking a long swim, such as souvenirs, fruit, elotes, water, chicharrones, and different kind of Mexican snacks to try out. This will be good if you are only looking for a snack. If you desire a full meal you can drive down to the village of Tamasopo and there you can find several restaurants to choose from. Or you can also drive back to Ciudad Valles and eat there. Do not forget to try the Zacahuil and the enchiladas huastecas as they are the traditional dishes of the region.
Where To Stay & How To Get There?
When you are thinking about staying in the region of the Huasteca Potosina for more than just a day trip the best place to spend your nights certainly is Ciudad Valles as the biggest city. It takes you 1 hour to get there from Puente de Dios and here you can find a big variety of hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs. Our favorite places to stay in Ciudad Valles are Hotel Casa Oritz and Hotel Valles. Also, most Airbnbs located on the Boulevard are really good. In Ciudad Valles, you have also the luxury of having a supermarket, restaurant, ATMs, and hospitals close by. You can obviously also stay in Tamasopo in one of the many camping areas around or you can choose to stay in the eco-villages around Ciudad Valles run by the tour operators in the city. They often have cabins to stay in, access to a river directly on the camp-site and the tours pick you up directly from the camp, in case you do not have a own car. Here you can also directly ask for packaged tours including accommodation, trips, and food all in one. The best operators with Aldeas around are Ruta Huasteca & Sharet.
In terms of getting to the Huasteca Potosina, Puente de Dios and Ciudad Valles there are several options. The easiest and most obvious is driving in your own car and also moving around the Huasteca by yourself. You can also move to the Huasteca by public transport and can even get to most touristy places within the Huasteca by public transportation. Another option and our favorite is, getting to Ciudad Valles either by car or by public transportation and from there moving with a tour operator and their guided tours. This way you are flexible moving to the city but are not responsible for driving to the different attractions and organizing your day.
As mentioned above already, it is a good idea to leave visiting Puente de Dios for your last day to start driving home from here as it is located on the way to San Luis already. In case you liked our recommendations follow us on social media or contact us to get more personalized tips for your own journey.