The Huasteca Potosina, Mexico is still seen as a hidden gem, it is not on the common itinerary for foreigners. Honestly, there is no reason why not to visit. The Huasteca Potosina is a beautiful region, covered in jungle, waterfalls, and turquoise rivers. The biggest waterfall in this region is the waterfall of Tamul, located in the municipality of Aquismon. This waterfall is 105m high and has an incredible view to offer, from up and also from below. In the following, we will give you all the information you need as a first-time visitor of this waterfall and the region itself.
WHAT IS THE TAMUL WATERFALL?
The waterfall of Tamul is 105 m high and dropping directly into a canyon. It consists out of the river Gallinas, coming from Tamasopo, falling into the river Santa Maria, coming from Queretaro. Both rivers coming together is giving the river the new name of Tamapon. Most places in the region of the Huasteca Potosina still inherit traditional names from the native Huastecos living in this region. In this case, Tampaon means translated to English, a place where the mountains are parted because the river forms a canyon in various parts. Also, the waterfall itself has a name in Tenek, the language of the natives. Tamul translates to a place of deep water pools, due to the way the upper part of the waterfall has formed deep pools which can be easily seen and visited during the dry season.
HOW TO GET HERE?
As one of the favorite tourism destinations within the Huasteca Potosina, the infrastructure to visit this place is quite good, even if you decide to travel by yourself. The most common tour you can take to get to the lower parts of the waterfall is visiting the village of Tanchachin, a place where the birds' bath, and in the entrance to the village talk to any of the men wearing blue shirts. They are local guides and will take you to the waterfall in a canoe. You can also book a guided tour from Ciudad Valles in case your Spanish is not so good or you prefer an all-inclusive experience.
In case you are more interested in visiting the upper part of the waterfall, you still drive to Tanchachin but instead of driving into the village, you take a right turn. This way you will get to another junction in a village called El Naranjito, where you take a left that takes you directly to a camping ground on the upper part of the waterfall. Here you can either take a walk around yourself, take a guided tour, or in case you want to do a rappel of 105 m on the side of the waterfall you should book a guided tour in Ciudad Valles before coming here yourself.
WHAT TO BRING?
No matter which of the two options you choose, make sure you bring clothes to cover your body, so you don’t burn yourself, and also clothes that can get wet, such as sportswear or light clothes. Also bring a waterproof bag so you can bring your phone or camera, some money and any valuable item you need during your trip such as car keys. Everything you don’t necessarily need you better leave in your car, so you do not risk losing anything.
Shoes are maybe the most important thing to brings since you will need to walk on wet stones and sand during the trip. So make sure you buy good quality water shoes with a good tennis sole – The ones from decathlon are great and they are not too expensive.
TRAVELING ALONE OR WITH A TOUR OPERATOR?
The main difference between the two is, that traveling with a tour operator means you do not have to worry about anything, only bring your things and everything else is taken care of. Traveling alone means more freedom but also more things to consider.
If you travel by yourself the trip will look something like that:
To visit the waterfall itself you need to take a 1.5h long canoe ride with one of the local guides owning the rowing boats. They work all together in a form of Cooperative, so you can speak to any of them as they are giving you all the same information and prices. They will then accompany you to the entrance of the River about 5 min away from the village. Here you leave your car, take only the necessary things with you that you want to get wet and walk with them to the shore of the river. Here you get into a canoe with around 18 other people and will start rowing upstream towards the waterfall of Tamul. In the middle of the tour, you need to walk two easy rapids because they are too strong to row upstream and get back into your canoe afterward. Here you row the last part to the waterfall and take your pictures. If you travel in high season this will be the busiest spot. Afterward, you start rowing back, pass the rapids and make a short stop in the Cueva del Agua which basically a water spring within a cave. Here you get around 30 min free time until you have to be in your canoe again row back to the beginning. The tour in total will take you around 3 hours.
If you travel with a tour operator:
The tour itself remains almost the same, only that you do not get here yourself but are picked up in Ciudad Valles and have the driving service included, most of the times you make a short stop in a restaurant in Tanchachin so you can order food for after the tour and change into your swimming gear. Here your professional guides will take you to the entrance of the river and you will get into your private canoe with only your group. During the journey, many of the professional guides will make your day as full of experiences as possible, they will explain the history and nature of the place, visit secret springs with you and take you to great spots to take pictures. Also, you will be able to swim the rapids with them and also experience the cave together. After getting back to Tanchachin also the food will be included and in total, this forms a complete day trip of 6 hours.
WHERE TO STAY?
Doing the trip by yourself you can surely stay in Tanchachin itself, there are several camping grounds which are nice, such as Cabañas MANNAN, or also several good hotels like Hotel Cascada Huasteca in Tanchachin, Hotel Las Yakas about 30min away, and the Hotel Huasteca Secreta Tantala right on Highway 70.
If you decide you want to travel to different places in the Huasteca and want to travel with tour operators we would suggest staying in Ciudad Valles as a central point to visiting all of the Huasteca.
THE PERFECT TRIP?
In our opinion the perfect trip you can take to the waterfall of Tamul booking a tour operator and doing rappel on the side of the waterfall with them. This way you have some adventure in it, you get to see the waterfall from above and below and you will certainly not get bored.
If you want to have a perfect trip with us or want any of our trips planned to perfection contact us by mail or on our social networks.