micos waterfalls travel guide

Micos Waterfalls in Huasteca Potosina: San Luis Potosi road trip part 5

Micos Waterfalls, a magnificent gem in the Huasteca Potosina is not popular with tourists yet. It’s really easy to do it on your own without paying for expensive tour packages. This Micos Waterfalls travel guide mainly focuses on doing it on your own including tips on how to navigate your San Luis Potosi road trip!

Reader Mail: Hola Trisha! I am Andrea from Mexico. I am so happy you are traveling in my country! I followed you in 2014 when I read your article in Yucatan Times. It is very fun watching your Instagram stories because they are very informative! I hope you can make a Micos Waterfalls travel guide. I saw your road trip to San Luis Potosi and as a Mexican, it is one of my top destinations! We Mexicans don’t know a lot about our country so thank you for exploring! I hope you can give me tips on how to do it by myself or with friends. Muchas gracias!
– Andrea Garcia Nieves, Mexico

Dear Andrea,

Thank you so much for writing to me – I really appreciate it! This year, I am planning to go around Mexico and showcase the best of the outdoors so thank you again for keeping it here!

I recently did a road trip around San Luis Potosi and it was incredible! There were not many tourists but a lot of Mexicans are traveling San Luis Potosi. This Micos Waterfalls travel guide will give you an idea of how to do this trip on your own – you don’t need a tour guide!

I hope you can visit one day – it’s really an amazing region in Mexico!

Xx,
Trisha

Why I decided to do a road trip in San Luis Potosi, Mexico

When we see pictures of Mexico on Instagram, we only see Tulum, Cancun, or the Yucatan Peninsula for their breathtaking cenotes and crystal clear waters. But very few people know that Mexico has a lot more interesting areas than the south.

San Luis Potosi was at the very top of my list because of its beautiful waterfalls and numerous outdoor activities. If you google San Luis Potosi, results about the city will appear. When I first Googled, there were no results for any waterfall because it is on the other side of the city (East). In this Micos Waterfall travel guide, I will give you more information about how to get there and how to do it on your own.

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Where is Micos Waterfalls?

Micos Waterfalls is in the Huasteca Potosina region of the state of San Luis Potosi (SLP). If you are driving or doing this adventure on your own, you can’t really just put Micos Waterfalls on Google maps because the directions are not very clear. The Huasteca Potosina region is not that touristy yet so you won’t see any signs of foreign tourists wandering around. It was also hard to drive by myself because there weren’t people around to ask.

Micos Waterfalls travel guide: costs, itinerary, and everything you need to know

How to get to Micos Waterfalls San Luis Potosi

San Luis Potosi is in the state of Mexico so the drive from Mexico City took me about 6 hours. The rental car cost $20 USD per day, not including gas and tolls. The drive was pretty long and I passed by a lot of highways that didn’t have toll gates. Apparently, this route is not too popular so the Mexican government didn’t put any toll gates.

I did a mistake by driving this route at night (from Mexico City to Xilitla, a small town 1.5 hours away from Micos Waterfalls). There were very thick fogs that made it hard for me to see the road. I had to drive 20km per hour which took me 2 hours more to get to Ciudad Valle, the gateway to  the Micos Waterfalls.

People who visit San Luis Potosi by car often mistake putting “San Luis Potosi” on Waze but the waterfalls are located in Ciudad Valles. This is where I stayed for 5 nights to explore different parts of San Luis Potosi – most of the waterfalls are 1-2 hours drive from Ciudad Valles. If you’re planning to do all these activities, Ciudad Valles should be your base.

See also: How to properly navigate your Oaxaca road trip
Micos Waterfalls travel guide

Micos Waterfalls, San Luis Potosi / I had a grand time flying the drone in this area! It’s really beautiful from above!

How to get to Ciudad Valles by bus

I love driving and I find cars more convenient when doing road trips. It allows me to stop whenever I want and arrive at the pace I intend to. Good Mexican bus companies cost a lot (for example, to get to where I live in Northwest Mexico from Mexico City or Guanajuato, the bus costs between $1,000 – $1,500 MXN (more or less $50 – $80 USD). If you are traveling with a group, a rental car is the best option.

However, if you want to be extra adventurous and experience a local Mexican bus (they’re very good and comfortable, they’re not like chicken busses), here are a few route options:

From Queretaro (popular)

Queretaro is 6 hours away from Ciudad Valles and bus companies like Omnibus de Mexico take this route. This is a non-stop ride and it costs $700 – $800 MXN (about $37 USD). This bus is an overnight bus that leaves Queretaro at midnight. YOu will arrive Ciudad Valles at 6:00 am,  just in time for you to start the day.

It’s very easy to arrive Ciudad Valles by bus but when you are already there exploring the waterfalls, there are no public transport so you have to sign up with a tour company. It will end up being more expensive than renting a car and doing it on your own.

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How to get to Ciudad Valles from Mexico City

Omnibus de Mexico also does trips to Ciudad Valles from Mexico City. The fare costs the same as going from Queretaro (around $37 USD) as the bus probably stops in Queretaro from Mexico City. The trip duration is 10.5 hours but it’s a direct bus so you don’t need to switch busses. From Mexico City, there are 4 busses a night that goes this route so you don’t have to book your bus tickets in advance. I do, however, like to book online before going just to make sure I’ll have the best seat!

When I am booking bus tickets online, I use Reservamos MX because it shows all the bus companies operating in the route I searched for. You can also go directly to the bus companies website but please note that not all companies have the same route. Unless you know which bus companies travel your route, use Reservamos.


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Where to stay in Ciudad Valles

Ciudad Valles is the gateway to the Micos Waterfalls but it is not as modern as Mexico City. It is a big city where you can find lots of ATMs, fast food, but I didn’t find a lot of places that offer good food. The accommodations are also not that “grand” but good enough for you to rest/sleep. I stayed in a slightly upper-class hotel called Mision Hotel Ciudad Valles. The cost of the double room for 2 pax is $1,000 MXN ($50 USD). This hotel has a pool and a restaurant but I chose this because they have private parking.

You might also like: The best places to visit in Mexico that’s not Cancun or Tulum
Micos Waterfalls travel guide

My room in Ciudad Valles / This stay was not complimentary nor discounted. I paid the full rate myself.

Below are more hotel options in Ciudad Valles (with free parking):

  • Selva Teenek Glamping: luxury tents for 2 start at $1,300 MXN ($69 USD) per night, breakfast included
  • Casa Boutique Selina: An apartment for 4 starts at $1,078 MXN (around $57 USD). There’s also an apartment for 10 people for the same price. They currently have an early 2020 promo!
  • Bonito Express: a king room (with King bed) for 2 pax starts at $80 MXN ($42 USD)

My personal experience in driving to Micos Waterfalls: is it safe?

As the traveler that I am, I did not believe him so I searched how to get to the waterfalls on Waze. If it appears on Waze, then it is accessible by driving. I followed the route Waze pointed me to and arrived at the entrance of the Micos Waterfalls where there are gates, a ticket booth, and a strip of restaurants! If I believed the local and took a tour with him, then I would’ve ended up paying more.

The entrance fee to the Micos Waterfall is $40 MXN ($2.12 USD) per person. The parking lot is free of charge – a first for me since all parking lots in this area seemed to be controlled by certain groups of people. From the gate (entrance), Micos Waterfalls is about 150 meters on foot.

Recommended: How to travel Puerto Vallarta on a budget

Micos Waterfalls travel guide

Rows of restaurants are the first thing you’ll see as you approach the Micos Waterfalls. These places offer meals that are good for lunch but can be quite pricy. There are also stores that sell water shoes (around $5 USD). Honestly, I didn’t feel the need for water shoes since I live by the beach – I always go around barefoot. If you are not comfortable walking on rocks while swimming, then you should get one. I just think it was unnecessary and expensive for what it is.

There are 7 different waterfalls within Micos but I didn’t do that tour. I arrived at Micos late so I didn’t have a full day to spend. I did hire a boat for $90 MXN (around $4 USD) to take me to the closest waterfall. I didn’t swim – the water was so cold I couldn’t do it! If you want to swim, the use of life jackets is mandatory and comes with a rental rate of $30 MXN ($2 USD) for full-day use.

Skybike in Micos Waterfalls

The drive to Micos Waterfalls from Ciudad Valles only took 30 minutes by private car. Roads in Ciudad Valles are very modern so there won’t be any difficulties in driving. When I first arrive at the area where the Micos Waterfalls are located, I could only see it from afar with a drone so it was difficult to assess if there were land access to the waterfalls. With this, I asked a local how to get to the waterfalls and he told me that you have to hike and that you need a guide to do this.

Before going to the Micos Waterfalls, I decided to give myself a glimpse of the waterfall (from above) by doing a Sky Bike ride. You can’t do this inside the Micos Waterfall park – you have to go all the way up to do the Sky Bike, pass the entrance of the waterfall.

 

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This costs $900 MXN ($48 USD) for 2 hours and it includes zip lining as well. The Sky Bike ride was pretty short but it was very exciting! It’s about 200m high and you will see a great view of the Micos Waterfalls from above. I don’t recommend it if you are afraid of heights – when I was there, the weather wasn’t good and there were strong winds that made the bike move a lot. The Sky Bike company told me it is safe so I didn’t have to worry. Plus, I was with a harness (and the bike, too) so I was convinced that I won’t fall off easily. If you have extra time and budget, I highly recommend you to go sky biking!

Micos Waterfalls tour vs do it yourself

All hotels in Ciudad Valles offer tours to the main attractions in Huasteca Potosina. Since I have a rental car, I did not sign up for any. I also found the tours expensive and I wanted to explore the area on my own. However, if you are not confident in driving in Mexico or getting lost, you should sign up for a tour. Speaking Spanish also helps since you will be in deserted places where locals don’t speak English. Here is my expenditure report for the Micos Waterfalls adventure:

Micos Waterfalls tour price: $41 USD per person
  • Rappelling
  • Waterfall jumping
  • All transportation
  • 1 meal
  • Park entrance
  • Snacks
  • Travel Insurance
Micos Waterfalls do it yourself: $77 USD
  • Rental car: $17 USD per day
  • Sky Bike: $48 USD
  • Micos Entrance: $2 USD
  • Lunch: $10 USD

The DIY is more expensive because I did the Sky Bike for $48 USD. If you sign up for a Micos Waterfalls tour, you have to pay that separately. The price above is only for the tour, without extra things to do.

When to visit Micos Waterfalls

I visited San Luis Potosi and Ciudad Valles at a very odd time. January is usually cold and rainy in this area but I liked that it wasn’t packed with people when I visited. I read in travel forums that it is very hard to go here when there’s a lot of people but if you want better weather, March to November is a great time to visit the Micos Waterfalls in San Luis Potosi.

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Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.

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P.S. I'm On My Way is a blog by Trisha Velarmino. She didn't
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