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Visiting Las Pozas, Xilitla: Surrealist Garden in Mexico

Walking in the surrealist garden of Edward James, Las Pozas, makes you feel like you are in a totally different world. A world where fantasies and imaginaries come to life. We feel like true explorers, walking in a jungle, not knowing what we see next or where we end our exploration. It’s a place we recommend everybody going to, it’s a hidden gem located deep in the Mexican mountains. Definitely one for on the bucket list!

History of Las Pozas

Las Pozas was created by the British poet Edward James. He moved to Xilitla where he started growing exotic plants. But in 1962 frost and blizzards destroyed all of his orchids, he decided to make something permanent which the weather couldn’t destroy. He wanted to create his version of the ‘Garden of Eden’ with giant concrete sculptures. It took him 20 years from 1949 until his passing in 1984, to design and build the concrete structures resembling floral elements, which costs over 5 million dollars. And yet, most sculptures are still unfinished.

Las Pozas, the Pools in Spanish, is named after the pools covering the place, coming from waters that flow naturally through it. There’s also a beautiful waterfall.

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Before You Go

How to Get There

The surrealist garden is located in the jungle near a small mountain village called Xilitla, in the province San Luis Potosí, Mexico. To get to Xilitla you can drive there yourself by rental car (like we did), or go by bus. It’s about an eight-hour drive from the capital. Be prepared for a long trip with winding roads. If you have time and money we really recommend renting a car. You will have the freedom to go where you want and to explore authentic Mexican places, like this place!

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If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can go by bus from cities like San Luis Potosí, Mexico City and Querétaro with Primera Plus. If you want to see more beauties of the huasteca potosina area, you can also book one of the tour packages from huaxteca.com.

When To Go

Make not to visit Las Pozas during Mexican holidays. The line to get inside can be up to three hours during high season. Also try not to go on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We went on a Friday morning during low season and it was already pretty crowded at the entrance. The saddest part: when it’s crowded you can’t go on top of the masterpiece ‘The Bamboo Palace‘.

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Good To Know

  • Tripods aren’t allowed in the surrealist garden if you don’t have a permit
  • You can pay extra for a guided tour, but we loved exploring ourselves. There is also enough information displayed in the garden. It’s also possible to buy a map at the entrance, but somehow we missed it
  • 2-3 hours should be enough to explore the surrealist garden
  • Bring your swimsuit with you, in some of the natural pools you are allowed to swim

Where To Stay in Xilitla

Go and stay at Casa Caracol, it’s not even a five-minute walk from there to the garden and it’s awesome! It’s basic, but their tipi hostel rooms are adorable. In addition, they have a cute Alice in Wonderland-like tea party set up in the garden: you’ll feel like you’re in a surrealist world already.

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Pam Avoledo

Monday 10th of February 2020

It's so beautiful! It's truly a piece of art.

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 10th of February 2020

Absolutely!

Gabby

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Hello! I will be visiting Las Pozas in a couple weeks and your post has made me very excited! I will be driving from TAM airport and would love any advice. Did you have trouble navigating your way there? Did you have any issues getting gas? I keep reading horror stories about gas station scams : (. Thanks!

Gabby

Thursday 12th of December 2019

Amazing! This is so helpful! I am going in February and want to book a stay at Casa Caracol. Did you speak with someone in English, if so, how?

Roxanne & Maartje

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

I believe so! We don't speak Spanish, and sometimes we need more 'hand and feet gestures' but I don't remember having any troubles.

kimberleygriffioen

Sunday 26th of August 2018

Never heard of this garden but it looks really beautiful!

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 27th of August 2018

Totally!!

Kim

Sunday 26th of August 2018

Wow! I have never heard of this garden, but it is so beautiful!

Roxanne & Maartje

Monday 27th of August 2018

We hadn't heard about it before either, happy we found this place!

Once Upon a Journey