Cascada de Tamul, San Luis Potosi – How to Visit Tamul Waterfall in Huasteca Potosina, Mexico

If you’re in search of one of the most impressive waterfalls in the region of Huasteca Potosina, you’ll want to visit Cascada de Tamul, San Luis Potosi. 

At almost 350 feet (105 meters) tall, it’s the tallest waterfall in Huasteca Potosina and well worth exploring.

One of the other things that makes this waterfall impressive is that during the rainy season, Tamul Waterfalls stretch to more than 300 meters wide. Although keep reading to learn why that may not be the best time to visit.

To visit Tamul Waterfall, you have a choice of paddling a wooden boat down the turquoise Tampaon River or hiking to the top of the waterfall for closer views. Each has its advantages, which I’ll detail below.

Regardless of how you choose to get there, Tamul falls is one of the top places to visit in Huasteca Potosina for its natural beauty and impressive size.

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In front of the Tamul Waterfall, San Luis Potosina, people wearing life jackets stand and sit in wooden boats. The try to get a glimpse of Cascada Tamul while protected behind large rock boulders in the water.

Where is Cascada de Tamul?

As part of La Huasteca Potosina, Tamul Waterfall is located in the state of San Luis Potosi. Cascada de Tamul flows into the Tampaon River, which originates from the Gallinas River.

The location of Tamul Falls is relatively remote, between the larger towns of Xilitla and Ciudad Valles. Cascada de Tamul is about a 45-minute drive from Ciudad Valles.

Whether you’re looking for a day of adventure or just want to admire the natural beauty of Tamul, this is a must-do in La Huasteca Potosina.

How Do You Get to Cascada de Tamul?

Source: Google maps

To get to Cascada de Tamul, you’ll first need to arrive at the area along the road that runs between Aquismon and highway 70.

Since there is no public transportation directly to the access points of the Tamul Waterfall, you’ll need to either rent a car or take a tour. Both options are detailed below.

Getting to Cascada de Tamul by Car

To make the most of your time, it is best to rent a car to explore Huateca Potosina. While some buses and colectivos are available between towns, the attractions are often located outside the areas of public transportation. And Cascada de Tamul is no different.

The exception is if you’re traveling solo or if you simply do not want to drive in Mexico. In that case, you’ll want to arrange a tour of Huasteca Potosina to explore the area.

It’s best to rent a car from any of the major cities nearby and drive to Huasteca Potosina. I’ve included the main ones below.

Tamul Waterfall Tour

The other way to get to the Tamul is to take a tour. If you’re staying in Ciudad Valles, you should book this tour of the Tamul Waterfall which includes transportation and lunch at a local home in La Morena.

After changing clothes, you’ll load into the wooden canoes and paddle down the turquoise Tampaon River towards Cascada de Tamul. At the waterfall, you’ll have an opportunity to take pictures of Tamul falls from the large rock in front.

On the way back you can float down the river to La Cueva del Agua, a cave along the river. The Tamul Waterfall tour finishes with a homemade lunch in La Morena before returning to Ciudad Valles.

Taking a guided tour of Tamul is a great way to see the waterfall without having to worry about driving, coordinating, or struggling with your Spanish.

How To Access Cascada de Tamul

On a Huasteca Potosina tour of the Tamul Waterfall, colorful wooden boats with rungs for seats are tied along the shore of a green colored river. In the background a boat passes by with passengers on a tour.

To get to Cascada de Tamul, you can choose to paddle a wooden boat down the Tampaon River or hike to the top of the Tamul falls. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Before we discuss this, I will detail where to access the waterfall.

There are two main points to access Tamul. The first and most popular is from La Morena where wooden canoes paddle down the river for about an hour. It’s also the access point if you don’t have a car and prefer to book a tour of Tamul Waterfall.

The other Cascada de Tamul access point is from Tanchachín. Here you can opt to take a 2-hour boat ride down the same river or hire a guide to take you on a hike to Tamul Waterfall where you’ll have views from the top of the falls.

While I really wanted to hike to Cascada de Tamul, we were short on time that day and decided to drive to La Morena to join one of the wooden canoe tours from there. 

I was also afraid that our compact rental car might not handle the dirt roads near Tanchachín well. In hindsight, since it was March (long after the rainy season) I think the car would have handled the bumpy, rocky road just fine.

Boat to Tamul Waterfall From La Morena

At La Morena, Tamul boat launch, a wooden turquoise boat with pink trim is set up on stilts. On top, multi color wooden letters read La Morena. A wooden beam behind has three signs that say "welcome," "boat launch," and "La Morena," in Spanish.

I had so much fun paddling a boat down the river to the Tamul Waterfall. The water fights that ensued as we passed other boats made me feel like I had returned to the summer camps of my youth. 

The other advantage to this option is that you’ll have an opportunity to float down the river to La Cueva del Agua, a cave where you can jump in for a swim. Plus I really enjoyed admiring the delicate ferns and mini waterfalls on the banks of the river as we made our way to the Tamul Waterfall.

These colorful canoes leave from the area of La Morena along the banks of the Tampaon River. A reservation is not needed. Simply arrive at the park and use the restroom and dressing areas if needed. You’ll then pay a small entrance fee and register for a seat in one of the boats.

The canoe, equipment, and guide you receive are luck of the draw. I gathered each boat captain works for themselves and thus the details varied. Partway into the paddle, I realized we were using heavy wooden paddles compared to some of the other boats.

You may also consider bringing your own life jacket to Huasteca Potosina. There are many places that require you to wear one and you’ll be much more comfortable if it is properly sized.

To reach the Tamul Waterfall, a group paddles along the Tampaon River. Everyone is wearing a blue life jacket with their backs facing the camera. In the background is a cliff face and the dark turquoise water.

Cost to Visit Cascada de Tamul at La Morena

To reserve a spot on a shared boat, the cost is 200 pesos per person. You can rent a private boat (1-10 people) for 2,000 pesos. The life jacket and paddle are included, though it’s luck of the draw for which style of paddle you receive.

There is an entrance fee of 10 pesos per person which includes parking and access to the dressing rooms.

Facilities at La Morena

The facilities at La Morena include a large parking lot, bathrooms, and dressing rooms.

On the right just after you drive in and before the entrance gate is a large building with bathrooms. Like most places in Mexico, access and toilet paper costs 5 pesos. 

In front of this building, there are also several makeshift dressing rooms that are free to access. We found this area to be a good place to park because it’s shaded and near the facilities.

Hiking to Cascada de Tamul

If you prefer to hike to Tamul Waterfall, you will first need to hire a guide in the tiny town of El Naranjito, located about 15 minutes along a paved road from El Sauz, San Luis Potosi.

After hiring the guide, you’ll follow him in your car towards Tanchachín and the start of the Tamul Waterfall hike. This is the part of the road that gets dicier. 

Although from reports I’ve read, a compact car should be fine (outside of the rainy season) if you drive slowly. In fact, it doesn’t seem that a 4×4 vehicle has much of an advantage at all.

The hike itself is a mixture of covered trails and walks beside the river. At one point you will need to scale a steep wooden and metal ladder to access the lower part of the Tamul falls where you can swim.

For this reason (and for the water adventure), I recommend wearing comfortable water shoes. I love my Keen sandals which double as a comfortable hiking shoe for this level of hiking. In fact,  they were perfect for exploring all of the places in Huasteca Potosina.

Along the banks of the Tampaon River in San Luis Potosi are large, sculpted rocks with large green ferns growing out of the rocks at various points. The river below is a deep turquoise blue.

Tips for Visiting Tamul Waterfall

While we’ve covered the location and how to get to Tamul, I want to detail some quick tips that will make your experience better.

Best Time to Visit Cascada de Tamul

If you choose to take a boat, the best time to visit Cascada de Tamul is during the middle of the day. You’re going to get wet and you’ll appreciate the warm sun, especially on the return paddle.

If you decide to hike, you’ll want to get a morning start to beat the heat and see the falls with the sun. 

Similar to most areas in La Huasteca Potosina, the best months to visit Cascada de Tamul is from roughly December to February. But generally, the best time to visit is from October through March.

While it’s possible to visit Cascada de Tamul in April and May, those are typically the hottest months in Mexico. In addition, during the months before the rainy season starts, there may not be much water in some of the other Huasteca Potosina attractions.

The time to avoid visiting Tamul Waterfall is during the rainy season from June through September. During this time, the waterfall becomes extremely full. Depending on the rainfall, Tamul falls may become too strong to safely get close due to the force of the water.

As you paddle along the Tampaon River to get to Tamul Waterfall, dark turquoise water contrasts with light colored rocks and large green ferns.

What to Pack To Visit Tamul Waterfall

While I suggest bringing a dry bag, waterproof camera, and/or waterproof cell phone case, you should still prepare for everything to possibly get wet. Between swimming in the river and the other canoes playing a game of water tag, you will get soaked.

All of these items are things you’ll appreciate packing for your entire Huasteca Potosina adventure.

  • Bathing Suit – Unless you don’t plan to swim
  • Comfortable Watershoes – I absolutely love my Keen sandals. Plus they double as a good hiking shoe for easy to moderate hikes.
  • Hat and Sunglasses – If you’re sun sensitive like me, you’ll want these items. Although you’ll need to stow them away when you jump in the water.
  • Reef-safe Sunscreen – You’ll want to make sure you protect yourself from the strong sun and do so in a way that protects this gorgeous area of Mexico.
  • Microfiber Towel – While the strong sun will help you dry, I love bundling up with a quick-drying microfiber towel which also helps protect you from the sun.
  • Waterproof Cell Phone Case – You’ll definitely want this for your entire trip through Huasteca Potosina. I recommend a Pelican waterproof cell phone case which is as sturdy as it gets.
  • Waterproof Camera – Consider bringing a waterproof GoPro for action shots along the river and waterfall.
  • Drybag – This is especially critical if you decide to take the boat tour since everything gets wet. You may want to consider a drybag backpack for ultimate transportability.
  • Quality Life Jacket – This was my dad’s brilliant idea. If you have the space, consider packing a high-quality life jacket. It will infinitely improve your swimming experiences in La Huasteca Potosina.

Where to Stay Near Tamul Waterfall

Most travelers opt to stay in Ciudad Valles when visiting the Tamul Waterfall. Staying in the city makes it easy to take a tour of Cascada de Tamul since most depart from there.

However, if you decide to rent a car to explore Huasteca Potosina you have the option to stay slightly closer to Tamul Falls. I recommend these cabanas located in the small town of Tanchachín, about a 10-minute drive from the boat launch of La Morena. 

Other Attractions Close to Cascada de Tamul

If you’re in this area, you probably have plans to explore other places near Tamul Waterfall. Check out these other posts about Huasteca Potosina.

Questions About Tamul Waterfall

How do you get to Cascada de Tamul?

You can get to Cascada de Tamul by driving or taking a tour. Renting a car gives you the flexibility of visiting other places in La Huasteca Potosina. When you book a tour to Cascada de Tamul, transportation and lunch are included.

How to see Tamul Waterfall?

You can see Tamul Waterfall by paddling down the river in a wooden canoe or by hiking to the top of the waterfall. Both ways offer beautiful views of Tamul Waterfall, the tallest in Huasteca Potosina. This guide details both ways to see Tamul Waterfall. The one that’s best for you will depend on your preference.

Is Tamul Waterfall dried up?

Tamul Waterfall is one of the strongest waterfalls in La Huasteca Potosina. It is not dried up. However, water levels will vary depending on the amount of rainfall at the time. At times during the rainy season, the Tamul Waterfall becomes so full of water that it becomes too powerful to get close to the falls.

How do you get to Cascada de Tamul?

You can get to Cascada de Tamul by driving or taking a tour. Renting a car gives you the flexibility of visiting other places in La Huasteca Potosina. When you book a tour to Cascada de Tamul, transportation and lunch are included.

How to see Tamul Waterfall?

You can see Tamul Waterfall by paddling down the river in a wooden canoe or by hiking to the top of the waterfall. Both ways offer beautiful views of Tamul waterfall, the tallest in Huasteca Potosina.

What can you do at Tamul Waterfall?

The most popular thing to do at Tamul Waterfall is to paddle a wooden canoe down the turquoise river toward the waterfall. When you get close to the waterfall, there is an opportunity to take photos. As you return from the Tamul Waterfall, you can get out of the boat and swim with the current to Cueva del Agua, a cave located on the banks of the river.

Can you swim in Tamul Waterfall?

You cannot swim directly under Tamul Falls. However, if you access the Tamul Waterfall by boat, there is an opportunity to swim in the turquoise river. The boat guide will let you know when you can jump out and drift down the river with the current to La Cueva del Agua.

Where is La Huasteca Potosina located?

La Huasteca Potosina is a natural area located in the state of San Luis Potosi. It is about three hours from the city of San Luis Potosi and three hours from Tampico, Tamaulipas. The best way to visit La Huasteca Potosina is by car. Or you can take tours if you base yourself in Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosi.

When should I go to Huasteca Potosina?

The best time to go to Huasteca Potosina is from October through March. The best months to visit Huasteca Potosina are December through February. April and May are the hottest months and since it’s just before the rainy season, some waterfalls may be low. The rainy season from roughly June through September should be avoided due to high temps and humidity, rain, and because some waterfalls may be too strong to visit.