Photo: Ruby Rodriguez Martinez/Shutterstock

How To Visit Mexico's Massive Tamul Waterfall

Adventure Travel
by Matador Creators Ashley Welton Jan 10, 2023

Tamul Waterfall is in Ciudad Valles, Mexico, and near some of the country’s best “magic towns.” It’s one of the most spectacular waterfalls on the Huasteca River and attracts visitors from all over the world. Visitors take boat tours to get close to the falls, though you can also hike to the base to get a closer look at the cascading waters. Or, you can take a helicopter tour and see the spectacular site from above.

Tamul Waterfall has been declared as a protected natural area due to its significant biodiversity and importance as a vital source of water for local communities. It’s a poopular tourist destination for canoeing, swimming, and cliff jumping near Ciudad Valles.

The best time to visit

Though it may seem counterintuitive, avoid the rainy season. The river gets too high and roads too muddy, making a visit dangerous. The best time to visit is usually November through March. April and May are still good, though the falls may be a little less impressive than normal as that’s the end of the dry season.

How to reach Ciudad Valles

Ciudad Valles is located in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi. The city is easily accessible by car and by plane. It’s a two-hour drive from San Luis Potosi or Tampico, and by plane, you can fly there from international airports in Mexico City or Monterrey. There are also domestic flights available from other cities within Mexico including Guadalajara, Durango, Chihuahua and more.

How was Tamul waterfall formed?

Tamul Waterfall was formed millions of years ago by the constant erosion of the Huasteca River. Over time, water from the river carved out large canyons in the cliffs along its course, eventually creating the falls. The falls are  an impressive sight, with a pool at the base and walls that reach over 850 feet high. It is an important source of natural beauty for the region and continues to be enjoyed by visitors from all over the world. Nearby are centotes and caves, plus Tamazunchale, a town first founded by indigenous populations more than 1000 years ago.

Tours to Tamul Waterfall

Straight shot of tamul Waterfall

Photo: Nailol/Shutterstock

There are a few tour options for visiting Tamul waterfall. Companies like Huaxteca offer all-day tours where you’ll paddle to the falls and also get a chance to swim in the river and check out some nearby cenotes. They also offer rappelling tours in the canyon area. Most tour guiding companies in the area will offer a tour to the Tamul Waterfall, and booking via WhatsApp or Facebook is super common. So if you don’t want to plan a tour in advance, just ask your hotel or stop by a tourist office when you get to Cuidad Valles.

If you drive yourself to Tamul waterfall, you can just book your boat or hiking tour when you arrive.

Hiking to the waterfall

If you’d rather reach Tamul waterfall on foot, there are several tour operators that offer hikes to the base. You can book a guided tour from the town of Ciudad Valles, which will take care of all your transportation and logistics. However, you can also drive yourself to the falls and sign up for a hike at the falls info booth. The cost is usually about $50, so if you have more people, you’ll each pay less.

You’ll follow your guide down a road to reach the trailhead, then start the roughly 30-minute hike to reach a lookout point at the top of the falls. From there, you can climb to the bottom of the falls, but make sure you have good shoes and use the handrails mounted in some places. Always bring a life vest if you plan to do any swimming in the river.

Cost to visit Tamul Waterfall

Many falls of Tamul Waterfall as seen from abovoe

Photo: Ruby Rodriguez Martinez/Shutterstock

The cost of visiting Tamul Waterfall depends on the type of tour and mode of transportation. Boat trips to Tamul are usually between $25-45 USD, depending on the number of people in the group. Guided hikes generally cost between $20-35 USD per person, while self-guided hikes typically cost around $10-15 USD for the entry fee. Tours leaving from further away with longer drives or more stops will, understandably, be more expensive.


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