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Las Pozas

Photo credit: Rod Waddington / Foter / CC BY-SA
Las Pozas
  • (worth a detour)
  • less than 1 km
  • Easy
  • Low
  • half day
  • 2 2

An eccentric set of architecture found amid the vast Huasteca Potosina

20 de Noviembre, Xilitla, S.L.P. Mexico
An unusual attraction deserves an unusual hotel. Stay in one of the tipis at Casa Caracol

Las Pozas is a garden filled by a set of surrealist structures. Located in Xilitla, in the state of San Luis Potosí amid the Huasteca Potosina, known for its clear-blue water rivers and waterfalls and a heaven for rafting and trekking enthusiasts


It’s construction lasted between 1960 and 1970 by the English artist  and poet Edward James, who was living in Mexico at the time as a semi exile and bought a coffee plantation in San Luis Potosí, where the site is now located. He used the coffee plantation as a home for exotic animals as well as to plant orchids.  After a frost in 1962, his plantations were destroyed and after a rush of inspiration, Edward James, with the help of workers, commenced the building of the sculpture garden which today stands as “Las Pozas”.


Originally, Edward James’ plan was to construct them in Los Angeles, California. However, he decided to do it in Mexico instead as he considered the country a much more romantic and spacious place for it. He was directed to Mexico by his friend, Bridget Bate Tichenor, who told him Mexico was a good place to express and learn about esotericism. In Mexico, he hired Plutarco Gastelúm to be his guide and eventually stumbled across the town of Xilitla and decided to live there. Before acquiring the coffee plantation, he constructed a house which resembled a Gothic castle from Europe. His former house serves as a hotel today for visitors.


A guide to the structures:


  • The Hands, which give peace, a pure heart and freedom of sin to whoever visits the place.
  • The Path of the Seven Snakes, which symbolizes the seven capital sins.
  • The House of Three Floors, Which Could Have Been Five, is a structure where vegetation penetrates in through the holes as well as the chirping of birds.
  • The Parrots House, where many species of birds chose to live in.
  • Don Eduardo’s Plaza, which has a big flower-shaped fountain in its center.
  • The Divine Eye, signifies a god observing the paths we choose.
  • The Bamboo Palace, where James would pretend to live without walls.
  •  The Bathtub Shaped Like an Eye, was designed for James to bathe in the “iris” while watching fish swimming in the rest of the eye.
  •  The Stairway to Heaven, composed of two snail stairways that twist together. It is said that the poor would use one staircase while the rich used the other one, but at the end, they both ended up in the same place.
  •  The Stategosaurus, a set of spikes that surge from a column, making it look like a dinosaur.
  •  The Tiger’s Terrace, a platform underneath an archway.
  •  The Temple of the Ducks, located in front of the waterfall.
  •  The Bromelia Flower, where people could find peace after finding out the truth.
  •  Fleur de Lis Bridge, a passage in which the twists  look like fleurs de lis.
  •  San Pedro and San Pablo’s Doors, two doors that look like they are being  protected by structures that look like knives.

Opening hours

9:00 - 18:00

How to get there

By land: Direct night buses from Mexico City run directly to Xilitla by ADO buses.
By air: Fly into San Luis Potosí. From San Luis Potosí, many buses run several times a day into the Pozas.