November 18, 2013

Your Home Away from Home in the Rainforest of La Huasteca

Comedor Hostal del Cafe

Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, is a small town high up on the Sierra Gorda’s part of the Huasteca mountain range in the south western part of the state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Its remote location has managed to keep the multitude of visitors away. That is until recently when the country’s tourism department designated Xilitla as a “Pueblo Magico” – a designation given to small towns across the country with certain cultural and historical characteristics.

Las Pozas Waterfall near hotel

Most visitors to the area are attracted to “Las Pozas” – the pools – of Edward James; an eccentric British aristocrat who bought 30+ hectares of land and converted them into a surreal sculpture garden with stairways leading  nowhere, and maze-like walking paths. But the town has developed a unique charm, and the people are most of the reason why.

During a recent, and very short visit to Xilitla and the Englishman’s Garden, I had the opportunity of visiting the Hostal del Café – a quaint high-end bed and breakfast managed by its owners who live in the upstairs part of the building. The place is built on the side of the mountain, so it has multiple stairways. The grounds are lush, and the restaurant is surrounded by a tropical garden and nearby coffee trees. It is located about 1.5 mile from the surreal garden on a down slope – I’m not sure how easy a walk back this can be, for Xilitla is about 5,000 feet high. I could see the clouds lingering in nearby mountains.

Hotel Hostal del Cafe

What impressed me the most was the dining area, for it flaunts authentic Mexican décor. The 12 bedrooms are spacious and clean. You can see photos of each bedroom on the website link above.  It also has a nice living room ideal for reading or surfing the net. Most rooms have windows and or floor to ceiling balconies. I hear the best thing about this place is the food. From local coffee to local delicacies such as the Zacahuil – a tamal wrapped in banana leaves – and other dishes prepared with the area’s fresh water shrimp.

The area is now easily accessible with new flights introduced by Aeromar between Mcallen, Texas,  and San Luis Potosi, and the highways connecting this area to the capital city of San Luis Potosi, are in perfect shape especially the new toll highway that allows for a shorter trip.  Overnight rates per room are approximately 65 dollars, and include breakfast. The owner Alejandro loves birds and said he has spotted 28 different species from the hotel’s main terrace. The hotel used to be their private home, but after traveling to many places, they decided they had a great location they wanted to share with others who love to travel.

I guess the only drawback would be the hotel’s proximity to the bus stations making a walk to the main plaza a bit less relaxing especially at night, and if walking alone. But the distance is short, and when I asked nobody expressed any concern for a visitor’s safety.  Other than being careful not to trip on the cobblestones, I felt pretty safe in this picturesque small town.

Activities abound from birdwatching, hiking, swimming (weather permitting), to extreme sports. The weekends bring dancers and vendors to the main plaza with its 16thcentury church. Nice coffee shops and restaurants overlooking the mountain ridge are all walking distance from this hotel.

If you prefer a more personalized service, please message me at [email protected] and I will help you plan and book  your stay in Xilitla. 

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About the Author

Tapia - Gonzales
La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Life, art and culture, poetry, prayers, travel, and camping! yes, that's my new thing. I blame the heat and high humidity for the madness. Contributions and comments are always welcome .


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by Tapia - Gonzales