Tamul waterfall in San Luis Potosí, Mexico
© Robert Harding World Imagery/Offset by Shutterstoc
Falling for Mexico’s wilderness
Here in central Mexico, the Gallinas River spills into the Tampaón River gorge to create the spectacular 340ft Tamul waterfall. The rivers offer great swimming nearby, and boaters can float by on the Tampaón for close-up views. Both activities are best attempted between July and October though - during wetter months, the falls converge into a thundering cataract as the Gallinas rises to form torrential rapids.
In the ancient Huastec language, Tamul means “place of pitchers”, comparing the cenotes - or underwater sinkholes - of the Gallinas riverbed to giant vessels being poured out by the gods. This corner of the state of San Luis Potosí was once a domain of the indigenous Huastecs, who settled the lands from here east to the Gulf of Mexico. By the early 16th century, the society crumbled as other Mesoamerican cultures gained influence and the Spanish began colonising Mexico. But many of their stone temples and earthen pyramids remain, as do tens of thousands of native Huastec speakers.