Visiting Las Pozas in Xilitla, Mexico
Las Pozas de Edward James
Tucked away in the subtropical rainforest 15 minutes outside of Xilitla hides Las Pozas, an elaborate surreal sculpture garden. Wealthy Englishman, Edward James, constructed countless surrealist sculptures throughout the garden between the late 1940’s to the early 1980’s. Here, James lived surrounded by lush gardens of magnificent tropical plants, captive wildcats and reptiles, and crystal clear waterfalls and natural pools. Today, you can explore the surrealist gardens and former home of Edward James by navigating the maze of impressive concrete sculptures and brilliant tropical flora and even take a dip in the cool blue pools.
Getting To & Around Xilitla
We visited Las Pozas over the weekend, from Saturday morning to Monday morning, so it can be done as a weekend trip from Mexico City, but a couple days extra would also be wonderful. We left Mexico City for Xilitla at 6:30 Saturday morning. It is roughly a 7 hour drive, but it took us about 8 hours due to a necessary stop for tacos de barbacoa (slow roasted goat) for breakfast. It’s a beautiful drive.Towards the middle of the route you drive through the Sierra Gorda mountains. Be prepared for impressive views but also around 2 hours of curvy roads. We arrived at our AirBnb in Xilitla just before 3pm, dropped off our things, and drove no more tan 20 minutes to Las Pozas. The drive from Xilitla to Las Pozas is fairly straightforward, just follow the signs and if you get a little confused ask a local, they are friendly and happy to help. You will need to park your car on the side of the path, a short ways before the actual entrance of Las Pozas, and continue walking about 5 minutes until you reach the entrance.
Tips for Visiting Las Pozas
We went in the afternoon and seemed to have avoided the crowds. The gardens close at 6pm so try arriving around 2pm.
The entry fee is 100 pesos or $5USD per person.
Bring a bathing suit if you’d like to cool down under the waterfall or take a dip in the natural pool.
Climbing up the taller sculptures is prohibited during high season (summer months).
Bring water and comfortable clothes/shoes to explore in.
Where to Stay in Xilitla
Xilitla is a very small town with a few hotels to choose from. There are also plenty of Airbnbs around town that are also not too far from Las Pozas. We rented a cozy Airbnb with great mountain views for only 500 pesos (25 USD) for the night. Be prepared for warm rooms with just a fan to keep you cool, most places are note quipped with A/C.
What to Eat in Xilitla
During our quick stop in Xilitla we ate delicious tortas (Mexican sandwiches) at Las Tortugas. They are quick, delicious, and on the way out of town towards Las Pozas.
We spent a relaxing, warm afternoon exploring the lush grounds of the garden navigating around the whimsical sculptures that connect nature and art. If you have any questions about visiting Las Pozas leave them below. I would be happy to help!