This Surrealist Garden Is One Of The Best Hidden Gems In Mexico

This Surrealist Garden Is One Of The Most Incredible Hidden Gems In Mexico

Mexico is more than bougie beach resorts – it’s an extraordinary destination with unparalleled opportunities to enjoy art, culture, culinary marvels, and breathtaking natural scenery.

Adventurous travelers willing to journey off the beaten path will find unforgettable destinations throughout the expansive country. Las Pozas, a surrealist sculpture park nestled within the rainforest, is one of those places. Las Pozas is located in the region of Huasteca Potosina in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, known for its natural beauty. The hidden gem destination is ideal for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Visiting Las Pozas feels like wandering through a dream. Created by the renowned surrealist artist Edward James, it features massive concrete sculptures scattered amongst lush jungle gardens. In 2012, Las Pozas was named an Artistic Monument of the Nation, and it has since been regarded as the most important surrealist art exhibit in Mexico. The once-private compound opened to tourists in 1991, and you can explore the fanciful gardens, picturesque pools, waterfalls, and mind-bending architecture via a guided tour.

The making of a dreamscape

Edward James first arrived in Huasteca Potosina in the 1940s. By then, The British artist, millionaire, and poet was well-known as an eccentric patron of surrealist art. The beauty of the Sierra Madre jungle quickly captured his heart and imagination. He purchased around 100 acres to create Las Pozas, meaning “the pools,” where he would live and work for the next 40 years. 

Las Pozas was initially created to house Edward James’s exotic pets, including birds, snakes, ocelots, and his orchid collection. When the orchids died, he began the construction of his marvelous sculptures, including colorful cement flowers that wouldn’t succumb so easily to frost as his beloved orchids had. The imaginative project expanded to include 30 buildings with mysterious names like “The Cinematographer,” ” The Staircase to Heaven,” and “The House on Three Floors Which Will in Fact Have Five or Four or Six.”

Over the years, more than 150 people contributed to the creation of the garden. Construction on the site continued until Edward James passed away in 1984. Since then, the jungle has encroached upon the sculptures, leaving the impression of a dreamy lost civilization. 

Preparing for your trip

La Pozas is located about eight hours from Mexico City by car. There are plenty of accommodations in the nearby village of Xilitla, starting at about $50 per night. You can visit Las Pozas year-round. Reservations can be made online, and basic admission costs around $9 per adult.

Private tours with exclusive access are offered daily for groups of up to seven people for $140 to $190. Las Pozas is the perfect place to snap some incredible shots, and for about $360, photographers can book the garden for photoshoots. Access to sites off limits to the general public is available for an additional fee.