XILITLA TRAVEL GUIDE
Las Pozas was named for the cold pools on the property. You can take a dip in them if you like on a hot day or jump into the waterfall that forms them. Edward James never lived on the property but had a house built in Xilitla, two kilometers away. On his death the Brit left the house and Las Pozas property to his friend Gastelum, in whose name the property was purchased. Gastelum’s son inherited the Las Pozas property and recently sold it to a non-profit group in order to preserve and maintain it. Las Pozas is open daily between 9AM and sunset; entrance fee is 40 pesos (less than US$4). After walking around the property you can sample some of the region’s excellent coffee and have a snack at the onsite restaurant; a small gift shop sells souvenirs.
Gastelum’s daughters inherited Edward James’s house, about 2 kilometers from Las Pozas in the town of Xilitla. It is now a comfortable and unique hotel called El Castillo (tel. 489/365-0038, www.junglegossip.com/castillo.html), an appropriate place to stay when visiting James’ off-the-wall sculpture garden. Rooms cost US$60 to $120. The more economical Hotel Dolores (tel. 489/365-0178, www.hoteldoloresxilitla.com.mx) has double rooms for 350 pesos per night.
Next to Hotel El Castillo is the Edward James Museum (tel. 489/104-1526) describing its namesake’s life and work; the museum is open daily except Wednesday. The town’s former Augustinian church-monastery is the oldest in the state and is worth a visit. The town celebrates the festival of its patron, St. Augustine, on the days leading up to August 28. El Instituto Xilitlense de Bellas Artes cultural center has a library and offers classes in various arts.
Xilitla is more sophisticated than most towns in the region and has some nice cafes, bars, and nightlife. It is located 66 km (40 miles) south of Ciudad Valles. The closest large cities are San Luis Potosí, capital of the state of the same name, and Tampico, Tamaulipas. For more information see http://xilitla.org.