Huasteca Potosina is in San Luis Potosi (state).
- 1 Aquismón – One of several towns in the heart of the Huastec, Aquismon is also the stepping off point to Sotano de las Golodrinas and the southern access to Casacada Tamul.
- 2 Ciudad Valles – Largest city of the region and commercial and cultural center. It lies on the Old Pan-American Highway, the first paved road to traverse Mexico from north to south. Ciudad Valles is located in the wide valley between the first two ridges of the Sierra Madre.
- 3 Ebano – Located on the eastern coastal plain, this was the area of early oil and gas development.
- 4 Tamazunchale – The largest town in the Nahua region located on the Rio Moctezuma and at the foot of the Sierra Madre.
- 5 Xilitla – Sir Edward James created the surrealistic Las Pozas here, but it required the ingenuity and work of local residents to carry out. The artistic tradition continues to grow as other artists are attracted to this village.
Both of the archeological parks are located near the town of Tamuín, just east of Ciudad Valles.
- 1 El Consuelo – an older site.
- 2 Tamtoc – Its recent discovery has resulted in a reevaluation of the Huastec culture. A calendar and ball park are part of the discoveries.
Protected natural areas
- Reserva de Tancojol
- Reserva Forestal Nacional Porción Boscosa del Estado de San Luis Potosí
- Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra El Abra Tanchipa
The coastal plain and eastern Sierra Madre is called the Huasteca Potosina which is still inhabited by the Huastec (Tének) and Nahua. The climate is hot with strong rains in the summer monsoon season. The vegetation is tropical with parrots and parakeets. The geology is limestone karst with numerous underground rivers feeding springs, sinks, world-renowned caves, gorgeous waterfalls and turquoise-hued rivers. The prevalence of tropical diseases led to slow development of the region until modern times which allowed the native culture to be preserved. The Huastec split off from the Maya before the flowering of that culture and are one of the oldest still-existing cultures in Mexico. The most well-known tribe of Nahuatl speakers is the Culhua-Mexica of the Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco City-States,who are often just labeled as Aztecs,in other words the people or inhabitants of Aztlan,the original and legendary homeland for all Nahuatl speakers.
The heart of the Huastec region is south of Ciudad Valles in the rugged mountains jutting from the coastal plains in a place where there are many nacimientos (springs) that supplied water. Their Tének language has helped trace their origin to the Maya before their ascendency, passing in their migration through the Olmec, the mother culture of the pre-hispanic Mexican civilization, and then through the Totonac to settle in the Panuco basin. There are about 90,000 Huastec and in one municipality (county) 90% speak Tenek.
Nahuatl is spoken by about 130,000 people in San Luis Potosí. They are concentrated around Tamazunchale and to the south in the state of Hildago where 23% are monolingual Nahuatl speakers.
While 90% of the Huastec are located in only 11 of the 20 municipalities that form the Huasteca Potosina, their influence is felt throughout the region which takes great pride in their culture.
The Huasteca Potosina is a fairly popular tourist area for Mexicans but remains unknown to foreign tourists that primarily head to Mexican beaches. Cavers have long been drawn to this area and in more recent years, kayakers have discovered the rivers and waterfalls.