Xilitla is a small town in San Luis Potosí whose main claim to fame is the somewhat bizarre artwork that British artist Edward James left and created here.
While Xilitla (pronounced with a leading Spanish j sound) has been mentioned in 16th century Spanish documents and bears an indigenous name roughly meaning "place of snails", it would likely be just another delightful yet forgettable mountain town in the interior if Mexico if not for one eccentric wealthy British artist, who found a looking in both surrealist art and the local area. Initially drawn here to build an orchid garden, a particularly fierce winter killed fifteen thousand plants, convincing him to instead build something more permanent - a bizarre mixture of sculptures and garden which manages at the same time to integrate itself into the semi-artificial nature and be a parody on modern architecture. Few places outside the Washington D.C.metro have ever made "naked concrete" so interesting to look at.
The old carretera linking Mexico city with the US border passes through town and while its long distance travel function has been largely overtaken by newer autopistas it still serves as an important freight and local corridor. Beware of omnipresent topes, curvy mountainous roads and reckless overtaking maneuvers. Some stretches of the road are affected by various kinds of crime, but you should be fine driving during daylight hours and not stopping in the most dangerous parts.
There are daily direct buses to Mexico city and other major cities, but more frequent connections open up if you're willing to change into a colectivo minivan at "La Y Griega", a major T junction, literally named "the Y"
- [formerly dead link] Edward James' sculpture garden (Las Pozas). without a doubt the most remarkable thing to see here. A mixture if garden and bizarre sculptures with even more absurd names. Sadly some sculptures haven't aged well, but they try their best to keep this piece of art intact for future visitors M$70 tours M$250 (Spanish) or 300 M$ (English, French, Italian).