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Xilitla is a small town of 6,500 people (2010) in San Luis Potosí whose main claim to fame is the somewhat bizarre artwork that British artist Edward James left and created here. It is also known for its mountainous landscapes and its springs.


Las Pozas

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 got inspired by the local environment to put his surrealist art into practice. He was initially drawn here to build an orchid garden, but a particularly fierce winter killed 15,000 plants, convinced 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 economy is primarily agricultural with the main crops being coffee and citrus. The lack of industrialization has helped preserve the Nahuatl and Teenek indigenous cultures and their traditional ways of life.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

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.

By bus[edit]

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".

Get around[edit]


Castillo de Sir Edward James
  • 1 Edward James' sculpture garden (Las Pozas), +52 4891238548. W-M 09:00-18:00. without a doubt the most remarkable thing to see here. A mixture of 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. A limited number of tickets is available each day through the website or directly at the Museo Leonora Carrington box office (11:00-14:00) in Xilitla, or at the kiosk in the central square (W-Su 08:00-10:30), where you can purchase your access to enter that same day. It is best to book in advance. Adult M$125, child (6-12) or senior (65+) M$60. Las Pozas (Q11688402) on Wikidata Las Pozas on Wikipedia
  • Museo Leonora Carrington, Corregidora 103. W-Su 11:00-15:00. A museum with sculptures of Leonora Carrington, a prominent artist of the Surrealist movement. Leonora Carrington (Q233207) on Wikidata Leonora Carrington on Wikipedia
Templo de San Agustín
  • Church of Saint Augustine (Templo de San Agustín) - Oldest monument in Xilitla.
  • There are many caves and caverns in Xilitla, as well as many natural springs. Parakeet Cave, a short walk from the town, is home to a large number of green parrots which leave and re-enter the cave at dawn and dusk every day.


  • A coffee fair is held in August.
  • The feast of San Agustín: from August 27 to September 2. On August 28 it is celebrated with dances of Soledad, Wands and Rebozo and on November 15 the festivities of that month begin.



A local food specialty is the zacahuil, a giant tamale (3 to 4 feet long) wrapped in banana leaves and filled with pork on one side and chicken on the other.




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