Back to Nature | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Back to Nature

I think of inland Mexico as being desert, and I think of its waterways as polluted, its highways as littered. Visiting the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve is a wonderful antidote for that kind of thinking.


This region is full of rugged mountains, tropical rainforest, rivers, lakes, caves and wildlife.

Above is a view of the peña called El Cerro de la Silleta, shot from the lookout tower in the Posada el Castillo, my hotel in Xilitla.

Jungle-clad mountains loom over settlements and roads. You can tell you're not in Indiana anymore. Sure beats looking at milo stubble poking through the snow. (A credit to Doonesbury for that one.)


The Sierra Gorda is much greener than the State of Guanajuato where I live, only a six hour drive away. Frequent mists and low clouds keep everything green and lush.


Small farmers grow bananas and coffee beneath mountain peaks. (Those are coffee trees in bloom, visible beneath the lower banana leaf.)


There's exploring to be done in these mountains, enough to keep any Sierra Club backpacker happy. When I planned this trip I had no idea. There are actual campgrounds here, and wilderness trails. Next time I'll bring hiking and camping gear.


Spelunkers travel to Mexico for caving in unexplored grottos.


On my list for a future visit are caves that are home to hundreds of green parrots, and another to hundreds of thousands of swallows.

Beautiful rivers run everywhere...


... their sources sometimes are large springs at the bases of mountains.


Above, a large volume of water flows from a hole in the rocks—an underground river rising to the surface.

These waters are clean and clear, unpolluted. Tens of thousands of people drink them every day, without the ill effects so many suffer from municipal water supplies. Fish abound. I saw a teenager with a homemade bow and arrow catch his lunch. He looked like he was fresh out of Amazonia.


Along the roads, many signs point the way to waterfalls. Others are accessible only by boat or hiking trail.

Residants of the Huasteca live in a gorgeous, unspoiled part of the world. I'd recommend to anyone that they put on their hiking boots, grab their fly rods and come enjoy the wilderness. But then, if this place were discovered, would it remain the same? Nothing this beautiful will remain secret for very long, so see it while you can.