Inside Las Pozas, Edward James' Surrealist Garden in Xilitla



Who is Edward James

Edward James, a British poet and surrealist art patron, embarked on a whimsical adventure after inheriting his fortune. His passion for the surrealist movement led him to leave college and journey across mainland Europe. However, fate intervened when he received an invitation to Mexico. It was said he was looking for a life with purpose being able to buy anything he wanted, finding purpose was one thing he could not buy . He spent months wandering the country until he reached San Luis Potosi. It was there, while taking a bath, that a butterfly cloud obstructed the sunlight, beckoning him to build a life in that very spot. Edward James decided to create Las Pozas, a subtropical rainforest next to the village of Xilitla.






The Experience

When we stepped into the Sculpture Garden at Las Pozas it was like being transported to a surreal city that is yet to be discovered. The maze-like paths ignite the curiosity to unveil every nook and cranny. The architectural sculptures, built upon surrealist foundations that draw inspiration from dreams and the subconscious, provide a glimpse into a world that straddles the line between fantasy and reality. Columns adorned with flower-like capitals, gothic arches, and pavilions with undetermined levels all blend seamlessly into the jungle's verdant foliage. The spiral staircases, which seem to end mid-air, appear to extend an invitation to explore the horizon.



 Getting to Xilitla, San Luis Posito

The Queretaro International Airport offers a convenient point of entry. One can rent a car or take an Uber, as we did. Our driver was happy to stop at various places along the way, including the charming city of Queretaro and the magical town of Pena de Bernal.

If you're traveling from Mexico City, driving is a faster alternative than taking the bus ( apx 600pesos ) , taking roughly seven hours. The region, known as Ruta de Queso y Vino, is a delight for the senses. It's possible to stop at wineries, savor delectable cheese, and even explore Queretaro along the way.





 The Best Time To Explore Xilitla

is from November to April when the weather is dry and mild. December and January, being peak seasons, can be crowded. We visited Las Pozas in February, and the weather was ideal.




 Cost To Visit

The entrance fee to Las Pozas is 200 pesos per person, and it's worth every penny. The gardens offer hours of exploration, with new architectural marvels revealing themselves around every bend. If you want a more private experience you can book in advanced online for a private tour for 3 hours. This tour allows you to explore more of graden and sculptures.






 Where To Stay

Accommodations in Xilitla are affordable, ranging from hostels and hotels. We chose to stay at a charming hotel called Tapsoli in the village of Xilitla. This hotel is straight out of storybook.




You can also chose to stay in Ciudad Valles. If you're headed to Xilital and haven't been to San Luis Posito, spending the night in the town of Ciudad Valles is a great idea. It's only two hours away from Xilital, and you can schedule a tour to James Garden while you're there. Plus, you can spend a full day exploring La Huasteca, which is known for its vibrant blue waterfalls, verdant jungle, and some of the world's best waterfalls - yet surprisingly unknown outside of Mexico. If you're the adventurous type, you'll love hopping on the sky bike over the falls or canoeing for a close-up view. 




Las Pozas is a surrealistic paradise that's not to be missed. It's a journey of the senses, befitting of art, architecture, and nature enthusiasts alike. Taking the time to explore Xilitla and its surroundings to unravel a world full of surprises and hidden gems.