In the small town of Xilitla, Mexico lies the extraordinary garden of English poet and artist Edward James. Dating back to 1947 when James was living in exile in Mexico, he named his Mexican property after his friend Plutarco Gastelum. For ten years James created a home for orchids and exotic animals in his back yard. Inspired by his love for orchards, the vegetation of the Huastecan jungle and the surreal artistic movement, La Pozas has become an incredible destination for those seeking a real life garden of Eden.
In 1962 the real construction of Las Pozas began and continued for the next twenty years until 1984 when James died. Laz Pozas, which means the pools is homage to the nine pools that are fed by the natural waters that flow through the property. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, James spent millions of dollars to complete his surrealist architecture in his sprawling gardens. For travelers this translates to 36 sculptures spread of 20 acres of tropical jungle. A magnificent sight for tourists. Over time, artists, travelers and photographers have flocked to Las Pozas to relax away from the city and experience an out of this world travel destination.
What You Should Know Before You Go
Tampico, which is the closest airport city can be flown to from most major airports. There are a couple of flights into Tampico daily but scheduling your time there is important. From the major airports you can rent a car or hire a driver to take you Xilitla where Laz Pozas is advertised all over. There are plenty of hotels and places to stay within Xilitla with traditional Mexican and Spanish eateries littered all over the town. Curios and basic stores for tourists are aplenty but the true beauty of Xilitla lays in the surrounding tropical forests.
In the Gardens
The gardens open between 9am and 6pm daily. Between June and October is rainy season and travelers should ensure they dress for sporadic rain showers. The gardens take two or three days to explore completely but for those wanting to rush through on a schedule there are some must sees.
The statue of two hands which is prominent on all tourist souvenirs is well marked and can be found fairly easily. The cement circle structure near the entrance to the garden is mesmerizing and the snake sculptures not far from the entrance are every artist tourists dream. Smaller sculptures are littered throughout the gardens offering huge photograph opportunities but it is the serene rainforest setting that make Las Pozas a must visit destination in Mexico.
The pools are open for swimming to tourists and with so many to choose from travelers are spoiled for choice but the Jungle Book structures surrounding the waterfall at the far end of the pool is truly amazing. Las Pozas is an amazing Mexican experience with an eccentric European twist that should be on every travelers bucket list.