AN OASIS: TOLANTONGO

Imagine discovering this in your garden. Dream on as the saying goes…Back in February, I visited Tolantongo,  in a remote region of the Sierra Nevada in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Surrounded by mountains dotted by tall cacti lies a vast canyon. A turquoise river rushes below. This nature reserve is a miracle of nature where, combined by human ingenuity, are dozens ofhot thermal pools. Some have been rebuilt asinfinity pools; others are untouched, natural. All cascade along the canyon walls or by the river where caves also await. Water here streams and gushes out of the rocks unabashed.

EARLY MORNING IN TOLANTONGO

EARLY MORNING IN TOLANTONGO

And so, during a brisk early dawn, I went for a walk with my camera in hand. Here I discovered a person bathing in the waters surrounded by trees and flooded by the rising sun and the mist all around.

A SUMO WRESTLER?

A SUMO WRESTLER?

And then a woman appeared…

Soon after a couple emerged from the water. Something about this scene reminded me of an ancient myth.

 Later in the day after crossing the warm river made a pale turquoise by a combination of minerals, I discovered other landscapes with delicate waterfalls spraying like a fine mist.. Due to this abundance of moisture the canyon walls are blanketed by mosses, ferns, grasses and epiphytes.  An oasis.

“La Gloria” — truly a Shangri-La

“La Gloria” — truly a Shangri-La

An inviting pool at the base of others above

An inviting pool at the base of others above

10 COMMENTS

Julianna wrote:
April 28, 2013 at 10:22 am

Honey, this is a secret paradise, wonder of its cultural
significance with the people of the region?
Loved these photos

honeysharp wrote:
April 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

Absolutely! It is owned by an ejido with which I’m sure you’re familiar. i.e. it’s owned cooperatively with work shared in rotation. (well, the women carry more the load of the kitchen and cabin cleaning…) The place — and it’s about the only one we stayed in is called Paraiso Escondido, just like you called it! Very escondido it is!

Meredith Morainewrote:
April 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

Gorgeous photos and writing! You bring it alive.

Helga wrote:
April 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

Great photographs, Honey – under very difficult light – love your philosophical legends as well and look forward to seeing all of that sometime in the not too distant future…

Susan Pettee wrote:
April 29, 2013 at 10:08 am

Truly beautiful! Thanks for showing these lovely photos of a magical place.

Peggy Reeves wrote:
April 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

How the mist makes it all so mystical and mysterious. Gorgeous photographs that touch all the senses. Brava!

Yves Delage wrote:
June 10, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Thanks for the pictures. We will be there on thge 28th and 29th of july. Can’t wait to see what you so petically described.
Thanks for the words too.

honeysharp wrote:
June 11, 2013 at 12:09 am

Just make sure it’s not during the weekend. That’s when people come from Mexico City.
Actually there might be somebody else from France going at that same time who wrote me. Tip: Bring some extra food for snacks.the Mexican food is fine but you might like something different or more fresh like good fruit, enjoy the beauty! Visit La Gloria.

roselle van nostrandwrote:
December 4, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Dear honey, it’s been many years and you may not remember me. I just stumbled into your blog and found myself transported to a misty and mysterious falls in mexico…thank you for all your thoughtful musings.

All best,
Roselle van nostrand

honeysharp wrote:
December 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

Thank you Roselle. Yes, it’s a magical place, Tolantongo. As is so much of Mexico. I remember your name from the days of my gallery in the Berkshires. Hope you are doing well and again, I appreciate your nice note.