By Anita Draycott

Generally, the south of Mexico has abundant water and the northern part of the country is mainly desert. However, you’ll be surprised to learn that Basaseachi, which in the Raramuri language means “the waterfall or coyote place,” is home to the country’s two highest waterfalls: Piedra Bolada, with a free fall of 500 meters and Basaseachi, with 270 meters.

According to legend, before the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, King Candameña was the ruler of the high Tarahuamara Sierra. The King was very protective of his beautiful daughter, Basaseachi. Candameña imposed on her suitors a series of difficult tests to earn the right of winning her hand. His last test was so tough that all the potential husbands died and the desolate Basaseachi jumped into the abyss. A local witch transformed her fall into a beautiful waterfall that we can visit today. Rumor has it that Candameña still lurks around the area looking for the body of his beloved daughter.

In addition to the imposing waterfalls, Basaseachi Waterfalls National Park is famous for its thick forests of pine and live oak trees growing on the high mountains,. This is a terrific place for bird and animal sightings in their natural environment. You might spot eagles, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, pumas, deer and foxes. As you venture deeper into the forest you might come across lynx, jaguars, raccoons, otters and wild boars. Bring your telephoto lens.

Several outfitters in the area can set you up for a day of mountain climbing or biking through some most beautiful landscapes in the entire Western Sierra Madre. Rent a cabin and stay at least one night here. The brilliant scenery and open sky will make you think twice about going back to what they call “civilization.”