In the municipality of Xochiapulco, Sierra Norte de Puebla, the Apulco Valley is located, which is located within the Tecolutla river basin, which joins the Apulco river and that when entering a ravine, nourishes and gives strength to the La Gloria Waterfall.
Due to its location, configuration, orography and dimensions, the aforementioned basin presents a complex hydrological system and forms numerous rivers that run encased between the mountains and later join in the Apulco, a tributary of the Tecolutla.
The Apulco river originates in Zautla and crosses several municipalities. It is a mighty stream that has a long journey. It bathes the northern part from west to east and serves as a border for more than 10 kilometers with Xochitlán, Nauzontla and Cuetzalan. In addition, it has a large number of intermittent streams that join six rivers, as well as numerous springs and aqueducts.
This site, which is located about 150 kilometers from the capital of the state of Puebla and about five kilometers from Cuetzalan, is framed by a natural sanctuary where you can see an abundant number of endemic flora and fauna species.
The climate in the Apulco Valley, whose extension is estimated at about 50 hectares surrounded by abundant vegetation, ranges from temperate to cold, so it is common for fog to appear. To enjoy the spectacular view of the waterfall, which has a drop of just over 35 meters, you must arrive at the Atzalan Recreation Center.
This space, managed by ejidatarios, has a path that gives access to visitors, who on foot or in their car, reach a path that leads to that waterfall through lush vegetation and impressive views of the Apulco river canyon.
To do this, you must cover about five kilometers to appreciate the body of the waterfall, which forms a large pool in which the vital liquid acquires transparent green tones.
In this pool it is forbidden to submerge or try to swim, as there are signs that warn about the depth of just over ten meters, in which currents and eddies are formed, which can endanger those who dare to enter. Regarding the route, this is practically flat and without obstacles, so it can be covered without complications by minors. The path is guarded by giant ferns and by huge Papalot trees (Platanus d’Amerique), whose average height is about 50 meters; as well as by pines and oaks. The place also has abundant blankets of wild orchids. To preserve the space, visitors are asked not to cut down, hunt or litter.
As you approach the La Gloria waterfall, you can hear the noise produced by the waterfall, as well as spot a wide variety of butterflies, dragonflies and birds, as well as various insects.
Contrary to the pool, the shore is very low and in that space you can see tiny little fish and amphibians, who take advantage of the stones and rocks of various sizes that are located there to hide from visitors.
Origin of its beauty
The meaning of the municipality of Xochiapulco is the name made up of the Nahuatl voices: “Xóchitl”, flower, and “Apulco”, name of the river that bathes it. These voices mean “The flower of the Apulco”.
In Xochiapulco or Villa de 5 de Mayo the main activity is agriculture, but also artisans work pottery and wood carving of rustic furniture. It has an approximate distance to the state capital of 193 kilometers and Atzalan of 30 kilometers.
Among its tourist attractions, in addition to the aforementioned waterfall, are the parish temple dedicated to San Martín Caballero, located in the municipal seat built in the 16th century; as well as the museums of the Reformation and the one dedicated to General Juan Francisco Lucas. It should be noted that in the Atzalan Recreational Center there is a games area, a soccer field, palapas with grills, cabins to stay and a restaurant, where you can eat typical food of the region, such as tlayoyos stuffed with pea, cecina and las trout.
This site is perfect for campers, mountain biking, horseback riding and rafting. Another tourist attraction is the Rainbow Trout Fishing Tournament, which has been held on the Apulco River since March 22, 1980; One of the promoters of this event was Professor Jorge Murad Macluf, who at that time was the federal delegate for fisheries in Puebla.