Hierve el Agua is the name of the natural stalactite rock formations that resemble cascades of water in Oaxaca, Mexico. The petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua is one of the most surrealistic places that we have ever visited. When you arrive, you can already feel that you are in a very special place... the silence surrounds you, but not in an uncomfortable way, you can feel the peace of this place going through your soul, your body.
There are some points where the water comes out, around these holes the water flows slowly and it makes a route for itself in the minerals of the earth. The impressive form of the mountain (like a waterfall) is the result of this process after millions of years. Connect with nature in a higher level is something that you can do in just few places, this is one of them.
You can visit three main parts here: the main natural pool at the entrance with a magical view to the other petrified waterfall, the hill with the water hole, and the bottom of the waterfall.
How to get there?
This natural wonder is located in Oaxaca state of Mexico. The best way to get there is if you stay in Oaxaca City for some days, and you plan a one day trip to Hierve el Agua.
As the Mexican public transport is quite complicated, you always must ask someone to help you out when you are looking for the right bus or the bus station itself. We took the bus that goes to Mitla (it was such a crazy ride!). Once there you will need to get a ride in a very funny truck to the top of the mountains where Hierve el Agua is. Mitla is a Magic Village as well, you can find the tallest tree of Mexico here! It has 45 meters of circumference and it has more than 2000 years!
The main pool
Even if this is the first stop that you can make here, we recommend you to leave this spot to the end, the fresh water will be so good after the long hiking. Water has been coming out from this spot since millions of years, and the slow but safe touch of the water against the rock has given this unique shape to the mountain.
This is the most famous photo spot in Hierve el Agua: the surrealistic landscape with the mountains, a natural pool and a dead tree. If you know how to get the best perspective, your photos will look like if you were in an infinite pool.
The hill has a little water hole where you can watch the water source and the huge mountains surrounding the waterfalls. One of the most amazing things that you can do here is drinking the water, that comes from a little cave: it is salty and the locals say that it has healing properties. You can also use the little mud to make a mask good for your skin like in a spa. All these places were also very holy places for the Zapoteca culture. This people occupied the regions of Oaxaca and even today, they were some of the fewest cultures that survived the Spaniard invasion. You can find some remains of the aqueducts made in Hierve el Agua by the first generations of this civilization next to the water spots.
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The bottom of the waterfall
This is the lowest point in Hierve el Agua, from this spot you can realize why it’s called a “petrified waterfall”: it looks like if a waterfall was frozen in time. The amazing silence wraps the place, but in this spot, the silence is deeper. Be aware that you will need to do a good exercise to arrive here, a gigantic stair connects you to the bottom and we need to say, that is definitely easier to go down than going up! You can connect with nature in a totally different way, so it will totally worth it.
We stayed in the Hostal Chocolate - a very friendly staff, a perfect place for budget travelers. The price includes the breakfast. If you go to Hierve el Agua and you want to be there early, before the tourist groups arrive, make sure to leave the hostel before breakfast. You can ask them to save some breakfast for you so that you can eat it when you arrive from your day trip.
If you're travelling with a group and you want to share the costs of an apartment, this is the best option for you. On airbnb you can also find great options if you're travelling solo or as a couple, and you feel more comfortable in room or flat just for yourself. The rooms and flats are rented by private people. Click here and get a discount for your booking with airbnb!
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Oaxaca is the born place of a lot of Mexican traditions and cultures that make Mexico to be famous in the world. The colours, the traditions, the food and the people are very varied from one region to another in Oaxaca, but at the same time, all of them share a common characteristic that made them recognizable.
Oaxaca is enormous! The regions inside this vast territory are large; And you can find from tropical forests to amazing and warm beaches with some of the bluer and paradise look like water. If someone who has never been to Mexico asks us about which place we recommend, we always say Oaxaca without hesitation.