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Hierve El Agua

  • (worth a detour)
  • 5-10 km
  • Moderate
  • Low
  • half day
  • 2 2

Two petrified waterfalls in the middle of a valley. A place not to miss!

Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico
There are some small restaurants around it owned by locals. The food in Oaxaca is the best in Mexico. Try "tamales oaxaqueños" and "chapulines" (grasshoppers) (don't knock 'em till you try 'em!)
The best time to be at Hierve el Agua is before everyone else is. You can spend the night before your visit close to the waterfalls, cabins cost $160 pesos (about $11) per person, per night. Start your day early and get to the site at 8am before buses arrive to get the place all to yourself. Cost of entrance: $25 pesos (about $1.50)

Situated in the south of Mexico and only fifty kilometers away from Oaxaca City, Hierve el Agua is a perfect day trip if you’re looking to see something out of the ordinary. Two petrified waterfalls make up this place; one of them is 30 meters high and the other one is roughly 12 meters high. These waterfalls were formed thousands of years ago and turned into rock as a result of the high concentration of minerals such as sulfur, calcium and potassium. The mysterious formation of this location and its complex irrigation system has fascinated geologists, biologists and archeologists alike. It is recognized as a sacred place for the Zapotec people, an indigenous group in Mexico and is rumored to have been a sanctuary for their gods as well.


Its name literally translates to “the water boils” and it comes from the boiling turquoise-colored hot springs located atop the waterfalls. The temperature of the water in the springs, however, barely reaches 25 degrees Celsius. The term “boiling” references the effervescence of the liquid that flows up from the earth, giving this site an even more mystical feel.


The minerals in the water are said to be beneficial for the skin. You can enjoy a swim in one of the two pools while admiring the spectacular mountains that compose Sierra de Mixe.


Hierve el Agua is a true gem and a gift from nature; the only place like it is Pumakkale in Turkey. A must-see for nature lovers, photographers and the admirers of the weird and the wonderful.


Opening hours

8:00 - 19:00

How to get there

You can choose to go with everyone and take a direct bus from Oaxaca City. The bus line is called "Fletes y Pasajes". Buses leave every day at 8am and return at 2pm. The cost for the round trip is roughly $200 pesos (about $15 USD). However, if you prefer to be there by yourself and have no time limit. Take a bus to Mitla from Oaxaca City, which costs $50 pesos ($3 USD). From Mitla you can hop on another bus that will take you directly to Hierve el Agua for $25 pesos ($1.50 USD)

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