Hierve El Agua: Exploring the hidden treasure of Oaxaca, Mexico

I would like to share a short post about a magical place we recommend to visit near Oaxaca city. Hierve El Agua is a natural mineral spring on top of a cliff in Mexico.

Hierve El Agua Mineral Pool

Hierve El Agua

When we arrived at the site, we needed to walk downhill for 5 minutes to get to the magical spot where the pools are located. In all my travels, I have never seen anything like this before; the site consists of two big natural pools located on top of a hill. One of them is located beside the cliff edge giving a marvellous panoramic view of the valley below.

Hierve El Agua Panoramic view

It has two petrified waterfalls that have been formed over thousands of years. The rainwater falling on the ground has mixed with the minerals and created high quantities of Calcium Carbonate. The natural pools collect the water, and the excess of minerals forms large rock formations similar to the stalactites found in caves.

Hierve_Agua_8The small “waterfall” is12 meters high and the largest (see picture below) is 30 meters in height. The temperatures of the water is around 24 Celsius. The result of the above mineral process has created breath-taking white cascades, which have the appearance of a frozen waterfall.

Petrified waterfall

In the pool, the water has a very intense green colour on the edges.

Hierve El Agua in oaxaca

Best Time to visit

Everyday, from 10 am till 1pm buses full of tourists arrive at this place almost everyday, especially at the weekends. Therefore the best time to visit is on a weekday as early as possible in the morning (From 9 am to 9.30am) or late afternoon 4pm onwards.

Neon Green water in Oaxaca

Coming early or late in the afternoon gives you more chances to get the place for yourself and take beautiful pictures. Also, visiting this attraction in the rainy season could be an option as well.

Hierve El Agua Oaxaca Mexico

Getting There

Hierve el Agua is located 70 KM (1 hours and 30 minutes drive) from Oaxaca city.

By tour: the most comfortable option is to hire a tour that can take to 7-9 hours. These tours can bring you to this place and will also make stops in a beautiful ruin like Mitla or Teotitlan del Valle along the way. Comfortable seats, aircon and an itinerary all sorted.

  • Our tour was about 7 hours long which included a visit to a weaver, a mezcal plant, Mitla, a place to eat, then Hierve de Agua all for $150 Mexican Pesos(~10 USD).

By Taxi Colectivo: If you would like to go only to Hierve el Agua but you do not mind to sacrifice your comfort you can take the option of the taxi colectivo. There is no transport that goes directly from Oaxaca to Hierve el Agua.

From “Central Camionera” (in Calle de Valerio Trujano y Periferico) you will have to take a taxi from Oaxaca to Mitla that can cost 20-25 Mexican Pesos ask your driver if he can bring you to Hierve El Agua(paying a little extra money).

If the driver does not want to drive all the way to Hierve El agua, your second best option is to go to Mitla and from here take another taxi (that is a pick up truck) where you have to negotiate the price.

  • Taxi from Oaxaca to Mitla : 20-25 Mexican Pesos per person approximately.
  • Pick-up truck: 50 Mexican Pesos per person approximately. You will have to wait for other people 6 at least to fill the seats otherwise you will have to pay for empty seats.

Entrance Fee

  • 35 pesos per person (~1.86 USD).

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About Thomas Cummins

Thomas has a Data Management background, but he has always loved traveling and exploring the world. Photographer and husband, he has travelled over 29 countries and lived in Ireland and Australia. He has a passion for doing and sharing information of small and long hikes, mountains and outdoor activities around the world.

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