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Hierve el Agua
Hierve el Agua

Hierve el Agua

star-5
52 Reviews
Oaxaca, Mexico

Basics

Although the name of this near-unique natural attraction translates to “water boils,” Hierve el Agua is not a hot spring. In fact, the water here runs cool. Highlights of the site, which has surged in popularity in recent years, include the pools (which were formed by locals at the site of a naturally-occuring spring), the calcified “waterfall,” and remnants of Zapotec irrigation canals.

Several tours run to Hierve el Agua from Oaxaca City. Time-pressed travelers or first-time visitors can also combine a visit to Hierve el Agua with stops at other local sights, such as the Tule Tree, Mitla, and Teotitlán del Valle.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Oaxaca

star-5
Awesome Oaxaca Tour!
Miguel_M, May 2021
Full-Day El Tule, Mitla & Hierve el Agua Tour from Oaxaca
Wow! This was an amazing Tour!! Mitla is a famous archeological site in Oaxaca and it is well-worth visiting! This tour combines good tour sites and an overall Oaxaxan feel! Highly recommend it!
star-5
Highly Recommended
stacybrebner, Feb 2020
Hierve el Agua, Mezcal Tasting, and Teotitlan del Valle Private Tour
Our driver Miguel was fantastic! Excellent driver, saw what we wanted to see and connected us with nice people at the sites we visited. We booked a private tour for three - money well spent. Comfortable, air-conditioned, new van. Highly recommended.
star-5
Tule, Hierve el Agua, Mitla, Mezcal
christinekenny, Jan 2020
Hierve el Agua, Mezcal Tasting, and Teotitlan del Valle Private Tour
We had a great day with Ignacio! He was punctual and friendly and accommodating. When he discovered that we had already been to one of the planned attractions, he thought of a substitute activity which was incredible! I appreciated how he brought us to each attraction and made sure we knew where to go but then let us explore on our own.
star-5
Great day exploring Oaxaca
Ambassador298609, Aug 2019
Full-Day El Tule, Mitla & Hierve el Agua Tour from Oaxaca
This was a great way to explore a few of the towns and sites near Oaxaca in a short amount of time. Our guide and driver David and Roberto were prompt and friendly - they explained all the sites we visited but also gave us time to explore on our own. We were even able to tailor the day somewhat since we were the only group on the tour. It felt like a good amount of time at each stop, and it was very interesting and enjoyable to learn about the towns and communities we visited. Great day!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Pack swimwear and a towel if you plan to take a dip in the pools.

  • There are basic changing and bathroom facilities.

  • Hierve el Agua is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.

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How to Get There

Hierve el Agua is located about 43 miles (70 kilometers) east of Oaxaca City. Most visitors find it easiest to reach the site on an organized tour that includes round-trip transportation. Public transportation options, while more affordable, are complicated and time-consuming: Catch a bus to the Mitla archeological site, (which leaves from just outside Estadio Eduardo Vasconcelos in Oaxaca City); once there, look for shuttles to Hierve el Agua. The whole journey takes about two hours.

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When to Get There

Hierve el Agua is open daily from morning through early evening, all year round. As a popular day trip destination, Hierve el Agua gets busier as the day goes on, so arrive early to avoid the worst of the crowds. Alternatively, visit midweek for a quieter experience, or stop by during the rainy season to see the surrounding forests while they’re lush.

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What are Petrified Waterfalls?

Hierve el Agua is one of just two known petrified waterfalls in the world. The other—known as Pamukkale, which translates to Cotton Castles—is in Denizli, Turkey. This unique formation happens when mineral-rich water bubbles up through rock over centuries, then drips back over a cliff face to form open-air stalactites. These stalactites, from a distance, look like gushing waterfalls.

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