A Visit To Hierve El Agua
If you are planning a visit to Oaxaca you can not miss a stop at the beautiful Hierve El Agua. This destination has quickly become an Instagram sensation as many tourist flock to the area to get the picture by the natural mineral pool. Trust us when we say this, the views will leave you speechless! An infinity pool overlooking the Sierra Madre Mountains…you be the judge…
Hierve El Agua translates to “Boiling Water”. We will start by saying that there is no boiling water in the area. It might look like the water is boiling because of a few water spots that create a bubble sensation due to the pressure and minerals in the rocks.You are safe to visit and bring your swimsuit along if you wish. Hierve El Agua was created by minerals in the area that slowly formed the impressive looking rocks over thousands of years. When you visit Hierve El Agua, you will find a petrified waterfall (this waterfall is one of two that exist in the entire world) and two minerals pools close to the edge of the rock formations. In order to have the best experience of Hierve El Agua, the following are our top recommendations:
GET THERE EARLY
Our best advice to really enjoy Hierve El Agua is to beat the crowds. Doors open at 7am and most tours start arriving between 9am-10am. We arrived there between 7:30am-8am and ran into 3 or 4 other people. We were able to take our pictures and enjoy the views before the crowds started getting there.
HIKE AROUND HIERVE EL AGUA
Most people visit this destination and only stay towards the top. This is definitely the best view and spot of Hierve El Agua, but also the busiest. Since we had time, we decided to walk down a dirt path that leads down to the petrified waterfall. This path ends up by a camping area and out to the food stalls. It is a great hike to see Hierve El Agua from a different perspective. The walk takes about 1 hour, but you will get the place almost to yourself with some breathtaking views. We probably spent close to 2 hours walking and exploring. The pictures you can take of the cascades are amazing. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes since the path can be rocky and slippery in some areas. We recommend you are extra careful walking around the area since there is no one watching during the hike.
EAT AND DRINK
Once you have completed your hike, you must eat some delicious food! There are many local stands in the area... take your pick and enjoy! Make sure to try out a Tlayuda or a Memelita. The food stalls are very reasonably priced, but make sure you bring cash since no credit cards are taken here. Also, don’t forget to pick up a Michelada after the hike! They are sold everywhere and are made with your choice of beer, hot sauces, lemon, salt and clam juice. A nice cold Michelada will be perfect to beat the heat after your hike.
HOW TO GET TO HIERVE EL AGUA
We decided to rent a car since it was 3 of us. Best decision we could have made! We got a really early start at 5am from Oaxaca City and got to Hierve El Agua before the crowds. It really gave us the time to complete the hike and grab some food and drinks before moving on. The drive is fairly straightforward as you go through an autopista (highway) for most of the way. You will run into some tollways so make sure to have change. I highly recommend to stay away from la carretera libre (free road) as the route has many curves and potholes. The drive was about 2 hours and really smooth. The car rental was not expensive and we had it for 2 days. We paid a total of $89.62 USD plus gas. This option also allowed us to visit Mitla and El Tule on our way back and at our own pace. The other options are hiring a driver, taking public transportation or doing a tour. Public transportation/colectivos can be taken from Oaxaca City to Mitla and another from Mitla to Hierve El Agua. Once you step foot in Oaxaca City, you will be offered all sorts of tours that include Hierve El Agua. Whatever option you choose, make sure to make it out to Hierve El Agua! It really is an amazing place.
OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
All visitors to Hierve El Ague will have to pay a $10 MXP fee ($0.53 USD) per person while passing by the town of San Lorenzo Albarradas. This fee is used to maintain the roads to Hierve El Agua. Fair Warning: Do not expect nice roads once you start making your way towards Hierve El Agua. It will a be dirt roads and a lot bumps along the way. Once you arrive to Hierve El Ague the entrance fee is $20 MXP ($1.06 USD) per person.
You will also find cabins in Hierve El Agua. If you are looking to capture a great sunrise, it is highly recommended to stay the night.
Bring SPF and a hat since the sun starts to hit around 11am.
Make sure to take your time to enjoy this magical place. Aside from the festivities of La Guelaguetza, Hierve El Agua was our 2nd favorite thing to do in all of Oaxaca. There is simply nothing in the world like it!