There are some places you go that floor you. Where you see something like you’ve never seen before and you walk around with your mouth hanging so wide open that it catches flies.
This happened to me at Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca last week. And yes, I swallowed a midgie in my open mouth, although I’m not sure if it was from panting as I hiked back up the hill, or from walking around with my mouth agape.
Whether from exertion or awe, either way the Hierve el Agua waterfall was something rare and unusual. There’s only one other formation like it in the world – in Turkey – which as I’m sure you’re already aware, is far, far from Mexico.
What’s so striking about Hierve el Agua is its sheer size. It’s enormous!
You feel as though you’re looking at something so sacred and one-of-a-kind, and the wonder of the giant waterfall that’s frozen in front of you is only amplified by the green rolling mountains that surround it.
This irrigation system was unique in Mexico and when you visit you can see why the Zapotecs chose it as a site for sacredness.
But we hadn’t come to worship anything. In fact when Kristin, Sandra, Dave and I arrived at Hierve el Agua we had no idea what to expect. We were faced with the petrified waterfall in the distance, with the green mountains as a backdrop. Immediately in front of us were two infinity pools, one of which dropped off the side of the mountain cliff and ran into the water below.
And let me tell you – there’s nothing as relaxing as sipping on a beer, in a natural infinity pool as the sun sets over the mountains.
Have you ever been to a place that you’re dreaming about in the months – hell, even years – to come?
Cost: It is 10 pesos per person to drive into the park, and then another 25 pesos per person to enter the waterfall area. When you want to hike around the waterfall, the people running the place will try to convince you to take a guide, which you pay only through tips. We managed to talk our way out of this though and walk around on our own.
How to get there: Hierve el Agua is located around 1.5 – 2 hours drive from Oaxaca City. We caught a taxi to Mitla on the way there, for 25 pesos per person (there were four of us) and then we caught another taxi from Mitla to Hierve el Agua for a further 50 pesos per person. On the way back we paid around 75 pesos per person for a shared taxi.
When to go: I would recommend visiting in the early morning or late afternoon when there is significantly fewer people and you’ll have the pools practically to yourselves like we did in the early evening.