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Hierve el Agua Oaxaca: A Place of Color, Life, and Energy

  • Joel CZ 
  • 7 min read
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Mexico is a country full of beautiful places to relax like Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca.

A paradise in this southern pacific region of rock formations and waterfalls.

I invite you to get to know and enjoy this fantastic site through this practical guide I have prepared for you.

Hierve el Agua is a natural spa made up of white petrified waterfalls, about 200 meters high.

Its origin comes from the descent of carbonated water from the springs at the top of the canyon, which forms pools of warm turquoise water that are spectacular scenery and a unique swimming experience.

The strength and constancy of the flowing water give the impression that it emerges at a high temperature, which gives the place its name (hierve el agua – boiling water).

Where is Hierve el Agua Oaxaca?

Hierve el Agua is located in the town of San Isidro Roaguía, in the municipality of San Lorenzo Albarradas, state of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Getting there

By car: take highway 190 towards the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Before the turnoff that takes you to the archaeological site of Mitla is the road to Hierve el Agua.

Go to Highway 179, where you will have to pass through a toll booth and pay 3 USD. Continue to km 62, where you will turn right and drive 7 km more to cross the town of San Lorenzo.

Drive along a communal road where you will pay 1 USD for tickets you will have to keep. Four kilometers ahead, you will reach your destination.

By tour: from Oaxaca city, you can enjoy various options that include Hierve el Agua in the itinerary. They are full-day tours at the cost of between 23 and 24 USD per adult.

By cab: Again, from Oaxaca city, you can take a taxi to the archaeological site of Mitla and then another one to Hierve el Agua; it will cost around 6 USD.

When is the best time to visit Hierve el Agua Oaxaca?

hierve el agua oaxaca
Source: Svetlana Bykova / Shutterstock.com

Although you can enjoy it at any time of the year, the best time is during the low season to avoid the crowds.

Another good season is between June and August, the rainy season, as it increases the water flow.

If you are going to visit Hierve el Agua you mustn’t forget the following items:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimming suit
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash for entrance and bathrooms
  • Comfortable shoes to walk on steep terrains

What to do in Hierve el Agua?

hierve el agua oaxaca
Source: Mis imagenes para ti / shutterstock.com

You can enjoy the spring area thanks to an all-weather pool, whose water ranges between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius, far from boiling point.

Furthermore, you can also enjoy the archaeological attraction of the area that allows you to learn about the history, the passage of various cultures, and the ancient inhabitants of the area.

This “water park” has restrooms, dressing rooms, and small food establishments, as well as cabins for overnight stays.

An excellent activity to do is walking or hiking, which will allow you to know the intricate landscape of the waterfalls.

Waterfalls

Hierve el Agua consists of two large waterfalls that exceed 50 meters high and two 12 and 30 meters high rock formations.

The first of these is known as “Cascada Chica” (small waterfall) with a natural platform of 60 meters wide; the other is known as “Cascada Grande” (big waterfall).

Distance from Oaxaca to Hierve el Agua

This incredible water park is located 70 kilometers from Oaxaca city, approximately an hour and a half drive from the city to the resort.

As I mentioned before, you can get there by taking a bus from the corner of Zaragoza and Bustamante to Mitla.

Once there, go to the archaeological zone to take another bus to Hierve el Agua or San Lorenzo.

If you get to the latter you will have to walk a little bit but you will be close to your destination.

You can also count on a “Fletes y Pasajes” bus that boards at the Second Class Terminal, with daily departures at 8 am and a 2-hour trip.

Entrance fee: Hierve el Agua entrance is around 2 USD.

If you travel by car from Mexico city to Hierve el Agua, you will spend an average of 25 USD in toll booths on the highway, just one way.

Among the toll booths you will encounter are:

  • Santa Martha Acatitla – 6 USD
  • Estronque Puebla – 2 USD
  • Estronque Acatzingo – 6 USD
  • Estronque Tehuacán – 1.50 USD
  • San José Miahuatlán – 1.50 USD
  • Nochixtlán Stronque – 3.50 USD
  • San Pablo Etla – 5 USD

The average gas cost for a medium-size car is around 45 USD, necessary for the outbound trip, and the same will be for the return trip.

Visiting hours

You can visit the resort from Monday to Sunday between 9 am and 6 pm.

You can get to Hierve el Agua on one of the tours that depart from Oaxaca City with a duration of 7 to 9 hours, which go through Mitla, Teotitlán del Valle, and the distilleries of Santiago Matatlán.

One of the best known tours is “Viajes el Convento de Oaxaca,” whose prices range from 24 to 27 USD per adult.

Weather

The climate of this paradise ranges between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius with an average humidity of 45%, so it remains pretty cool.

Nights can be quite cold, so dressing warmly and spending the night with blankets is recommended.

Hierve el Agua Oaxaca Hotels

Although there are no hotels inside Hierve el Agua park, several good lodging options are nearby.

For example, The Hotel Restaurant Don Cenobio, with a unique colonial charm, is in San Pablo de Mitla.

There is also the Hotel Suite María Inés, in San Agustín de las Juntas, with a very modern boutique perspective.

Although Hierve el Agua has rustic cabins where you can camp, the best recommendation is to stay in a hotel in the surrounding areas.

Is there a beach near Hierve el Agua?

Bear in mind that this is not a beach, nor does it have them nearby, and it is a rock formation that has resulted in the creation of a natural spring water spa.

Cabins: Inside the park, you will find rustic cabins where you can spend the night. Most of them are used by adventurers who sleep there to hike as soon as the sun rises.

Is it possible to swim?

Yes, visitors swim in a relatively large pool of spring water that is believed to have healing powers due to its high mineral content.

Phone signal: It isn’t easy to get a phone or internet signal in some areas on the way to Hierve el Agua and the formations.

Gastronomy

The locals have establishments where you can enjoy the typical flavors of Oaxaca and Mexico.

Options include eggs, quesadillas, memelitas, coconuts, pineapples, and jicamas. There are various snack options, many of which are available as soon as you enter the parking lot.

Hierve el Agua is an excellent option for ecotourism, enjoying a relaxing and medicinal bath and connecting with Mexico’s much more natural side.

Can you still visit Hierve el Agua?

Yes. You can now visit and enjoy Hierve el Agua.

After remaining closed for almost two years, the local authorities have decided to re-open on October 13, 2021.

So if you’re planning a trip to Oaxaca, there are no excuses not to visit this stunning place.

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