Magical Hierve el Agua | Mexico

3 Februari ’17

“How was it? Cold?” the man who’s in charge of protecting the women-changing rooms looks at me in a curious way. He didn’t have to ask me that question because my bathing suit was completely dry. “Boil the water”, that’s what you get when you translate Hierve el Agua to English. The name, however, isn’t correct, the water doesn’t boil, it’s ice cold. I expected to spend a day relaxing in a hotspring with an amazing view on the Sierra Madre del Sur but no, no hotsprings for me… This doesn’t mean I was disappointed though. Not at all, Hierve el Agua is a magical place and Mexico is so underrated, nobody knows that besides the deserts and cacti, there are hundreds of other kinds of landscapes in this surreal country.

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To get to Hierve el Agua, you have to drive on a steep winding mountain pass that runs through arid, desert-ish nature. It’s kinda creepy as there are too many sharp turns in the roads and you drive next to ravines all. the. time. And all this with a driver who gave us an enthusiastic lecture on cacti while making a phone call every now and then. There’s no point in being scared, you just have to accept it.

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What actually is Hierve el Agua? The “pools” in Hierve el Agua were made about 2000 years ago by the Zapotecas. They were used as an irrigation system and were probably considered sacret. Irrigationsystems were quite rare among Mesoamerican cultures. This is what makes this site so unique.

There are also 2 petrified waterfalls; Cascada Grande an Cascada Chica. Apparently there’s only 2 of those in the world. The other one is in Turkey and is called Pamukkale. I think I’ve been there too… but back then I was too young and uninterested to give a sh*t.

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How to get there? Stay in the city of Oaxaca (the capital of Oaxaca STATE), take the bus to Mitla (ask for directions to the busstop in your ho(s)tel as it’s too complicated to explain), it costs $20pesos, once arrived in Mitla, there will be collectivos waiting for you to drive you directly to Hierve el Agua. It will cost you around $80pesos. The entrance fee for Hierve el Agua is $30. It will take you up to 2hrs to get there.

Tips:

  • Take food with you, I don’t remember seeing restaurants there but then again, I didn’t pay attention to it.
  • Take a jacket with you. It might be hot in Oaxaca City but up in the mountains it get really cold. I made the mistake of not taking a jacket with me and ended up getting a bad cold.
  • Take your swimsuit with you. It IS possible to swim there, if you can stand ice cold water!
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No jacket, so a towel will have to do

Where? 

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Saltbanks
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…and the waterfall itself. This was honestly the least impressive attraction at the site.
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