Hierve el Agua Travel Guide

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Located in the Oaxaca Valley an hour east of Mitla in the southern part of Mexico is the Hierve el Agua. The name translates to “boiling water”, however the water is far from it, being only slightly above ambient temperature. Rather the spring waters here are full of minerals and have led to the formation of a “Petrified waterfall” which is made of deposits of Calcium Carbonate forming over millennia and the spring flows over falls to tumble some 50 metres.

Visitors can bath in the waters and there is an amazing natural “infinity pool” that overlooks the valley below. It is best to check with the Oaxaca City tourist office before making the journey to the falls as they do get closed from time to time due to a dispute over ownership between two of the local communities.

The falls are also a very significant archeological site. It is thought that they were a sacred place to the Zapotecs, who inhabited the region thousands of years ago. There are the remains of a complex series of irrigation channels which fed terraces on the hillside nearby. It was an innovation used for intense agriculture some 2500 years ago in an area which was both dry and hilly.

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