Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Daytripping- Hierve el Agua

"Hierve el agua" means "the water boils." These natural mineral springs, about 2 hours from Oaxaca, are not hot, however. They are cool and lovely, a perfect temperature for bathing on a hot Mexican afternoon.

High on a mountaintop in the Sierra, for the past several million years, a sulfurous spring has been bubbling over, running down the limestone cliffs below, and creating an amazing stone waterfall some 1,000 feet high. As far as I know, this formation is unique in the world. It is stunningly beautiful. 

I do not think the bathing pool is natural; I think it was carved out of the rock. Either way, it is the most gorgeous infinity-pool you ever saw. In this mineral rich water, one almost floats, as in seawater. Lounging in the water by the lip of the pool and staring off into an infinity of blue mountains is an experience I will personally never forget. 

It is a nice bonus that the sulfur in the water is curative. Every time I go, all my pimples and blemishes disappear for weeks afterwards. I've been to Hierve el agua three times now, in different seasons, and I have yet to find it too crowded. It helps that the road to get there is pretty scary - four by four recommended. In the off season, you might find you have the place to yourself. 

Last time we went, we took a folding grill and a cooler full of food and had a cookout. It was lovely. Every time we got too hot, we simply plunged back in for another swim. Be aware - the pool is filled with the water just as it comes out of the earth - it is not supplemented or treated in any way. The pool does grow some algae, and in the dry season it can get pretty murky. That doesn't bother me, however. There are showers to wash off after you are done bathing. 

Hope and Paloma enjoying the sunshine. 

Me, loving the water. I can't wait to bring my mom and my sister here when they come to visit next week. Oaxaca is a wonderful place to visit - there is something for everybody, from ancient ruins to world class modern museums. from colonial architecture to crazy nightlife. But Hierve el Agua is really something special. If you ever get to Oaxaca, don't miss it for the world. 


  1. That place looks magical ! So, so beautiful. I would love to visit.

    Surely with so much sulfur in the waterit would be safe to swim in even when its murky

  2. Looks wonderful - is there a 'best' time of year to visit?

    Enjoy your Blog - hope you keep it up.


  3. Thanks, Calypso, I like your blog, too. As for when to visit Hierve el Agua, like I said I have yet to find it too crowded, but I'd avoid the holidays anyway. I happen to like peace and quiet, and I dont mind cold, so I'd pick a cool cloudy day in the middle of the week. I forgot to mention, there are guides who can take you on a great (but grueling) hike of the area.

  4. I love this picture. I wish we could have visited when you were there. It's amazing how fast a year goes.