Things to Know When Visiting Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca

Words and images ©  PAUL MARTINEZ

Words and images © PAUL MARTINEZ

While traveling to Oaxaca City, California-based PHOTOGRAPHER Paul Martinez partnered with Bamba Experience to visit and document the wonders of 'Hierve El Agua.'

Located 90-minutes east of Oaxaca City, which ends with a narrow, winding unpaved road lies the site of ‘Hierve El Agua.' It’s the site of a set of natural rock formations resembling a cascade of water. Here you’ll find two rock cliffs rising between 100-200ft above the valley below, resembling waterfalls.

GETTING THERE

Although you can visit this place entirely on your own, we recommend the tour offered by Bamba Experience. You get to sit back and enjoy the Oaxacan countryside without the stresses of worrying about having internet for GPS, or sufficient pesos for the many tolls passed through the hour and a half journey.

As a bonus, you’ll also get to see a few other sights like the ruins of Mitla; as well as experiencing how the regions famously made wool rugs are created and ending the trip with mezcal tastings. Why rent a car?

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BRIEF HISTORY

This area has an ancient history that’s brought about archeological interest for its extensive system of irrigation and terraces built by the Zapotecs as many as 2,500 years ago. It was also most likely a sacred site to the ancient peoples of the Oaxaca valley.

Researchers have studied the terraces and canals, which have cut into the sides of the mountains these cliffs are on and have concluded that they were an irrigation system, unique in Mexico.

Only fragments of these irrigation canals remain; however, the archeological area has not been completely explored. These irrigation canals are considered to be unique in Mesoamerica.

THINGS TO KNOW

This may be of no surprise, but many tourists visit this attraction; so bring a change of clothes if you’d like to experience these ancient pools for yourself.

In addition to the pools—a number of other services have been built for visitors such as food stands, small markets, cabins and a regular swimming pool (which was empty at time of visit).

The cabin area, called "Turis Yu’u," offers areas to change clothes, shower, eat in an open-air restaurant and for overnight stays although the accommodations are very basic.

This property, as well as many of the other stalls are owned by residents of the community.

 
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*THIS ARTICLE WAS MADE IN COLLABORATION WITH BAMBA EXPERIENCE.