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Hierve el agua [petrified waterfalls] Oaxaca Mx

Hierve el agua (water boils) , on the top of the hill gushes water from a spring that forms small pools on the mountain, this one has a great concentration of minerals, and as its stream of water slowly falls along the edge of the hill they slowly petrify with the passage of years forming a cascade of minerals.

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How to get

How to get to Hierve el agua by public transport:
From the city of Oaxaca take a collective taxi in the “central supply”, you will recognize the taxis for the Tsuru model of the Nissan brand with white and red parts.

You must make sure that the taxi has a sign written “MITLA” and it belongs to an official taxi site or station (verify that with serial numbers, plates and it is best to take it where your colleagues are stationed), it will charge between $ 20 – $ 30 to take you to San Pablo Villa de Mitla, popularly called “Mitla”.

The taxi will arrive at Mitla and will be stationed at its base, next to it there are the transports to “Hierve el agua” located on the narrow road that crosses the town between Zaragoza and Aquiles Serdán streets, they are redila trucks with a canvas roof white and red color parked on the street very close to an intersection where there is a sign “Welcome to Mitla”.

The trucks that go up the hill to San Isidro Roaguía where the petrified waterfalls are found, leave every 30 minutes, cost $ 80- $ 90 round trip.



General acces

Price: $20.00

About of

Destination | attraction:
Water boils, petrified waterfalls in the mountains of the sierra.
San Lorenzo Albarrada
San Isidro Roaguía


Meaning of the name:
In the mountains of the sierra there is a small sprout of water (spring) at the root of the ground, the water gushes out of a small hole that seems to be boiling, and that is why it was named “Hierve el agua”.


On the hill spring water is born forming small pools while the water runs slowly down the cliff, this spring has a high concentration of minerals (calcium carbonate) which, falling slowly along the edge of the hill, become petrified over the years forming a cascade of crystallized rock.

From the waterfall you can see a beautiful view of the valley.


The Zapotec settled in this mountainous area and built a hydraulic irrigation system around the spring for cultivation, they were thin channels and were distributed by 6,375 linear meters forming 600 terraces, on these they cultivated a total area of ​​approximately 17,000 square meters. The oldest ones were built between 700-500 a.C. and the area was already abandoned by 1,350 AD.

It is impressive hydraulic engineering that the Zapotec built, especially for the lack of advanced tools at that time, molded the hill taking advantage of the spring.

To form these terraces, they needed 5 million cubic meters of earth with which they shaped the channels, transporting the earth, clay and mud with a technique called “mecapal” consisting of a leather band resting on the forehead and the back deployed a network made with natural agave fiber, on this they carried the material on the back hanging from the forehead.


Recommended to visit Boil the water, the archaeological zone of Mitla, and the small mezcal factories; this will require all day possibly.

Prices for tickets, activities and transportation may vary over time.