Hierve el Agua

March 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

After a month of anticipation, I finally made it out to Hierve el Agua- the last item on the Oaxaca agenda before leaving this region.  Though it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned it, it certainly did not disappoint!

HierveElAguaFromAfar

After waiting for an hour for a nonexistent bus that would take us to Mitla, we jumped into a collectivo instead that took us to the first town.  From there, we were herded into what seemed like a converted cattle wagon that took us the remaining twenty kilometers to Hierve el Agua.

HierveElAguaCountryside1

After veering off the highway and passing through San Lorenzo, we decided to play it cool and walk the rest of the way, so we hung ourselves off the back of the wagon and jumped off mid-acction… only to find it stop a few feet later at its final destination.  But, that’s alright; we still made a daring escape off a moving vehicle.  And then, the remaining trail on foot, befriending a couple of donkeys on the way:

HierveElAguaDonkey
The first pool of water was a series of levels; all of them shallow and deceptively clear-looking:

HierveElAguaLevels

These natural rock formations resemble petrified waterfalls, but the actual amount of water currently there is more of a trickle.

HierveElAguaPool

But it did provide us with one pool to jump in (cold sulfur water!) and admire the view from:

HierveElAgua

From the first pool (the cascada chica), we trekked a little ways to the next, most iconic rock formation.  The first one was more wide than tall:

HierveElAguaLeft

, while the second one was taller (but decisively drier):

HierveElAguaFromBottom

The different colors of water flowing out of the ground and mixing together was really interesting to observe though:

HierveElAguaAtTheEdge

Little hidden springs coming out of the middle of the rock and flowing together to make slightly-larger ribbons of water:

HierveElAguaTheSource

We hiked back to our cabins through the valley below the ‘waterfalls’, with much sunshine and really tall spiky palm tree/cactus plants:

HierveElAguaPalmStick

After a dinner of tamales and tlayudas, it was time for a sunset stroll to the town (er, church and two shacks):

HierveElAguaSalida
My favourite part of the whole experience was after the sun set.  We were one of only two couples staying at the premise, and the gates to the grounds were locked, and it was kinda of surreal to hike back down to the rock formations under the moon and sit there, amid stars and UFO’s, just gazing off a steep cliff, onto the mountains and desert in front of you.  Cool, and windy, and quiet.

HierveElAguaCountryside

The next day: walking seven kilometers under the sun, back to the highway.  From there, we caught a ride back to Mitla, whose weekly market was a disappointment.  So, back into another collectivo that took us to Oaxaca for lunch and one last night amid museums and coffee shops… (who thought that that night would ever get here?!)

 

 

 

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