Hierve el Agua, thermal spring in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico.

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Mineral Springs

Top choice in Hierve El Agua

Natural springs have never looked this good. Set in truly ethereal surroundings amid low brush-covered mountains, Hierve El Agua (meaning 'the water boils,' but the water temperature is actually cool) is a set of bubbling mineral springs that run into natural infinity pools right on a cliff's edge with spectacular panoramas over the sierra. Water dribbling over the cliff edge for millennia has created unique white mineral formations that resemble huge frozen waterfalls. Arrive early to avoid the crowds.

There are two ghostly ‘waterfalls’ at the site. The ‘cascada chica’ is the one nearer the visitor car park and supports four popular mineral pools (the one nearest to the lip of the cliff is humanmade). From here you get perfect views of the more impressive ‘cascada grande.’ To get to the second ‘waterfall’ follow the trail for 1km to its end, where you can enjoy a much quieter more natural spot (with few bathers).

The mineral-laden water is cool to cold, though usually swimmable. Altogether it's an utterly unique bathing experience and stunningly beautiful to boot. There are changing rooms just above the pools.

Unofficial roadblocks – the result of a local feud – sometimes spring up close to the springs and charge you an extra M$10 to enter.

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