This Natural Mineral Pool in Oaxaca Overlooks a Waterfall That’s Been Frozen by Minerals Over Thousands of Years
These waterfalls in Mexico are frozen in time.
Tucked away in Oaxaca, Mexico, is a rare natural phenomenon that visitors can admire while taking a dip in a natural infinity pool overlooking a lush valley.
At first glance, Hierve al Agua, which roughly translates to “boiling water,” looks like a giant frozen waterfall — but look closer and you'll notice the cascading “water” is actually hardened mineral deposits.
The two petrified falls that make up Hierve el Agua were formed after dripping water from the falls combined with minerals and calcified over centuries. The result looks like a frozen waterfall.
At the edge of the cliff, visitors will find two different mineral pools containing magnesium, sulfur, and calcium carbonate, which are popular swimming spots. Rather than boiling though (since that wouldn't be very comfortable), the mineral pools range from about 71 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The larger of the two pools gives the illusion of an infinity pool, as it's on the edge of the cliff.
The springs in the area were once part of a complex irrigation system that utilized artificial canals and terraces to supply water to residents, according to Oaxaca's tourism board. The site was eventually abandoned and left to calcify.
Those looking to get to Hierve el Agua — about 43-miles drive from Oaxaca City — can rent a car or hire a driver from Oaxaca or Milta.
You can also book a tour through companies like Monte Alban Tours.