Home‎ > ‎Mexico‎ > ‎

Petrified waterfalls travel pictures

A day tour to the petrified waterfalls

The petrified waterfalls do not have much water running off them but are a unique rock formation in the state Oaxaca which have may salt deposits on them which have been formed over thousands of years. This gives them a white colored coating which give them the appearance of a waterfall and contrasts to the green scenery that surrounds it. They are usually visited as part of a tour that departs from Oaxaca which stops at several places.

The first stop is the largest tree in the world which goes by the name Arbot del Tule. What makes the tree so large is the base which has a diameter of over 11 meters. It is hard to escape the feeling that this resembles the tree of life in the movie Avatar. It is located in a courtyard of a church and there is a nice square next to it with a town hall.

The stops after that are some local Mexican handcrafts and include traditional carpet making and a brewery. These are not exactly highlights of Mexico, but do make a nice stop. At the local brewery you will be able to sample several of the drinks that have been distilled here.

After that stop the tour continues to the ancient settlement of Mitla. This is an archaeological site which has been well restored and consist of a palace and several burial chambers. What is unique for the palace of Mitla is the brick work in which the stones are put together in such way that a decorative relief is being formed. The tombs can be visited but unfortunately there is little to see inside as they have fallen to victim to raiders throughout the years.

The last stop is the main highlight which are the petrified waterfalls or as they are locally known, Hierve el Agua. There are actually two of them. The first one has a natural pool in which is is possible to go for a quick swim. Because of the way they are formed they create the illusion of an infinity pool. From here you can also get an expansive view of the valley. Behind the petrified waterfall, there is a path which takes you to the second rock formation. This one is smaller and more vegetation is growing around it, but provides a nice view of the first one.

The most convenient way of visiting the petrified waterfalls and the other sights is by organized tour as otherwise there are few options but to rent a car. These tours can be booked in many hotels and tour operators in Oaxaca. Because the sights are relatively small and make use of minibuses there is not rush and everything can be explored at your own pace. 


Petrified waterfalls travel photo gallery

 
Arbol del Tule.

Arbol del Tule.

 



The biggest tree in Mexico.

The biggest tree in Mexico.

 
Leaves covering up the trunk.

Leaves covering up the trunk.


The photo albums of Mexico 
include: Agua AzulChichen Itza
Tulum and Uxmal.




 
The massive trunk of over 11 meter in diameter.

The massive trunk of over 11 meter in diameter.

 



The branches that give it it's particular look.

The branches that give it it's particular look.

 
The church next to the tree.

The church next to the tree.

 
Town hall of Santa Maria.

Town hall of Santa Maria.

 
Square near the town hall.

Square near the town hall.

 
The Tule tree and church from the nearby park.

The Tule tree and church from the nearby park.

 
Traditional carpet.

Traditional carpet.

 
Weaving machine for handmade carpets.

Weaving machine for handmade carpets.

 
Grinder for making pulp that is used for producing alcohol.

Grinder for making pulp that is used for producing alcohol.

 
The columns group.

The columns group.

 
The outer walls of the palace.

The outer walls of the palace.

 
Ancient structure.

Ancient structure.

 



Entrance to the palace in Mitla.

Entrance to the palace in Mitla.

 
Two of the remaining columns.

Two of the remaining columns.

 



Some of the unique stone work inside the palace.

Some of the unique stone work inside the palace.

 



Ancient fretwork.

Ancient fretwork.v

 



The surrounding hills.

The surrounding hills.

 
Some of the brickwork of the Zapotec culture.

Some of the brickwork of the Zapotec culture.

 



The remains of the palace in the columns group.

The remains of the palace in the columns group.

 



One of the underground chambers.

One of the underground chambers.

 
The (claustrophobic) entrance for entering the underground chamber.

The (claustrophobic) entrance for entering the underground chamber.

 
Remains of the courtyard in the columns group.

Remains of the courtyard in the columns group.

 
Some of the dry grass around the site.

Some of the dry grass around the site.

 
The large stones that were used to build the foundation.

The large stones that were used to build the foundation.

 
Some of the brickwork that has been carefully restored.

Some of the brickwork that has been carefully restored.

 
The church of San Pedro, seen from distance.

The church of San Pedro, seen from distance.

 
Fretwork in the outer walls.

Fretwork in the outer walls.

 



Closeup of the detailed fretwork.

Closeup of the detailed fretwork.

 
Chamber decorated with fretwork.

Chamber decorated with fretwork.

 
Restored corner of the palace.

Restored corner of the palace.

 



The outer walls of the Zapotec palace.

The outer walls of the Zapotec palace.

 
Side view of the San Pedro church.

Side view of the San Pedro church.

 



Courtyard within the ancient site.

Courtyard within the ancient site.

 



The church of San Pedro in Mitla.

The church of San Pedro in Mitla.

 



A pool on top of the rock formation.

A pool on top of the rock formation.

 
The rock formation that gives it is names of petrified waterfall.

The rock formation that gives it is names of petrified waterfall.

 



Looking down the pools.

Looking down the pools.

 



The surrounding scenery.

The surrounding scenery.

 
Spot where the water runs down the rocks.

Spot where the water runs down the rocks.

 
The rock formation that stands out compared to the valley.

The rock formation that stands out compared to the valley.

 
Erosion of the rocks.

Erosion of the rocks.

 
Little water reservoirs which have been created by erosion.

Little water reservoirs which have been created by erosion.

 



The sun reflecting on the water.

The sun reflecting on the water.

 
Also named Hierve el Agua.

Also named Hierve el Agua.

 



View over the surrounding hills.

View over the surrounding hills.

 
Image of the salt depositions that give it its unique look.

Image of the salt depositions that give it its unique look.

 



The standing water which creates the illusion of an infinity pool.

The standing water which creates the illusion of an infinity pool.

 



One of the rock formations seen from the other with a person standing on top.

One of the rock formations seen from the other with a person standing on top.

 
The petrified waterfall in contrast to the valley.

The petrified waterfall in contrast to the valley.

 



View of the rock formation which is the main sight for visitors.

View of the rock formation which is the main sight for visitors.

 



The valley that surrounds the petrified waterfalls.

The valley that surrounds the petrified waterfalls.

 



Cacti growing on the hill.

Cacti growing on the hill.

 
Tree growing behind the infinity pool.

Tree growing behind the infinity pool.

 
A tree reflecting in the water.

A tree reflecting in the water.

 
Another classic view.

Another classic view.

 
The scenery behind the natural pool.

The scenery behind the natural pool.

 
The sky reflecting in the water.

The sky reflecting in the water.


Internet sites with travel information about the Petrified waterfalls

There is remarkably little written about the petrified waterfalls on the internet except for a few blog postings. Therefore, the best place to find a bit of information would, besides this page be Wikipedia.


Suggested photo albums on Mad Planet Earth

Images of the colonial city center of the picturesque town San Cristobal. Photo album of the Petrified waterfalls, an unique geological rock formation located in an amazing valley. Pictures of the island Cozumel which is a ideal spot for diving and snorkeling.  


Last update: 04/07/2013