Hierve el Agua is Spanish for “water boils” and is the name for the petrified waterfalls located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, about 70 km east of Oaxaca City. The name comes from the bubbling natural mineral springs that are found in the area.
From a distance, Hierve el Agua appears to be a massive waterfall frozen on the side of a mountain, but that is practically impossible because the area is dominated by a hot climate. In fact, there are mineral deposits formed over thousands of years due to the mineral-laden water spilling over the edge of the cliff and going down the rocky mountain side. This is how the large stalactites, which are compared with ice, are formed.
Hierve el Agua is in fact composed of two waterfalls: a twelve meters one called “cascada chica” (small waterfall) or Amphitheatre and a thirty meters one called “cascada grande” (large waterfall).
The waters are rich in calcium carbonate, which is why are formed the waterfalls-like rock structures.