El Tule is the biggest tree in the world because of the size of the trunk, which is 190 feet.

René Cabrera

SANTA MARÍA DEL TULE has a giant tree located on church grounds in the town center of Santa María del Tule in the state of Oaxaca, approximately 6.5 miles southeast of Oaxaca City on the Pan-American Highway 190. The giant tree is a Montezuma cypress (Taxodium Mucronatum) or Ahuehuete (meaning “old man of the water” in Nahuatl). It has the stoutest trunk of any tree in the world. The age is unknown, but it is at least 2000 years old. It is the biggest in the world because of the size of the trunk which is 190 feet. El Tule is 137 feet high and weighs 636 tons.


TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE is a small village and municipality located in the Tlacolula District in the east of the central valley region, 16 miles southeast of Oaxaca City on the foot of the Sierra Norte. It is known for its textiles, especially rugs, which are hand-woven on looms with pedals, from wool obtained from local sheep and dyed mainly with natural dyes. They combine Zapotec designs with contemporary designs such as reproductions of famous artists’ work. The name Teotitlán comes from the Nahuatl language and means “land of the gods.” It’s Zapotec name is Xaguixe, which means “at the foot of the mountain.” Established in 1465, it was one of the first villages founded by Zapotec peoples in this area and retains its Zapotec culture and language.

HIERVE EL AGUA in Spanish means “boiling water”. It is a set of natural rock formations in the state of Oaxaca that resemble cascades of water. The site is located 43 miles southeast of Oaxaca City, past Mitla, in the community of San Isidro Roaguía, with a narrow and winding unpaved road leading to the site. The site consists of two rock cliffs which rise between fifty and ninety meters from the valley below, from which extend nearly white rock formations which look like waterfalls from far away. These formations are created by natural water springs, whose water is over-saturated with calcium carbonate and other minerals like barium, iron, and silver. As the water scurries over the cliffs, the excess minerals are deposited, much in the same manner that stalactites are formed in caves. One of the cliffs, called the “cascada chica” (small waterfall) or the Amphitheatre, contains two large artificial pools for swimming. One of the artificial pools is very near the edge of the cliff and it looks like an infinity pool.


We will meet at Casa de las Bugambilias B&B or at the front desk of your hotel, from where we will drive 6.5 miles southeast on the Pan-American Highway 190 to the municipality of Santa María del Tule to see the giant tree and the church of Santa María de la Asunción.

After a short visit in Santa María el Tule, we will drive on the same highway in approximately 25 minutes to Teotitlán del Valle. Here we will visit the workshop of Jacobo Mendoza Ruiz, a descendant of a large family of famous Zapotec weavers. Together with his wife María Luisa Vásquez, they gather plants to prepare the natural dyes for their rugs. We will see a full demonstration of natural dyeing and weaving and at the end, you will have the opportunity to buy masterpieces, made with fine wool and natural dyes.

After the demo at Teotitlán del Valle, we will visit the natural springs at Hierve el Agua which is approximately a 1-hour drive from Teotitlán del Valle on Highway 190 past Mitla. We will arrive in approximately 1 hour to Hierve el Agua and you will have the opportunity to swim in the natural swimming pools or to do a small hike around the waterfalls to explore the scenery. After that we return on the same highway to eat lunch in the Restaurant “Rancho Zapata”, which is a 1-hour drive from Hierve el Agua, to enjoy the traditional foods of Oaxaca.

All the customers lodged in downtown Oaxaca will be picked up at the front desk of their hotel or at any other place in downtown Oaxaca.
We will establish a meeting point by telephone or email for travelers residing outside the city.

All tours normally end at the starting point, but this can be changed to another place in downtown Oaxaca if the customer prefers.

8 hours. Weather and traffic conditions might affect the length of the tour.

VW Transporter Mod. 2019 with A/C, liability insurance, purified water, and driver.

The service includes transportation, an English-speaking tour guide and soft drinks.

See the Map

Admission fees ($10 pesos per person at the giant tree of El Tule, $75 pesos per person at the archaeological site of Mitla and $35 pesos at the natural springs of Hierve El Agua), lunch and additional beverages.

We recommend you bring walking shoes, swimwear, towels, sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera.

1-2 persons: $100 USD per person
3-5 persons: $75 USD per person
6-9 persons: $50 USD per person

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Check the photos of El Tule:

Check the photos of Hierve El Agua:

7 comments on “Tour 3: Hierve el Agua

  1. Hello –

    I am traveling to Oaxaca at the end of October and I am interested in coordinating a few different tours. Can you please let me know the process to select a tour?

    Thank you in advance.


  2. Hi, I’m a bit concerned about the bumpy ride on the camionetas to get to Hierve el Agua, would your company be using its own vehicle and if so, would your vehicle be more comfortable/less bumpy than the camionetas? Many thanks.

    • Dear Nerissa: I have a van VW Transporter Mod. 2019 with A/C, and it is very comfortable, but the last part of the road to Hierve el Agua is unpaved and bumpy. I want to recommend a private driver for this tour, I know a good driver, and he has a comfortable car to take you. Please let me know if you want to hire him, and I will send you his mobile phone number. Best regards, René.

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