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Agua Azul Waterfall – Read about our Visit to this Amazingly Blue Falls in Mexico

Cascadas de Agua Azul (Spanish for “Blue Water Falls”) is an amazing series of waterfalls and cascades that is 69 km south of Palenque Mayan ruins. Located in the middle of the Chiapas rainforest, the water (during the dry season) is a rich aquamarine color due to the high mineral content (limestone) in the water.

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Standing next to the water, it looked artificial, so rich was the color. On the day of our visit, it was overcast with occasional drizzle, but this lack of optimal conditions did not take away from the beauty of the place. None of the falls are particularly high, but there is a nice quantity of water falling over many drops like stair-steps carved into the jungle surroundings. The tan rocks accented the aquamarine water nicely and regular white-water completed the experience.

The rocks where the water flowed were coated with limestone, giving it an appearance that reminded me of cave formations or the hot spring terraces of Yellowstone. There seems to be a hundred different waterfalls and cascades along this short stretch of river. As we worked our way upstream, an amiable little beagle pup followed along with us, hopping on three legs as he had one injured. He was content for our company and never whined or begged. He made the journey all the way up and back down.

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

The boardwalk has been well designed and there are plenty of places where it allowed for excellent views of the falls. We stopped at each, taking pictures and video. It was pleasant, with a neutral temperature and the rain staying away most of the time we were there.  Other than the row of vendors lining the boardwalk opposite the river, the entire area was rich with verdant flora and just maintained enough to allow passage but still keep a nice jungle feel.

We reached the upper end of the boardwalk, where stood an official looking gentlemen who informed us we were allowed to swim here. The water was mostly calm there, but the rich azure water remained. It felt like an eden here, away from the vendors and their structures.

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Journeying back down, we revisited all of the overlooks, unable to quite pry ourselves away from the natural beauty of the place, but eventually we reached the bottom. Purchasing four empanadas made fresh (I liked the chicken better than the cheese ones), we returned to our car and made our way. Agua Azul will remain in our memory as a unique waterfall experience.

To read important tips for seeing Agua Azul, go here.

A gallery of hi-res pictures from our visit is here.

To read about or visit to nearby Palenque Mayan Ruins, go here.

Agua Azul Waterfall – Advice on How to See this Challenging but Worthwhile Waterfall

Cascadas de Agua Azul (Spanish for “Blue Water Falls”) is an amazing series of waterfalls and cascades that is 69 km south of Palenque ruins along hwy 199 – watch for the turnoff to the right. You can find the waterfall in Google Maps. The ride takes you through some lovely jungle terrain.

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Unlike most waterfalls, the best time to visit is the dry season (Dec-July), not the wet one. The reason is that during the dry season the sun and lesser water can cause the blue glow that makes the falls so remarkable. The rainy season will increase the flow, which is usually good for waterfalls, but the water is muddy and you may not get the characteristic rich blue water you are hoping for. On the day we visited, it was overcast with a light drizzle at times which reduced the blue somewhat, but it was still excellent.

Many folks arrive at Palenque via plane or by a bus from Merida with the ruins at Palenque being the primary purpose for their visit. Tours from the town of Palenque are available to Agua Azul and the other waterfalls nearby. I like the freedom of driving myself, which can save some money over tour fees while giving nice flexibility. There is ample parking at the site although most folks who see it come via a tour of some kind, usually combined with the Palenque ruins. If you arrive first thing in the morning as we did, you’ll have it mostly to yourself (we saw two other tourists while there).

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

If you drive yourself, please be aware that the road has a lot of speed bumps and sometimes has mudslides, rockslides, fog, etc., along with some rather large potholes. I have read that it is not the place to be after dark so I wouldn’t drive at that time. We had no trouble at all and I found the road a pleasure to drive, but I enjoy mountainous driving and don’t mind their curvy nature or the occasional pothole. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.

Be careful going through the small towns – we encountered a few young children who had run a small vine across the road to slow traffic and when we stopped they rushed up to beg money. I didn’t give them any despite their cuteness – I hate to encourage them rushing about the streets. I believe there are public busses (colectivo) that traverse the route as well.

In the vicinity of Agua Azul are other waterfalls. Misol-Ha is the most visited, but also nearby is Cascadas Roberto Barrios and Welib Ja. Tours to Agua Azul often include Misol Ha.

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

There is a nice boardwalk that is pretty well made that trails along one side of the river. You will have to climb some steps and ascend gentle elevations as you work your way upstream. When you reach the top, you double back along the way you came. There is an (overly) long row of local vendors selling handcrafts and local food along the boardwalk. Food includes fresh fruit, grilled corn and fried empanadas, but there are also regular restaurants with extensive menus. I have heard from others that they found the vendors to be too aggressive, but it wasn’t bad during our visit. Perhaps it was because we had arrived early.

The entrance fee is 25 pesos and sometimes an extra fee charged by the local Zapatista community (I didn’t encounter this during my visit). You are allowed to swim in places along the falls, so bring your swimming suit and towel if you are interested in this. I would recommend water shoes as well. I don’t think you can get up next to the falls like in years past, however, but this does help keep the view nicer.

I describe our visit in detail here.

A gallery of hi-res pictures from our visit is here.

To read about the nearby Palenque Mayan ruins, go here.

Agua Azul Waterfall Gallery of Pictures from Our Visit

Agua Azul is an amazing series of waterfalls and cascades located in the Chiapas jungle of southern Mexico. Located near the Palenque Mayan ruins, it is often combined with tours there. The water is rich in limestone, which creates amazing aquamarine water in the dry season. Below are some pictures from our visit. After the pictures, you’ll find useful links, including a detailed description from our visit, a useful article on advice for seeing Agua Azul and a link to our visit to the Palenque ruins.

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

Agua Azul Waterfall, Mexico - cascadas de Aqua Azul

I describe our visit in detail here.

To read important tips for seeing Agua Azul, go here.

To read about or visit to nearby Palenque Mayan Ruins, go here.