Cool sights such as a petrified waterfall, Monte Alban temples and festivals in and around Oaxaca city…

My last few days in Puerto Escondido were spent on the beach not doing a whole lot- drinking cocktails on a sun lounger comprised the majority of my days, the evenings would be spent watching the surfers ride the waves and then go out for some (amazing) food. I met a girl, well young lady from China who’d been living in Dubai for the last four years! We went out for food and had a chat about Dubai life and why she chose to leave to travel for a few months. 

I was in two minds about my next step but I eventually decided to get the bus to Oaxaca City. The bus journey was long… very long. Most people take the cheaper and quicker option of the small vans which take a short cut through the mountains, however after hearing stories of dangerous manouverous on mountain edges and people vomiting out of windows and on each other’s laps I decided to take the slower and steadier route. I chose the daytime journey which left at 7am. I decided to be prepared and left La Punta Zicatela  (the surfers area of the beach) at 5.30am, it was pitch black and pouring down with torrential rain. And by torrential rain it was like buckets of water being repeatedly thrown on my head, with the sound of thunder in the background, and water rushing down the road like a river. I had no other option but to try and hail a taxi hoping one would come my way (and fast as I was quickly becoming a sodden mess). I stood outside in my luminous yellow rain jacket (thank god I had packed it), but my cotton trousers were drenched and my canvas shoes soaked through and filled with puddles of water. I was feeling very sorry for myself. After a while I spotted a faint yellow light in the distance- please let this be a taxi! I started flashing my phone light and waving, as he approached he slowed and looked at me in pity, opening the rear door for me to get in! I rushed back to the hostel to grab my rucksack and belongings and off I went to the bus station. However the bathroom was closed so I had to sit for a while soaked through! My shoes are still wet now!

The bus journey was long but very scenic- I watched huge hawks soaring over the hills and valleys, and gigantic feathery vultures. This region is a bird watchers paradise. After about seven hours on the road we stopped by a food stand and I devoured an amazing cheese, avocado and tomato bun, which I desperately needed after not eating since the night before. We arrived into Oaxaca in the evening, and I had a small wander out to get my bearings and some food. The next day I decided to visit Monte Alban – an archeological site built around 500BC. The temples although impressive, came secondary to the stunning views from the hill tops on which they were situated. I had some stunning views over Oaxaca and enjoyed appreciating the scenery from quieter points of the site- the main temples were too crowded with people including a rather noisy school group for my liking!

 I returned to the city after a few hours of exploring the temples and spent the afternoon wandering around the market stands- there’s a cultural festival on at the minute which brought many vendors to the city. The city is quaint and I can get a decent cup of coffee and nice food here which is always a good thing. In the late afternoon I returned to my hostel, I had unfortunately developed a cold along the way and was feeling like I needed some rest. Back at the hostel I bumped into a familiar face- an Aussie girl I’d met in San Cristobal. She told me about a nice Italian restaurant with good wine she wanted to try and that sounded perfect so we made a plan to head there that evening! Wine and pasta- of course I didn’t take much convincing! Three glasses of wine later and I was feeling quite tipsy- I think this being a high altitude town makes it go to your head. We went back to the hostel and chilled on the rooftop with some others for a while. That night I woke up a few times coughing and the next morning didn’t feel great. I decided to listen to my body and just take it easy. First stop was an amazing breakfast of French toast with berries in some cream sauce and a huge frothy cappuccino. I did more wandering around the city taking in the festival atmosphere, more coffee drinking and more eating and that night returned the hostels rooftop bar for a few drinks with the others. 

After speaking to other travellers I had been advised that the ‘must see’ sight in the area is a “petrified waterfall” called Hierve el Agua an hour or so away from the city. Two American guys working at the hostel had mentioned they were going to head there in their car- they’re on an epic trip driving from their hometown Louisiana down to Patagonia in South America! It’s an amazing natural wonder including a waterfall ‘frozen in time’. I asked them if they were still going the next day and if I could come along and they said yeah! So at 9.30am the next day we got up and set off on a fun little roadtrip! We got there after a few mishaps- a few roads were blockaded and a few crazy manoeuvres had to be implemented but we made it! The drive was scenic and made even better with music playing! Made a pleasant change from the bus! Upon arrival we headed down to the natural pools in which you can sit, including one natural infinity pool wth a view over the valley below and mountains in the distance. After spending some time there we then walked over to the ‘petrified waterfall’ which is a set of natural rock formations which look like a waterfall- they were created by fresh water springs which have a high mineral content and deposit calcium carbonate and various minerals which over millions of years have created the ‘rock waterfall’. The American guys used their drone to get some cool footage of us stood on the petrified waterfall! Pretty breathtaking natural formations!! I am so glad I made the effort to see it. 

I am stood on the top to the right!!

I’m on top on the right!!
And tomorrow I will be heading off to Mexico City! 

About The Author

Dubai Dreamer

Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.


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