May 30 2014

Visit: The Petrified Waterfall of Salina Blanca, Oaxaca, Mexico


By Saasaan Nabavi - Founder of Zoku Handicrafts

Date May 30th 2014



Distance: 113Km / 70 Miles from Oaxaca City

Time: Roughly 2 hours

Highway:  Federal Highway 190

Cost of Transportation: It varies. Depending on if you take colectivo or bus. We took a colectivo taxi for $350 peso, split 4 ways it became 90 pesos per passenger.

Cost of Hotel: Again, it varies. We negotiated $70 peso per person or $280 per room. Each room has two queen size beds.


Oaxaca City to San Jose de Gracia




San Jose de Gracia “Salina Blanca” is a small roadside community two hours south of Oaxaca City. Not a popular destination, but if you’re looking to get away from it all and wonder up a river to reach a beautiful petrified waterfall, I say go for it.

I ended up in Salina Blanca, because my friends and I were denied access to Hierve el Agua. Hierve el Agua is one of the major outer city attractions for tourists who visit Oaxaca City. However, over the years Hierve el Agua and the town of Mitla have been arguing back and forth over who’s entitled to the profits of Hierve el Agua. This frequently results in protests and the closure of Hierve el Agua until solutions are made.


Road to Hierve el Agua blocked


Instead of heading back to Oaxaca City, off in the distance on our map we saw another petrified waterfall, so we decided to continue on.

As we headed further south, all of the elements began to quickly change; the surroundings along the way were desolate. It was a windy ride, switch backing through dry mountains, the heat was picking up and the bright vegetation we had become accustom to near Oaxaca City, had been replaced by baron land, occupied by cactus and tumbleweeds.


Federal Highway 190


As we came rolling into San Jose de Gracia, the first thing you notice is the river running along the backside of the town. With one road passing through town, restaurants and convieance stores mark the edges, providing services to the daily trucks and buses that pass through.


San Jose de Gracia “Salina Blanca”


After lunch, we checked into the only hotel in town. We were also the only tourist in town.


The only hotel in town, located at south end of town


Follow River Upstream




We had to cross the river several times. The river was fairly gentile and easy to cross, never reaching over our knees. Keep in mind this was in March, known to be one of the dryer months. If visiting during the raining season, river maybe too dangerous to cross. Use good judgement and look for an alternate route if unsafe!


Reaching the Petrified Waterfalls after a 30 minute hike up stream









1 Comment to “Visit: The Petrified Waterfall of Salina Blanca, Oaxaca, Mexico”

  1. Nathan Tillmanns
    May 30, 2014

    Dude this is great!

Leave a Reply

(not published)

© 2010