The 45 minute ride ended at a small tourist alcove complete with bathrooms, cafes, a few shops, and a few cabanas. We bought water, mezcal, and chips and then walked a short ten minutes to the first cliff. Hierve el Aqua consists of two rock shelves or cliffs that rise 50-90 meters above the valley. They are created by natural fresh water springs whose water is over-saturated with calcium carbonate and other minerals. As the water meanders over the cliffs, the excess minerals are deposited creating what looks like white petrified waterfalls .
The first cliff, known as Cascada Chica, has 4 springs, 2 artificial pools, and several small natural pools. Here, visitors can "swim" in the water that is said to have healing qualities while looking out over an incredible mountain vista. Due to the various minerals, the water can appear vivid blue or green and is a nice cool temperature.