Agua Azul and Misol-Ha are two beautiful waterfalls near Palenque that are definitely worth a visit. Both are close to the road between Palenque and Ocosingo, where the colectivo runs, so getting there on your own without a tour is easy. If you want to know how to do it, keep on reading.
Why should you visit Palenque?
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Palenque as such is not very interesting or beautiful. But it is on the road from Mexico to Guatemala if you want to arrive north and visit Tikal directly. It’s also the starting point for the nearby Palenque ruins and, most importantly, two beautiful waterfalls – Agua Azul and Misol-Ha.
The Misol-Ha waterfall is only about 20 kilometres from Palenque towards Ocosingo. Although it is not the main waterfall in the area, it is definitely worth a visit. It’s about 35 meters high, surrounded by jungle, and falls into an almost round pool you can swim in!
Misol-Ha by Colectivo from Palenque
Of course, you can go to the Misol-ha waterfall as part of an organized tour from Palenque or San Cristobal. You can also take a private taxi. Neither is our style though, and since you’re reading this article, probably not yours either. We’ll be going by colectivo.
Colectivo is a van that works as a shared taxi between two predetermined locations. It departs as soon as it fills up and you can get on and off anywhere along the route. You’re gonna see colectivos many more times in Mexico and throughout Latin America for sure.
The Colectivo from Palenque to Ocosingo (the route on which you will find the falls) departs near the intersection of Benito Juarez and 5a. Pte. Sur. We told the driver straight away that we wanted to be dropped off at the Misol-Ha waterfall, the trip cost us 40 pesos (2021) and took about half an hour.
The driver drops you off at the path to the waterfall and then you just walk about 1.5 kilometers from the main road to the jungle and you’re there!
Misol-Ha Waterfall Entrance Fee
We paid a total of 30 Mexican pesos to enter the Misol-Ha waterfall (in 2021). The first 10 pesos right on the way from the colecitvo, then another 20 pesos right while entering the waterfall area. Eventually, the entrance to the cave costs another 15 pesos.
Agua Azul Waterfall
After enjoying the waterfall and swimming, we made our way to Agua Azul. Agua Azul is the most famous of all the waterfalls in the area and it shows. Everyone will offer you a tour to go here, and there are about a million stands around the waterfall where you can buy everything from tacos to empanadas to clothing and jewelry.
Agua Azul gets its name from the beautiful blue color that the water has. The catch is that it’s only this blue at a certain time of the year – during the dry season. A lot of people would tell you it’s not worth a visit otherwise. So how is it?
Is It Worth Visiting Agua Azul in the Rainy Season?
We were in the area right in the middle of the rainy season, so this was our only chance to visit Agua Azul. First of all, indeed, the waterfall was not bright blue. Second, it’s not true that it wasn’t worth a visit.
Agua Azul is absolutely breathtaking it doesn’t really matter the color. A gorgeous, cascading, and seemingly never-ending mass of water is worth a visit at any time of the year. And this “imperfect season” undoubtedly has one huge advantage – far fewer people.
Agua Azul by Colectivo
The Agua Azul waterfall can be reached by the same colectivo as the Misol-Ha, i.e. the colectivo from Palenque to Ocosingo. It runs near the intersection of Benito Juaréz and 5a. Pte. Sur. We simply walked back from the Misol-Ha waterfall to the main road and we were sitting in another colectivo within ten minutes.
Note: Beware, there are also open trucks driving by, but they don’t go that far and won’t pick you up.
This time we drove for about an hour and a quarter and paid another 50 pesos each. The driver dropped us off at a junction from where it’s about 4 kilometers to the waterfall. We originally considered walking but ended up getting into one of the “taxis” that were waiting for tourists.
These are people from the local community and they made it clear that we should go with them – although I guess just paying would have been enough. 😀 While we were deciding what to do, we saw a car trying to get through without paying the “duty”. The whole situation looked pretty uncomfortable and we figured we’d rather spend 50 pesos (25 pesos per person) than get in trouble.
Agua Azul Waterfall Entrance Fee
On the way to the waterfall, another local stopped the car and asked for 25 pesos per person. From what I’ve read some drivers lock the car and drive through without paying. Finally, we paid the last 40 pesos which was the actual entrance fee for the waterfall.
If you want to swim, I recommend going all the way to the top of the waterfall. All the swimming spots before were pretty crowded (even though we were in the low season), but here we were almost alone. And by the way, the further you are from the entrance, the cheaper the food is.
And how much did we end up paying for the whole trip? The costs are for one person in 2021.
|Colectivo to Misol-Ha waterfall||40 MXN|
|Misol-Ha entrance fee||30 MXN|
|Colectivo to Agua Azul||50 MXN|
|Taxi from the crossroad to the waterfall||25 MXN|
|Agua Azul entrance fee||65 MXN|
|Colectivo back to Palenque||80 MXN|
Total: 290 MXN (€15.3)
And that’s it! Easy peasy, right? As you can see, there is nothing to worry about and you can go on your own by a colectivo.
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In case you’d like to join a tour anyway, you can easily book one in Palenque, or you can arrange a guide in advance, for example with GetYourGuide.
Whether you go to the falls on your own or with a tour, enjoy the trip!