The Best Palenque Waterfalls – A Detailed Guide
November 16, 2017
When planning our time in Mexico and trying to find amazing things to see that suited our style I stumbled upon the town of Palenque. It wasn’t the food or the Mayan ruins that had it at the top of my list of places to visit in Mexico, in fact, it was Palenque’s stunning waterfalls! I’m not sure of the science behind it but Palenque’s rivers are green! And when you combine that with shallow pools and amazing waterfalls surrounded by thick green vegetation you get some of the most beautiful turquoise swimming spots I have ever seen! With so many to choose from (and one that simply can’t be missed) I felt it necessary to write this post on the gorgeous Palenque waterfalls!
So, when I said there was one Palenque waterfall not to be missed, I was talking about Roberto Barrios. This is the most underrated waterfall I have ever been to, the place is breathtaking! The falls consist of 6 swimming areas that all have their own unique touch. Some offer high waterfalls that you can jump off and others offer relaxing infinity pools. The whole area is filled with natural slides, caves you can venture into and waterfalls to shower in. For all of these reasons and the fact it attracts such a low amount of visitors, I rate this the best Palenque waterfall!
Roberto Barrios is located about an hour drive outside of Palenque. For those on a budget, the best and cheapest way is by a collectivo, this will set you back 50MXN each way. The collectivo departure location is on Maps.me, just type in “Collectivo Roberto Barrios’. The collectivos allow you to spend as much or as little time at the falls as well as being cheaper than the tours.
Your second option is to go on a tour which with the company called Tulum Travel. This will set you back 160MXN although the tour does not include the entrance fee nor a tour guide.
Roberto Barrio is not only the coolest waterfall but also the cheapest Palenque waterfall with the entrance fee only being 20MXN.
For those wanting to explore and some adventure, I highly recommend getting a local guide. These guides work on a tip based system are the only way I can recommend exploring caves or jumping off waterfalls. The guides know the area very well. With the running currents and the water so blue, it is impossible to know how deep the water is. We had a guide show us where we could jump off and where the caves to explore are. The guide only cost 60MXN for the both of us.
This waterfall is really something special and comes in at my second favorite choice out of all of the Palenque waterfalls. Misol Ha differs from the other two famous falls as it is simple one magnificent fall (as opposed to many different pools.) The landscape at Misol Ha is also breathtaking as you get the chance to explore a path that leads behind the waterfall to a hidden cave and get one of the most unique views and amazing photo opportunities! Despite not being as large as the other falls this place is still just as magical!
Misol Ha is located two hours by car from Palenque and can be visited by collectivo (head to the same location as Roberto Barrios.) However, if you also want to see Agua Azul it is actually cheaper to do a tour to Misol Ha and Agua Azul (see below for info on Agua Azul) than it is to individually take collectivos to both. I have read blogs suggesting that a collectivo to Misol Ha is 30 MXN however you are more likely to pay 50 MXN each way. The tours to Misol Ha and Agua Azul will set you back 160 MXN with Tulum Travel and include all transport to and from both falls. This is a great way to see both Misol Ho and Agua Azul in one day. There is just one downside to this tour, you really don’t get enough time (45 mins) at Misol Ha.
The total entrance fee is 30 MXN. 10 MXN paid at the gate and another 20 MXN paid at the falls. If you want to enter the cave it costs another 10 MXN.
If you like photography be sure to bring your tripod for some awesome slow-shutter photos. Be careful walking behind the falls it is really slippery and if you take your camera keep it in your bag or it will get wet!
Agua Azul is the most popular of the Palenque waterfalls. Although really beautiful, tourists come in droves and are usually accompanied by a large coach! The entire waterfront is covered in shops and restaurants and it can be hard to find a little piece and quiet. With that aside, the falls are huge and with lots of different trails and pools to explore – it still is really amazing. Swimming is not permitted in most of the pools and security enforces this. Even the more mischievous visitors will find themselves in the designated areas with the tourists, though, there are many allocated places to cool off.
As stated about Misol Ha, I suggest taking the tour as Agua Azul is located 2 hours from Palenque and the collectivos will simply set you back more money than a tour would cost. For the collectivo location, head to the same area as the other two falls.
Agua Azul is not only my least favorite, but also the most expensive at 40MXN
If you don’t like huge crowds nor over touristic places I really suggest considering missing Agua Azul. Instead, visit Roberto Barrio and Misol Ha on two separate days using the collectivos or a hire car.
I really hope this post helps you on your visit to the Palenque waterfalls. We really appreciate every reader and any feedback is great! But please make sure you don’t miss Roberto Barrios! Adios!