AAA Editor Notes
Agua Azul Waterfalls (Cascadas de Agua Azul) are about 68 km (42 mi.) s. of Palenque via Mex. 199, toward the town of Ocosingo; the entrance is about 4 km (2.5 mi.) w. of the highway via a signed turn-off.
Although not very high, the broad series of cascades plunge dramatically over enormous boulders into clear pools that have a jungle backdrop. Wooden deck platforms provide good views. Swimming is permitted but not recommended; currents can be strong and submerged rocks are hazardous.
Several uphill walkways cover the spread-out grounds, and numerous makeshift huts serve as market stalls and simple eateries. The grounds are also overrun with vendors aggressively hawking their wares. Intentional burning in April and May to clear the jungle can result in a thick haze of smoke. The water also is murky and silt-laden after heavy rains.
The journey to Agua Azul is along a pocked, two-lane blacktop road that winds sinuously through mountainous terrain. Although the views are spectacular, the roadway abuts steep cliffs and there are no shoulders. It also bristles with topes (speed bumps). Unless you crave adventure or are very adept at negotiating mountainous terrain, do not attempt the trip in a car.
Note: Close to the falls there are locations where local residents not only try and stop traffic to sell beverages, locally grown fruit and other items but may also demand an additional “admission” from unsuspecting tourists. It's safer and easier to visit the falls as part of a guided tour. Travel agencies in Palenque offer day trip packages; inquire along Avenida Juárez near the main plaza.