Agua Azul - travertine cascades near Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico
A magical place
Agua Azul is a place of surreal beauty, where translucent blue water cascades over travertine flowstone that has built up here for thousands of years. It's the calcium that's responsible. Seasonally a torrent of rainwater gushes through nearby limestone mountain caves, dissolving the rock and carrying the calcium downstream. As if by magic, it's then re-deposited as travertine on almost anything it touches. As the ages pass the deposits layer into these fantastic shapes that look like frozen waterfalls with liquid blue water spilling over them. This is a magical place, popular on sunny weekends, with a few private places.
Personal and public
Locals and tourists enjoy the translucent waters
Services at Agua Azul are plentiful when you consider where you are. There are a couple little restaurants with regional Mexican fare and soft drinks, plus lots of sidewalk vendors selling peeled mango, pineapple, and other native fuits and snacks. We were there on a weekend but during the week I would imagine there are far fewer people. During the rainy season the water often turns brown with the increased rain.