Los Prismas Basálticos Waterfalls – Huasca de Ocampo, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Los Prismas Basálticos Waterfalls

Huasca de Ocampo, Mexico

Two waterfalls flow down the cliff faces decorated with rare natural basalt columns. 


The Basaltic Prisms of Huasca de Ocampo, Hidalgo were formed millions of years ago by the slow cooling of volcanic lava and average between 30 and 50 meters in height. Rock column formations like these are very rare, but can be seen in a few other places in the world including the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, the Devil’s Postpile in California, and Fingal’s Cave in Scotland.

Located in a section of the Alcholoya Canyon, what sets Los Prismas apart from the other similar formations are the various waterfalls that fall down their six and five-sided prismatic walls.  The prisms were first brought to international attention by renowned Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt, who visited and illustrated them during his tour of Mexico in 1803. Other European travelers like François Mathurin Adalbert, Johann Moritz Rugendas, William Henry Bishop and Hubert H. Bancroft would visit the site through the 19th-century. In 2007, the country’s Council for Touristic Promotion included the Prisms in their list of Thirteen Natural Wonders of Mexico.


Know Before You Go

Opening times for the reserve where the Prismas are located are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

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