Tapijulapa is one of the over 120 towns and small cities in Mexico recognized as a Pueblo Mágico, or Magical Village. The town’s magic comes from its colonial architecture, with every building painted in white and red, and its jungle setting in the south of the state of Tabasco. It’s this warm, humid rainforest environment that houses the peculiar waterfalls of Villa Luz.
To access these enchanting falls from Tapijulapa, you must take a small boat across the Oxolotán River to the entrance of the Villa Luz Natural Park. In the park, crossing a long swinging bridge, with wooden boards and sides of chain link fencing painted bright green, leads to a path through the jungle that ends at the site of these stunning, smelly waterfalls. The sulfurous thermal waters sprout from a nearby cave but are still usually cooler than the jungle surrounding them, which makes for a refreshing dip in their many pools.
Like many other sulfuric, mineral-richer springs, the waters of Villa Luz are also claimed to have curative properties. The minerals tinge the water a milky white, making some of the pools look jacuzzi-like. Regardless of whether the healing claims are true or not, swimming in the pools with water falling on your shoulders does make for a wonderful, natural hydromassage.
Know Before You Go
The waterfalls can be reached entirely on foot from Tapijulapa, but the boat ride is recommended as it cuts the travel time by about an hour. Despite their relatively short height of about 40 feet (12 meters), the waterfalls can be rappeled down; this activity is available for booking at the entrance of the natural park. Access to the park and waterfalls is MXN $25 for adults, $15 for children.