Cascada La Reforma (The Reform Waterfall) is by far one of the best waterfalls in Oaxaca and is best visited as a half-day trip from the beachside town of Puerto Escondido.
I have put together this complete guide of Cascada La Reforma including how to to get there, how much it costs, the best time to visit, and what to expect when you arrive!
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HOW TO GET TO CASCADA LA REFORMA
As I mentioned before, Cascada La Reforma is best visited as a half-day trip from the popular surf town of Puerto Escondido on Mexico’s southwest coast.
This waterfall is 38km northeast of Puerto Escondido and it takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes driving.
There are two ways of getting to Cascada De La Reforma and they are:
1. With a tour company
You can book a tour to visit which can be booked through your accommodation in Puerto Escondido or from one of the tourist offices around town. The tour costs around 800 MXN per person.
2. Rent a scooter and DIY
The cheaper way to visit, and the way I did it, is to rent a scooter in Puerto Escondido for 400 MXN per day and make your own way out to these epic falls.
Note: The first 45 minutes of driving is along a tar-sealed road from Puerto Escondido towards San Pedro Mixtepec which is the easy part. You will then have to make a right-hand turn on to Av. Constitución which is a very windy dirt road that takes 1 hour to reach the falls. I had no issues driving on the dirt road on my scooter, but as always make sure to go slowly around corners.
Drone shot of the falls
The main falls
BEST TOURS IN PUERTO ESCONDIDO
BEST TIME TO VISIT CASCADA LA REFORMA OAXACA
The best time to visit is between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm when the sun rays fill the valley.
If you visit outside of these times, the waterfall will almost be completely in the shade making it quite cold and not that inviting to go for a swim.
RELATED ARTICLE → 4 WEEK MEXICO ITINERARY
CASCADA LA REFORMA ENTRANCE FEE
The entrance fee is only 10 MXN. That’s just 50c, cheap as chips if you ask me!
A small shop can be found at the entrance where you can purchase some snacks, soft drinks, beer, and water before heading down to the falls.
Toilet facilities can also be found at the entrance though there is nothing once you get down to the waterfall. So if you need to go to the loo, this is the time to do it.
The jump-off point
Snack shop and toilets
Rainbows and waterfalls
WHAT TO EXPECT
Once you’ve paid the entrance fee, gone to the toilet, and purchased some snacks, it’s an easy 10 to 15-minute walk from the entrance down into the valley to reach the falls.
The trail down to the waterfall is a combination of a dirt path, some concrete steps, and metal hand railings making it easily accessible for all sorts of travelers.
The first set of falls you will come to features a large freshwater swimming hole and a 5-meter waterfall at one end that stretches across a chiseled rock face. It’s possible to swim here but be careful of the current as it can be quite strong and potentially dangerous if it pulls you downstream.
We opted not to go for a dip here as the current was too strong. With the main set of falls in sight, we decided to continue along the trail.
You will have to cross over the stream here to reach the stairs on the other side and continue along the path to the main falls. The stream is only knee-deep in one section so it’s quite easy and safe to cross.
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Cascada La Reforma Oaxaca
Crossing the stream
Aerial shot of the falls
THE MAIN FALLS
Once you cross the stream, it’s a short 5-minute walk along a concrete footpath that emerges at the basin of the almighty Reforma Waterfall!
I was in complete awe when I laid my eyes on the main falls. I could feel its immense power and energy with every step closer. My guess is that the falls are around 50 meters tall and the catch basin is 50 meters wide, surrounded by lush greenery and slate rocks. It’s honestly one of the most impressive waterfalls I have ever seen!
It’s possible to go for a dip here to cool off, though make sure to stay behind the yellow rope and don’t go directly beneath the falls. As tempting as this might be, the power of the surging water from the falls is no joke.
We spent around 1 hour at the falls, swimming in the natural pool and sunbaking on the rocks. Oh, and we were the only tourists there the entire time!
If you’re looking for a half-day trip away from the beaches in Puerto Escondido, be sure to make the effort to visit this epic waterfall, I guarantee you won’t regret it!
Cascada De La Reforma
Catch basin of the main falls
The large swimming hole
Marveling at the main falls
About to go for a dip
PIN LOCATION OF CASCADA LA REFORMA
WHERE TO STAY IN PUERTO ESCONDIDO
Puerto Escondido has hundreds of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Puerto Escondido to suit the needs of luxury travelers and budget backpackers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Posada Real Puerto Escondido
One of the best luxury resorts in Puerto Escondido! Located right on the beachfront with a private beach club, 2 restaurants, 3 bars, 2 outdoor pools, tennis court, mini-golf, games room, and water sports facilities. The rooms are air-conditioned with ocean and garden views, large comfortable beds, spacious living, cable tv, coffee maker, and private bathroom. Perfect for couples, families, and friends.
Mid Range: Casa Losodeli
I personally stayed at Casa Losodeli and can’t recommend this place enough! From the moment you step in the door, you will feel like family. Centrally located and within walking distance to the beaches, bars, restaurants, and cafes. Featuring an outdoor pool, co-working space, free wifi, cafe, communal area, shared kitchen, bar, beautiful gardens, and free bicycle rental. Choose from a dorm room, private room, or fully equipped apartment with a kitchen and flat-screen tv. Perfect for solo travelers, couples, friends, and families!
Budget: Casa Daikiri
Casa Daikiri is rated as one of the best budget accommodations in Puerto Escondido. Just a stone’s throw from the famous Zicatela Beach, this vibrant hostel features an outdoor swimming pool, free wifi, shared kitchen, tour desk, sun terrace, and well-kept gardens. Choose from either a dorm room, triple room, or a double suite each with air conditioning, seating area, patio, and pool views. Perfect place to stay for solo travelers, couples, and friends!
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BEST TIME TO VISIT PUERTO ESCONDIDO
Puerto Escondido has only 2 seasons, the wet season and the dry season.
The wet season in Puerto Escondido is typically between the months of June and October and the dry season is between November and May.
Puerto Escondido can be visited year-round as the average temperature during the day is 27°C and it rarely goes below 20°C at night.
The high season in Puerto Escondido is during the summer months of June to August which sees a large number of tourists and prices are usually inflated during this time.
My recommendation is to visit Puerto Escondido during the winter months between November and March when there are fewer tourists, prices for food and accommodation is lower and it’s sunny every day!
GETTING AROUND PUERTO ESCONDIDO
The easiest, cheapest, and best way to get around Puerto Escondido is on foot. Depending on which part of town you end up staying, all of the beaches, bars, restaurants, and shops are within 1-hours walking distance.
If your legs are painted on, it’s possible to rent a bicycle or a motorized scooter for the day and make your way around to all of the tourist spots in Puerto Escondido at your own pace. Bicycle rentals are around 50 MXN per hour and scooter rental is around 400 MXN per day, both options can typically be booked through your accommodation.
Taxis are another option for getting around Puerto Escondido which costs as little as 30-40 MXN for a 10-minute drive from one end of town to the other.
And last but not least are the Colectivo’s (shared taxi vans) which zip around town on a daily basis from dawn to dusk for as little as 7 pesos.
HOW TO GET TO PUERTO ESCONDIDO
The two most popular ways of reaching Puerto Escondido is by bus and by plane.
The most common route for the majority of people traveling by bus is from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido which takes between 7 and 10 hours depending on which bus you take. The roads are windy with many hairpin turns that can be gut-churning so you may want to take a motion sickness tablet before setting off.
The larger, more comfortable buses between Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido cost around 300-400 pesos and this journey takes up to 10 hours. There are overnight buses available which are common among backpackers to save money on 1-night’s accommodation.
You can check the bus times and prices with ADO Buses Mexico and book online ahead of time.
Alternatively, you can ride in a shared minivan from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido which is a little more cramped inside though it’s a shorter journey that takes around 7 hours and costs only 200-250 pesos.
Last but not least is to rent a car in Oaxaca City and make the drive yourself down to Puerto Escondido. Having your own wheels also gives you the freedom to explore the other towns and beaches to the north and to the south of Puerto Escondido before returning to Oaxaca.
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Arriving in Puerto Escondido by plane is also an option and the airport is conveniently located just 10 minutes drive from the center of town.
The most common flight route is from Mexico City to Puerto Escondido which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes and there are daily flights available for as little as $50 one way.
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AIRBNB PUERTO ESCONDIDO
Another option for accommodation in Puerto Escondido is to stay in an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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LONELY PLANET MEXICO
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Mexico Guide!
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MORE MEXICO TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico Itinerary: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- San Cristobal: 13 Things To Do In San Cristobal
- Puerto Escondido: 11 Things To Do In Puerto Escondido
- Oaxaca: 7 Best Tours In Oaxaca
- Tulum: 15 Things To Do In Tulum
- Bacalar: 9 Things To Do In Bacalar
- Maya Riviera: Best Cenotes In Maya Riviera
- Cozumel Island: 9 Things To Do In Cozumel Island
- Mexico City: Day Of The Dead Festival
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