Introducing Arbol del Tule, the world’s stoutest tree! Learn about its claim to fame and find out how to get there from Oaxaca City.

Arbol del Tule: World’s Largest Tree?

Many people are probably reading this, and looking away in disbelief…

However, before you click away give us here at DIY Travel HQ a moment to clarify what it is meant by world’s largest. Some may quantify size by height, while others may want total volume.

Arbol del Tule has neither, but it does have the widest girth.

Yes, it is even bigger than the Chandelier Tree in California that you can drive through!

El Tule Tree Trunk

How many people would it take to hug this tree?

Depending on how you measure Arbol del Tule, a Montezuma Cypress, it either has a diameter of 14.05 meters or 9.38 meters.

Either way, it is still larger than the Giant Sequoia in California that has a diameter of 8.98 meters that comes next.

The discrepancy between measurements is derived from the odd shape of the tree in Tule.

The 9.38 meter figure represents Arbol del Tule if you merely wrapped a measuring tape around the trunk instead of adhering to every curve.

World's Largest Tree in El Tule

Look how fast the tree thins out from the base.

Some have mentioned that Arbol del Tule might have been several separate Montezuma Cypresses joined at the base over an approximately 1500 year span.

However, scientists performed DNA tests and concluded that the tree is a single tree – a real-life Tree of Life.

This evidence still leaves open the possibility that several trunk sections merged over the years, but that cannot be confirmed without cutting open the tree.

Is El Tule's Tree Merged Trunks

Is the tree really just merged trunks?

Visiting Arbol del Tule

The Tule tree is located on the grounds of El Templo de Santa Maria de la Asuncion.

El Tule El Templo de Santa Maria de la Asuncion

El Templo de Santa Maria de la Asuncion

The finely manicured property, complete with artistically designed bushes, makes the entire area worth visiting.

The white church and nearby Palacio Municipal stand in stark contrast to the green grass and colorful flowers that precede them.

El Tule Palacio Municipal

Palacio Municipal

The highlight is the tree of Tule, though.

Admission into the church’s grounds is 10 pesos / $0.55, but the tree can be viewed from outside the gate.

See the tree of Tule for free

Save 10 pesos and use it to buy a drink later

If you decide to pay, then try to guess the images contained in the tree’s knots.

This will help increase your visit time, and make your payment seem like a sound investment.

El Tule's Tree Knot Figure

What do you see in the knot?

There is also an inner gate surrounding Tule’s tree that prevents selfie-happy tourists from capturing themselves hugging the world’s largest tree.

This allows everyone to enjoy the tree while minimizing the impact as the tree is already under stress.

Increased development has depleted the aquifers the tree depends upon among other concerns.

El Tule's Tree with Fence

Look but don’t touch!

How to get to & from Arbol del Tule

Getting to Tule to visit the world’s largest tree is simple from Oaxaca City. Simply catch any Tule local bus (7 pesos / $0.40) on Boulevard Jose Vasconcelos (Highway 190).

It is also possible to combine this with a day trip to the Mitla Ruins and Hierve El Aqua if you start early, and cover the other two destinations first.

***The Final Word – Although Arbol de Tule isn’t so impressive, visiting while in Oaxaca is almost mandatory due to easy and cheap access ***

Have you visited any other big trees of the world?

4 Shovels

Easy DIY travel outside city centres using public transport

Visited in April 2016