Want to view stunning scenery, enjoy new kinds of plants and trees, and breathe cool, fresh mountain air while exercising in the company of friends? Take a hike! The Hoofing it in Oaxaca group does all this every Friday from November through March, and anyone with energy to burn can participate. We have joined six hikes so far, and have seen parts of the countryside around Oaxaca that we would never have known existed.
Archaeological Site of Atzompa
Formerly inhabited by the Zapotec people, Atzompa is believed to be an extension of Monte Albán (Jan. 4 post) which flourished between 500 B.C. and 750 A.D. Archaeologists are just now excavating and restoring the ruins that are being unearthed.
The climb to the former Zapotec village of Atzompa began in the present town of Atzompa, 900 feet below.
Pottery from the past
View of Oaxaca from Atzompa
Atzompa archaeological site
San Felipe del Agua: Hike 3 miles up a mountainside and still be in the city!
Built in the 1500’s, this aqueduct used to carry water from San Felipe to the residents of Oaxaca, which was then called Antequera.
Welcoming entrance to a home we passed on our climb up to San Felipe del Aqua.
Watching Over the Garden
Poinsettias (called Noche Buenas) grow as large bushes.
San Sebastian de las Grutas (post Jan. 19)
Inside the Gruta. See the Jan. 19 blog for more pictures of the gruta.
This shed was sided with old flattened food cans that were fastened on by nailing through bottle caps.
Spend a couple of nights in an eco-cabana, hike the mountains of San Sebastian, visit the village, and enjoy the tranquility of the region.
It’s all uphill from here! A steep and fortunately short path led to the entrance of La Gruta.
The city of Oaxaca lies in a valley of over 5,000 ft. altitude, and some of the mountain trails took us to more than 10,000 ft.
Uncountable hairpin turns on this dirt road made the 2 hour bus ride through the mountains to San Pablo Cuatro Venados an adventure of its own.
Because the needles droop, these are sometimes called “sad pines”.
These looked like 1 inch watermelons, but no one knew the real name.
Upper reservoir at Santo Domingo Tomaltepec. Reportedly you can fish in this lake. The hike took us through these mountain forests on mostly shaded trails.
That sandwich sure is tasty!
Farm perched high in the mountains San Pablo Cuatro Venados
Living in the Clouds
Epiphytes and lichen totally covered this twisted tree.
Crossing the stream several times gave us a chance to cool our feet. Sometimes unintended! We shared the trail with burros and horses carrying firewood. Santo Domingo Tomaltepec
La Cumbre Several villages are visible on the slopes across the valley. Capulálpam is a Pueblo Magico.
Why we all hike
Our fearless leader, Larry, has created a great website that contains more historical information and maps of all hiking areas for this season.
I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for liking my post. I checked out your website, and your woodworking designs and craftsmanship are outstanding!
That ancient site of Atzompa looks quite interesting, and definitely something I’ve never heard of before. It always amazes me to think of how people lived centuries ago around an ancient site.
So jealous. I have wanted to go to Oaxaca since I was a little girl. I am in love with their wood carvings and want to see the workshops. This post has shown me how much more the place has to offer! Thank you so much! You are an excellent photographer, by the way.
Thanks for the compliments;they mean a lot to me. I assume you are talking about the alebrijesm the fanciful carved animals that are hand painted with the most intricate details and colors imaginable. Tomorrow I am going to one of the villages that is famous for making alebrijes, and I hope we will have time to visit a workshop, as we are going for another purpose. If not, I’ll have a good excuse to go back. Oaxaca is truly a marvelous place. We have been here for four months and have barely scratched the surface. I hope you can come!
I forwarded your blog to my sister, as she is a writer, and I knew she would like your style of writing.
I would love some pictures of those workshops if you ever get the chance! Yes, I have about 7 of them… collected through the years from various places. I really hope I can go too. I’m sure I will make it happen. It’s been great to read about your time in Mexico, as I usually only hear about the party scene, which isn’t really my bag. Thanks so much for the forward. I really appreciate it!
What a stunning place in which to go hiking! It’s amazing to think that archaeologists are just now excavating the ruins.
Mexico is full of unexcavated ruins. I had heard about the main ones like Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Palenque, and Calackmul. But there are MANY more:excavated and restored, in the process of being excavated, discovered but not excavated, and not yet discovered. I don’t know if you read the blog about Monte Albán, but it is a well known site about 1/2 hour from where I live. Mitla is another in this area, but I have not yet visited it. The state of Oaxaca has a high percent of indigenous people, and many groups are direct descendants of the people who lived in these cities of the past. Two of the largest groups are Mixtecs and Zapotecs, and many people still speak these languages. I believe that in this area alone there are 16 different indigenous groups, each with its own language.
I loved to make hiking thru Your beautiful photos.
I’m glad you liked the hike photos. These weekly hikes have been a great way to see the outlying areas of the state of Oaxaca.