Hiking Oaxaca: Santa Ana del Valle
Hugging the foot of a mountain in the Tlacolula Valley, the charming village of Santa Ana del Valle was the starting point for the weekly hike of “Hoofing It In Oaxaca.” Zapotec is the common language spoken here, and many people earn at least part of their living by weaving gorgeous rugs and other tapestries.
The village of Santa Ana is in the foreground, and Tlacolula, the largest city in this valley, is in the distance.
Our destination is on the backside of the tallest mountain on the right.
Plaza of Santa Ana del Valle
Beginning the Climb
One of our guides from Santa Ana overlooking the village of Teotitlán del Valle. The city of Oaxaca sprawls through the far valley behind the dark mountain a little to the right of center. He was quite knowledgeable about the plants along the trail, and with his machete he quickly crafted a walking stick for me!
Santa Ana del Valle Overlook
Watch where you sit! These tiny cactus were growing among rocks in areas where we stopped to take a break. The dead looking plants at the side are called Siempre Vive (always alive) because when the rainy season begins they turn green and open!
Variety of Agave
Enjoying the views and the great variety of plant life were good excuses for stopping and catching our breath!
From an altitude of approximately 5400 feet, we climbed 1619 ft. (493.5 m.)to a high point of about 7032 ft. (2143 m.) Particularly for those of us used to living at sea level, there was a lot of huffing and puffing! Our rewards were spectacular views in every direction and the opportunity to visit an unexcavated archaeological site.
This ancient ball court is part of the unexcavated archaeological site at the top of the mountain.
People in Santa Ana come to the mountain top site to ask for help in acquiring a new home. Part of the ceremony involves building a little house with the stones from the ancient structures.
For those who can read Spanish, this explanation about the archaeological site is quite fascinating.
Looking north east in the direction of Veracruz. The mountain range is the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, and they seem to go forever.
Break time at the top!
Larry, our fearless leader and organizer of these great hikes, is always ready to snap your photo when you least expect it!
View NE toward Cuajimoloyas
Descending is SO much easier than climbing!
Back in the plaza of Santa Ana, we visited their lovely church and bought handwoven tapestries from friendly local artists.
Church in Santa Ana
Handwoven Mini-rugs We like to display these beautiful weavings on our wall!