9-day Oaxaca Hiking Trip from Mountain to Coast

Trek the rugged Sierra Norte for adventure, history, culture, and an unforgettable vacation

OVERVIEWITINERARY DETAILDATES AND PRICES

This bucket list-worthy Oaxaca hiking vacation, led by an expert local guide, is ideal for active travelers who want to combine breath-taking vistas with an exploration through traditional Mexican villages and archeological ruins.

After exploring the colonial city of Oaxaca, guests hike in the untouched Sierra Norte with the locals who have set up a remote system of trails and cabins. By taking the trek, you will be contributing to sustainable community development by offering alternatives to the logging practices that have begun to reduce the tree life in areas of the Sierra Norte.

The trip ends in a lodge on the Pacific Coast in Puerto Escondido where there are an array of optional activities to enjoy such as deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, and sailing.

PHOTO GALLERY

HIGHLIGHTS

Sierra Norte hike – Trek along this natural beauty for incredible views, cloud forests, several microclimates, and a host of native plants and animals

Traditional mountain villages – Sample local cuisine with the local people of the Sierra Norte and learn how they prepare their staple meals

Teotitlán del Valle and San Bartolo de Coyotepec – Meet the traditional artisans of these small Mexican towns and learn all about their ancient techniques

UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Discover the historic center of Oaxaca city and the incredible pre-Columbian ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla

Oaxaca City – Experience Oaxaca’s mix of colonial Spanish and indigenous influences through its colorful markets and its world-renowned cuisine

Puerto Escondido – Unwind at your accommodation with fantastic views, enjoying margaritas and sunset swims

Day 1: Arrive in Oaxaca

You will be met at Oaxaca airport by a Journey Mexico guide and privately transferred to a charming colonial hotel, only a stone’s throw from Oaxaca’s historic main square called the zócalo.

Simply relax and wander the city at your leisure. Make sure to visit the zócalo, which consists of two squares: one with a bandstand and trees for shade, the other full of shops and outdoor cafes.

In addition, there are plenty of shopping opportunities, particularly if you enjoy artisanal crafts, paintings, and jewelry. At night, the area fills with street musicians and vendors selling a variety of foods and crafts.

Overnight: Hostal de la Noria or equivalent

 

Day 2: Tour the Monte Alban Ruins and historic city center

Explore the mysterious ruins of Monte Alban, the ancient capital of the Zapotecs and (some say) the first metropolis in North America. Revered for it scenic mountaintop location just above Oaxaca, this city played an important role in Mesoamerican history serving as a major influence to both the Maya civilizations in the Yucatan and later to the Aztec Empire that dominated the Central Valleys and beyond.

After, return to Oaxaca where you will have some free time to explore. We suggest diving into Oaxaca’s famous culinary scene by sampling some of its traditional dishes. Try Oaxaca cheese, mezcal, or grasshoppers (chapulines) or opt for a dish such as tlayudas, Oaxacan-style tamales, or a local mole sauce.

After lunch, enjoy a tour of the historic center including the enormous Templo de Santo Domingo, nearby galleries, and one of the several excellent museums such as the Museo Rufino Tamayo, which holds a charming collection of pre-Hispanic Mexican art.

 

Day 3: Visit Tlacochahuaya, the Mitla ruins, and journey to the Sierra Norte

Today we delve deeper into the rich culture of Oaxaca by visiting the colorful 16th century Templo y Ex-Convento de San Jerónimo in the village of Tlacochahuaya. Continuing to the ruins of Mitla, you will explore one of Mexico’s most interesting sacred burial grounds.

Next, travel to Teotitlán del Valle to visit local artisans and see a demonstration of their traditional dying and weaving techniques, which have been practiced for around 300 years.

Later this afternoon, transfer to the little-visited Sierra Norte Mountains where the night’s accommodation is a very comfortable, locally owned and operated cabins with bunk beds, a group fireplace, and shared bathrooms with hot water. By staying at this local lodge, we contribute directly to the community and ensure the preservation of the surrounding forest. Relax and enjoy an evening chat by the fire.

If there’s time, hike to a gorgeous look-out point for beautiful vistas. In the evening, enjoy a group dinner with delicious local fare.

Overnight: Community Yu’u Sierra Norte Llano Grande

Optional hike: 1 hour 30 mins, 6.4km/4 miles (altitude: 300ft gain/300ft loss)

 

Day 4: Sierra Norte Day Two – Hike from Cuajimoloyas to Latuvi

Today we explore the natural beauty of the Sierra Norte. Stroll through fields of wildflowers and enormous agave plants and past the pastures of community farms. Walking through the local towns (pueblos) provides a unique opportunity to witness rural Oaxacan life and culture.

Along the way, visit the viewpoint La Cucharrilla and enjoy a spectacular view over the community of Latuvi. Then continue to the Cara de Leon Ranch, a trout breeding farm, to enjoy a traditional fish dish.

Overnight: Community Yu’u Sierra Norte Latuvi

Hike: 6 hours, 15.7km/9.8 miles (500ft gain/200ft loss)

 

Day 5: Sierra Norte Day Three – Hike from Latuvi to Benito Juarez

Continue to explore the villages as the trek makes its way into the cloud forests of the Sierra Norte. This hike takes us through local farming fields down to a dense stand of pine, oak, and cedar where bromeliads and wild orchids can grow.

After lunch, transfer back to Oaxaca with a brief visit to The Tule Tree, which is said to be the largest tree in the Americas. There will be some time to explore the streets of Oaxaca before dinner.

Overnight: Hostal de la Noria or equivalent

Hike: Half-day, 11.9km/7.4 miles (750ft gain/1,200ft loss)

 

Day 6: Visit San Bartolo Coyotepec, Santo Tomas Jalieza, and San Martin Tilcajete

Aside from its incredible culinary scene, Oaxaca is also known for its series of small towns on the outskirts of the state capital, which still create beautiful artisanal crafts in the traditional manner. Today, it’s time to visit the workshops and homes of the local artisans and see their famed handicrafts up close.

The towns we will visit are San Bartolo Coyotepec, experts in black clay ceramics cooked in subterranean furnaces; San Martin Tilcajete, where artisans carve and paint brightly colored animal statues called alebrijes; and Santo Tomas Jalieza, where they make bags, rugs, and belts, among other objects with motifs related to the local flora and fauna.

If time permits, we may visit Ocotlán market (Fridays only). Head back to your hotel or relax a bit before heading out to dinner and a night on the town. You are free to make your own plans for the last night in this magical city.

Overnight: Hostal de la Noria or equivalent

 

Day 7: Fly from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido

Today, rise early to enjoy a 14-passenger plane ride across the mountains and down to the tropical Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast.

After checking into your beautiful seaside lodge, today is a free day to enjoy as you wish. The area is packed with exciting adventures such as biking to the Chatino villages in the Mixteca Sur, visiting the National Turtle Museum, or heading to the natural cosmetics factory created by The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. Of course, you may opt to simply relax and stroll the beaches or explore this quaint fishing town.

Lunch is on your own today, so don’t forget to return to the lodge for margaritas as the sun sets into the Pacific Ocean. Dinner is served at the hotel restaurant and includes the best seafood in town with all-organic produce plus there are lots of options for vegetarians.

Overnight: Hotel Escondido or equivalent

 

Day 8: Kayak Laguna Manialtepec

After breakfast, set out for a guided exploration of Laguna Manialtepec on a private kayaking tour. This protected area is home to a wide variety of animals, birds, and reptiles such as golden eagles, herons, pelicans, kingfishers, armadillos, chameleons, iguanas, and bobcats.

You may also enjoy an afternoon of bird watching as the sun sets and witness the bioluminescent effects in the lagoon. (Excursions subject to seasonality and availability.)

Overnight: Hotel Escondido or equivalent

 

Day 9: Depart from Puerto Escondido

Early this morning, take your private transportation to Puerto Escondido airport for your onward flights. As with all Journey Mexico itineraries, this vacation can be fully customized to your desires. So if you’d like to extend the trip for more time in Puerto Escondido or Oaxaca, let our travel planners know and they can build your dream vacation.

 

Please note: Please confirm arrival and departure dates as Puerto Escondido flight schedules are subject to change.

Dates

Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.

Prices

Our custom-tailored journeys start from $800 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.

Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.