Mexico: Oaxaca: Apoala & Quiotepec
Explore the hidden canyons, clear running creeks, waterfalls and Zapotec ruins along the trails and back roads of rural Oaxaca.
Arrive in Oaxaca today. If you arrive early in the day we can schedule a city tour or artisan visit for the afternoon. Alternatively, book a massage at the hotel’s spa, or walk through the gardens or surrounding neighborhood.
Depart Oaxaca City this morning at 9:00 AM for your four day excursion to rural Oaxaca. Your first destination is Apoala: The Mixtec Garden of Eden. This small village in a hidden canyon of sheer cliffs, waterfalls, spectacular views and lovely hikes is the legendary birthplace of the Mixtecs. The journey will take approximately three hours.
Apoala is described in an ancient Mixtec legend as the place where the first people emerged from a spring at the roots of a cypress tree. The spring is still there, and cypresses abound. This enchanting Mixtec village of log houses with a clear water creek running through, a large waterfall, boulder strewn pools, trails, clear skies and adobe eco-cabins is your starting point for your escape into a quiet corner of Oaxaca.
Your two days will be spent taking in the surroundings, visiting with local palm weavers or farmers, relaxing and hiking. Hiking is as strenuous as you choose, from slow strolls between cabins and the village to long walks or serious thigh burning hill climbs.
Bring a change of clothes, a swim suit, sunblock, comfortable walking shoes and warm clothes as Apoala is at about 6,500 feet and tends to be chilly at night.
The lodgings in Apoala and Quiotepec are essentially the same. Basic, comfortable, community run adobe or clay cabins with private bathrooms and hot water. These cabins were built as part of a project to create community based tourism to benefit villagers in rural Oaxaca.
Explore, hike and swim in Apoala and the surrounding landscape today.
This afternoon, continue on to the small village, remote ruins and wonderful swimming river of Quiotepec, where you will spend the next two days exploring with your guide.
Travel over a spectacular, remote, backcountry road that connects small, Mixtec wheat farming villages and then seemingly drops off the edge of the world as the road zigzags down from the Mixtec highlands into the deep valley of the Cuicatlan-Tehuantepec Biosphere Reserve. At the end of the road is Quiotepec, a two-donkey town seemingly lost in time. This will be your base camp for exploring the ruins, river, cactus forests and the village itself.
Today you will spend a full day with your guide in Quiotepec.
This morning, hike through forests of cardon and barrel cactus to the top of a hill covered with 2,000-year-old Zapotec ruins of red-stone with breathtaking views to the river and valley below and the steep sierra above.
As the sun gets higher in the sky, return for a home cooked lunch in the village and time to swim in the cool river and later to explore as you wish.
Begin your day in Quiotepec, with a hike through the red rock canyons and one last swim before returning to Oaxaca. En route, if time allows, stop and visit a small town market or a beautifully restored 100-year old mill that has been converted into an art school.
Return to the city by 5:00pm, with time to freshen up before dinner.
We will provide you with suggestions for dinner tonight.
After breakfast at the inn this morning, explore the city on your own. You will meet your driver for a private transfer to the airport in time to meet your departure flight or the connection to your next Willing Foot destination.
This is just the beginning.
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