Capulálpam de Mendéz, Pueblo Mágico Hike – 01/19/2019

During our visit to Oaxaca, we stayed 3 nights in Capulálpam de Méndez, a small village in the Sierra Madre dele Norte, some 25 miles northeast of Oaxaca City.  Capulálpam is one of the Pueblo Mágico villages, noted particularly for its traditional medicine practices.  It is also one of the Pueblos Mancomunados, a collection of Zapotec villages who have developed eco-tourism programs. (I participated in hikes from other villages in each of our previous visits to Oaxaca: Llano Grande Hike – 01/13/2017 and Latuvi Hike (Oaxaca) – 01/10/2018.)  We stayed in the Hotel Chorromonte, a quite nice room but we spent little time there, instead enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of the village, experiencing traditional medicine treatments, and taking this hike.

The Hike

Capulálpam de Méndez, Pueblo Mágico Hike.Pat.2019-01-19

We arranged this hike with Tourismo Ecologico Comunitario Capulálpam de Méndez.  We took a taxi from the Hotel to the Comunitario where we met Catrina, our guide and a member the staff. The hike began on dirt road but soon we turned onto a well-used trail through the somewhat dense forest of tropical trees, shrubs, and other plants.  Especially interesting were the bromeliads and spanish moss – growing everywhere.  And some colorful blooming plants.

About midway through the hike Catrina steered us to a cliff’s edge with a wonderful view over a river valley coming out of the Sierra.  We took a few minutes to enjoy the quiet, beautiful place (and share some snacks).  We then headed back to the Comunitario, continuing through this wonderful forest. On the way we saw more colorful plants and encountered a spring with a small waterfall – magical.

I would note here that the Pueblos Mancomunados each have facilities for hikers to stay overnight – cabañas or camping spaces -, either to hike in the vicinity or to hike from one Pueblo to another.  This one also offer bicycle tours, visits to a nearby cave, a zip-line, and many other activities.


Total Distance:  4.23 miles
Elevation: start  6,686 ft, maximum  6,691 ft,  6,686 minimum  ft
Gross gain:  562 ft.  Aggregate ascending  956 ft, descending  827 ft
Maximum slope: 37% ascending, 34% descending, 11% average
Duration: 2:58

GPS Track Files for Download
I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.


Capulálpam de Méndez
     Wikipedia: Capulálpam de Méndez
     Oaxaca Culture Navigator: One Day in Capulálpam de Méndez: Oaxaca’s Pueblo Mágico
     Oaxaca-Mio: Capulálpam de Méndez (Spanish)

Pueblo Mágico Hike
     FacebookTurismo ecológico Comunitario Capulálpam Mágico (Spanish)
     Adventure Mexico: Ecoturismo Comunitario
Capulálpam (Spanish)
     Oaxaca-Mio: Lugares de Ecoturismo en Oaxaca: Capulálpam de Méndez (Spanish)

Pueblos Mancomunados
     The Sweetest Way: Los Pueblos Mancomunados: Hiking in Oaxaca State
     The Independent: How to Have a Mexican Adventure Without Destroying the Local Communities
     Expediciones Sierra Norte: The Best Nature Hikes in Mexico (Tour Services)

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