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3 Days Trekking Pueblos Mancomunados

Trip description

The local ambience of Los Pueblos Mancomunados is fittingly described by the inhabitants' self given title "the people of the clouds".

Located in the Sierra Norte, at an altitude of 3000 meters (9,870 feet) above the dry and hot central valleys, you will find a range of unique and diverse ecosystems: seven of the nine types of vegetation existing in Mexico are found here.

This region boasts a diversity of fauna, with over four hundred bird and three hundred and fifty butterfly species. The area is home to the six forest cat species found in Mexico, including the jaguar, as well as endangered animals such as the spider monkey and the tapir. The Sierra is also the site of mixed pine-oak forests, classified by the World Wildlife Fund as being the richest and most varied on earth and one of the world's oldest ecosystems, estimated to be over twenty million years old.

The Zapotec people of the Sierra Norte live from their forests and mineral resources. In 1998 an ecotourism project was founded to protect and preserve this nature system in a sustainable way (Expediciones Sierra Norte A.C.). A small tourism infrastructure has been established and the tours offered in the area are organized by the villagers themselves; guides from the villages accompany us during our walks and explain the different kinds of animals and plants and their uses.

Our trips are confined to 4 to 5 hours hiking each day so that we still have time to participate in the life of the villages. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available at the local 'Comedores' (village restaurants). Your luggage will be transported in our van from village to village. The villages are connected by radio and our local guides are in constant communication with them.

Trip details

Day 1

We start our trekking in Llano Grande. The village is situated on 3000m (10000F) about one hour and fourty minutes driving time from Oaxaca city. Llano Grande counting about 100 inhabitants is the smallest of the eight Pueblos Mancomunados. The hike is about 4-5 hours and leads us through the cloud forest to "piedra larga", the highest viewpoint of this area and further to an old Zapotec offering place which is still in use. We will hike through pine forest but depending on the season, vegetation varies a lot, most of the year we have many wild flowers. The loop brings us back to the village where Kata will serve us a typical lunch. We stay overnight in the cabins of the village.

Day 2

This hike leads us from Llano Grande to the neighbour village of Cuajimoloyas. We start going down to a lake in the middle of an alpine meadow which is used to water the cows, donkeys and (wild) horses. We hike through a canyon called "Cueva de la Iglesia" (hiking time about 4-5 hours). During the Mexican revolution this canyon was used by "Banditos" to hide stolen goods and people still tell a lot of stories about these times... We will have lunch in the village of Cuajimoloyas. In case you are interested we can visit a local healer for a ritual cleansing. Overnight stay in the cabins of Cuajimoloyas.

Day 3

We will start hiking from Cuajimoloyas which is the biggest community of the Pueblos Mancomunados, counting about 1200 inhabitants. From there we will hike steeply down to a little trout-farm in Latuvi on 2200m where we will have lunch. The vegetation changes from high pine forest to oak forest with a greater biodiversity. Hiking time is around 5 hours.

Departures

Daily departures