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The Hidden Hiking Treasures of Oaxaca:
A Guide to Unforgettable Trails

From Sierra Norte to the coastal Lagunas de Chacahua

Oaxaca is one of those places that struggle to compete with the fame of its state capital, a city becoming more famous each year as a bastion of Indigenous cultural heritage and a paradise for food lovers worldwide. While Oaxaca de Juárez, the state’s capital, is indeed a must-visit there is an equally compelling side to Oaxaca that remains largely undiscovered. 


Divided into eight distinct regions—Valles Centrales, Sierra Norte, Sierra Sur, Cañada, Costa, Istmo, Mixteca, and Papaloapan— Oaxaca offers an exciting collection of stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity, ranging from lush cloud forests and rugged mountains to serene valleys and picturesque coasts. The natural diversity here is unparalleled. For adventurers and nature enthusiasts, Oaxaca presents a wealth of hiking opportunities that promise breathtaking vistas and immersive experiences in some of Mexico’s most pristine natural settings.

Aire Libre Hiking Experience 2023

Sierra Norte (Pueblos Mancomunados)


The Sierra Norte region, home to the Pueblos Mancomunados, is a testament to the success of community-driven ecotourism. Nestled in the mountains, these eight villages offer a network of trails that take you through pine and oak forests, across rivers, and to stunning waterfalls. Each hike provides not only a physical challenge but also an opportunity to engage with the indigenous Zapotec culture and support local conservation efforts. Whether you’re embarking on a short day hike or a multi-day trek, the beauty and serenity of the Sierra Norte are sure to leave a lasting impression.

La Chinantla


La Chinantla, nestled in Oaxaca, is a place of dense rainforests, abundant waterways, and diverse wildlife. Hiking in this region offers an immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore rich biodiversity, including numerous plant and animal species unique to the area. Notably, the jaguar is one of the most famous species that peacefully coexists with the Chinantec people, who consider them integral to the natural balance. Mindful, low-impact travel is essential when visiting La Chinantla to preserve its natural beauty for future generations.



The Valley region


If you’re based in Oaxaca City and looking for accessible hiking options, the Valley region offers several enticing trails. La Mesita Reserva Ecológica provides serene walks through a protected area rich in flora and fauna. Hierve el Agua, with its petrified waterfalls and mineral springs, is a stunning destination for a day hike. For a shorter, yet rewarding trek, Cerro del Fortín offers panoramic views of Oaxaca City and a glimpse of the city’s vibrant life from above. These hikes are perfect for those who wish to explore nature without venturing too far from the urban comforts of Oaxaca City.


Mixteca region


The Mixteca region is a treasure trove of historical and natural wonders. A day trip to Santiago Apoala is a must for hikers. The area is known for its dramatic landscapes, including the spectacular Apoala Cascade. The hike through this region takes you past awe-inspiring cliffs and through lush vegetation. Don’t miss a stroll around the town of Apoala itself, where you can visit the 16th-century Temple of Santiago Apostol and the local library. This blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage makes Santiago Apoala a unique destination for any traveler.


Coastal region


For those who prefer coastal landscapes, the Lagunas de Chacahua National Park is an ideal hiking destination. This park boasts a stunning combination of mangroves, lagoons, and diverse bird species. The hikes here offer a peaceful retreat into nature, with the opportunity to witness breathtaking sunsets over the water. Exploring the coastal trails of Chacahua is a perfect way to experience the tranquility and natural beauty of Oaxaca’s coastline.

Aire Libre Recomends


Oaxaca’s diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage make it a premier destination for hikers seeking new adventures. From the mountainous trails of the Sierra Norte to the coastal beauty of Chacahua, there’s a hike for every type of adventurer. If you’re ready to explore off the beaten path, Aire Libre offers two unique experiences that delve into the heart of Oaxaca’s natural and cultural treasures. 


Join us on the Sendero del Jaguar or the Oaxaca Day of the Dead Running Experience for an unforgettable journey into the rich landscapes of Oaxaca.

The Gift of Connection

From December 13th to 20th, 2023
10% OFF in all our experiences

Discount Code: CONNECT10N

*This promotional offer is not combinable with any other promotions, discounts, or offers

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