In February of 2017, my husband, Brett and I traveled to Oaxaca from Mexico City. There we were joined by 2 fellow Canadian friends to embark on a 3-day, 2-night hike through the Sierra Norte. We hired a local company called Expediciones Sierra Norte to guide our hike through the mountains.
The morning of the hike we were picked up at our hotel and taken to the first small pueblo of our trip, Cuajimoloyas. It was chilly there, with an altitude of 3200 meters above sea-level. However, I was grateful that I had some winter gear from home with me. A toque and some mitts made me feel much better. We dropped off our excess luggage in the town and took the clothes and personal items we needed for the next 3 days.
As we embarked on our trip I was soon shedding layers of clothing as the sun and exercise warmed everything up. It took us twice as long as it should’ve to leave the town- we were a group of photographers and there was just too much subject matter to be rushed!
Our guide was wonderful and knowledgeable, taking the time to show us important or unique vegetation in the forest. One of my favorite photos was of a mushroom being squeezed and releasing a little cloud of spores.
Stopping for a picnic at a high point, el Mirador La Cucharilla, was a welcome break. We were on our way again with a new, equally wonderful, guide. Later, we had a meal of trout cooked at a farmhouse restaurant. Shortly after we reached our destination for the night, Latuvi, as the sun set behind the mountains. The four of us shared a room with bunk beds, warmed by a wood-burning fireplace (and lots of blankets!).
The following day the hike was shorter but more intense. Our legs were sore from the previous hike but we were excited. We began our day by visiting another home where the señora there taught us about tepache, a local drink. We tried a few samples, learned how it was made, and went for a walk to see how the plant was grown. Then we were off on our way to la Nevería, another tiny hamlet in the mountains. We choose to take an easier route that took us along some dirt roads and wider walkways, but we also faced our fair-share of narrow and steep forest paths.We met several farmers and people tending to their goats. Arriving earlier to our destination than the previous day, we took the opportunity to check out the quaint town and chat with a few locals. We were served more great meals and each hired a herbal bath in the evening.
The final day was the shortest walk, but the one with the most steep-paths and uneven ground coated with pine-needles made it slippery like walking through sand. After some struggling and sweating, we made it to our final village, Benito Juarez. We were given another great meal and had some beers to celebrate our adventure. We divided up, some of us taking some time to explore the village and others, mountain biking to a nearby lookout point. It was an unforgettable experience and an amazing way to see another side of Mexico.