Welcome To Hoofing It In Oaxaca!
Schedule for the 2017-2018 Winter Season
Foreign visitors from the United States, Canada and other countries flock to Oaxaca de Juárez, the capital of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, during the winter months to enjoy the wonderful climate here — not to mention the festivals, food, musical events, art scene and archeological sites that are such attractions.
Since 2011 a series of weekly hikes has been offered November through March, which afford visitors a chance to get out into the countryside for some fresh air and exercise, and to see things they might not otherwise have a chance to enjoy.
For the 2017-2018 season there will be one day hike per week on the Fridays of November and March. There will be two day hikes each week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, the months of December, January and February. When there are two day hikes per week, both will go to the same location, giving participants a choice as to the best day for them to enjoy communing with Mother Nature and fellow hike enthusiasts.
In addition, there will be four overnight weekend trips to some of the ecotourism camps located in the Sierra Madre mountains. These overnight outings are scheduled the first weekends of December, January, February and March.
Our day hikes fall into three categories:
- rambles through the open countryside in the Valles Centrales
- visits to archeological sites in the area, and
- more vigorous hikes in the mountains surrounding Oaxaca city.
Hikes take place on the Fridays of November and March and on Tuesdays & Fridays during the months of December, January and February. All hikes and weekend trips normally begin at 9 AM. Hike participants will rendezvous at the Lending Library at 519 Pino Suarez at 8:45 AM to check in and board vans.
Most day hikes entail walking 3-7 miles. The “trail” may be a city street, a country road, a short-cut across a farm field or a footpath winding through the woods or across a mountainside. The day’s outing may last anywhere from four to ten hours, depending on how far afield the group travels.
The hiking group always takes a lunch break. Our preference is to stop for a meal at a local restaurant along the route, thus supporting the local economy. However, on many hikes there are no comedores nearby, so participants must pack a sack lunch. Sack lunches are always an option for those who have special dietary needs or simply prefer to carry their food with them.
Given the high elevation and intense sunshine in Oaxaca, hikers should use sunscreen and lip balm. Hats and parasols are a good idea, too. Many people like to use hiking poles or a walking stick. All hikes can be accomplished in tennis shoes, although hiking boots are recommended. Naturally, each person should carry an ample supply of water and perhaps some energy bars or snack food.
Many of the small villages in the highlands of Oaxaca state offer overnight accommodations for weekend visitors or people hiking or biking from one community to the next. These ecotourism facilities are well maintained and have friendly and helpful staff. The typical cabin in the ecotourism camps accommodates four people in two bunk beds. All have private bathrooms with hot running water. Most, but not all, have fireplaces to provide heat. Simple, home-cooked meals are available at a very reasonable price. Hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding are available for the outdoorsy type; other folks may prefer reading, quiet conversation, a ramble through the woods or wandering the streets of the nearby village.
Be advised that temperatures in the mountains are typically 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than those in Oaxaca city. Also, clouds and light rain are commonplace even during the dry season. Days can be chilly and nights quite cold, so visitors should be prepared with plenty of layered clothing (hats & gloves are a good idea, too) and some rain gear. Upon your arrival, check to see that your bed is equipped with several blankets.
Participants in the overnight weekend outings will leave Oaxaca at 9 am on Saturday morning and return about 5 pm the following Sunday evening. The rendezvous point for the weekend outings is the same as for day hikes — the Lending Library at 519 Pino Suarez at 8:45 AM to check in and board vans.
Click on the “Hikes” tab in the menu bar at either the top or bottom of this page to see a description of the various venues visited by the “Hoofing It In Oaxaca” program. Go to the “Schedule” page to see the current season’s hikes listed in chronological sequence. Use the “Hike Sign-Up” page to make a reservation for one or more hikes during your stay in Oaxaca.
Reservations are required for all hikes and weekend trips, as we must make appropriate arrangements for transportation. Reservations for day hikes are accepted until midnight three days before any given hike; those for weekend trips should be made a minimum of one week ahead. Reservations may be made online at the Lending Library’s “Online Store”, which can be accessed at https://www.oaxlibrary.org/online-store. Follow the directions posted there. Reservations may also be made in person at the circulation desk at the Library. All reservations must be paid for at the time they are registered. Refunds can be requested for cancellations of day hikes made a minimum of 48 hours before the hike date. Be aware that there is a limit of 20 participants for weekend trips, so reservations well in advance are recommended. A stand-by list is maintained once a weekend trip is full so people can be notified in case of cancellations. Cancellations for weekend trips must be received a week before the outing to receive a refund because of the lead time in making reservations for accommodations.
The hiking program is part of the Lending Library’s “Out & About In Oaxaca” enterprise, which is designed to let patrons and guests become acquainted with the many features and attractions Oaxaca has to offer. The Library benefits financially from the “Hoofing It In Oaxaca” program by keeping a modest portion of the reservation fee.
DAY HIKES: The cost of hiring vans and buses to transport groups to the hike trailhead is the main expense, and is included in the reservation fee. In addition, there may be admission fees for archeological sites or to enter ejido lands. At times guides will be hired for hikes in the Sierra Norte, and accident insurance is required by some mountain villages. These expenses are usually noted in the information provided on the Library’s web site for each particular hike. However, the actual cost may vary, as prices sometimes change in the course of the season. These ancillary fees will be collected when boarding the bus the morning of the hike. Lastly, if the group has lunch at a restaurant, each person is responsible for his or her own bill for food and beverages.
WEEKEND TRIPS: The reservation fee for weekend outings includes the cost of transportation. Participants will pay extra for lodging when boarding the van on the morning of the trip. Participants will be contacted by email a week or two before the weekend trip with detailed information about lodging costs. People will pay for their own meals in the course of the weekend, as well as for bicycle rental, horseback rides or guide services, all of which are available at the ecotourism office in the camp.
“Hoofing It In Oaxaca” maintains an e-mail list for those who want to receive a weekly reminder of upcoming events. Anyone making hike reservations will be automatically added to the mailing list. You can rest assured that the list is confidential and will not be shared with other groups or be used for commercial, political or religious purposes. Persons on the list may ask that their names be deleted at any time by contacting Larry at www.HoofingItInOaxaca@gmail.com.
The Oaxaca Lending Library
The “Hoofing It In Oaxaca” program of weekly day hikes and overnight weekend trips was run completely independent of the Oaxaca Lending Library from its inception in 2011 through last season. However, for the coming 2017-2018 season the hiking program will be integrated with the Library’s “Out & About In Oaxaca” enterprise. This change is possible because of the OLL’s creation of a new Online Store which provides a place where people can view and make reservations for all of the programs offered by the Library.
The Oaxaca Lending Library is not responsible for the conduct of the hike coordinator or the various hike leaders and bears no liability for the chartering of buses or the safety of those who take part in the outings. Hike participants should advise themselves of the nature of the hikes they sign up for and be aware of the physical requirements demanded of the various hiking trails. We do our best to provide comprehensive information about each hike venue so participants can make informed choices which are appropriate for them.