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.
For a number of years 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.
“Day of the Dead” Cemetery Tours
In past years special “Day of the Dead” cemetery tours sponsored as fund-raisers by the Oaxaca Lending Library were managed as part of the hiking program. However, for 2017-2018 these will be overseen by the Lending Library’s new “OLL Out & About In Oaxaca” program. Please go to www.oaxlibrary.org to find a list of cemetery tours and information about how to sign up and pay reservation fees for these events.
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 parking lot at 513 Pino Suarez, two doors south of the Lending Library, to check in and board vans.
Most of the 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, be sure 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 parking lot two doors south of the Lending Library at Pino Suarez 513.
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 day hikes and weekend trips, as we must make appropriate arrangements for transportation. Reservations are accepted until midnight three days before any given hike and may be obtained using the automated system on the “Hike Sign-Up” page. A non-refundable deposit of $5 USD is required for each day hike reservation; weekend overnight trips require a $10 USD non-refundable deposit. Please note that there is a limit of 20 participants for weekend outings, so reservations well in advance are advised. These deposits can be made online using the PayPal link embedded in the reservation program. The reservation deposit will be deducted from the total amount of the day hike or weekend trip due when boarding the bus the day of the outing.
The “Hoofing It In Oaxaca” program is not intended to be a money-making enterprise. The fees charged cover only the expenses involved. At the end of the season any funds left over are donated to the Oaxaca Lending Library.
DAY HIKES: The cost of hiring vans and buses to transport groups to the hike trailhead is the main expense, and varies with each outing. In general, the transportation fee ranges from 100 to 300 pesos per hike. In addition, there may be admission fees for archeological sites or to enter ejido lands. At times guides will be hired for our mountain hikes, an additional cost. These expenses are usually noted in the information provided on this 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 cost of our weekend trips usually amounts to 600-700 pesos per person. This figure covers transportation, lodging and meals for the overnight weekend stay. Participants will be charged for the cost of transport and lodging (less their reservation fees) when boarding the van on the morning of the trip. People will then pay for their own meals in the course of the weekend. The above price does not include 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 registering to participate in a hike by using the “Hike Sign-Up” page will be automatically added to the mailing list. If you choose not to go on a hike but would like your name to be on the e-mail list, you may request this by contacting the hike coordinator, Larry, at HoofingItInOaxaca@gmail.com. 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.
The Oaxaca Lending Library
The “Hoofing It In Oaxaca” program of weekly day hikes and overnight weekend trips is completely independent of the Oaxaca Lending Library. The Library is not responsible for the content of the HiiO web site or the conduct of the hike coordinator, and bears no liability for the chartering of buses or the safety of those who take part in the outings. That said, we recognize that most of our hike participants are members or patrons of the Lending Library. We encourage our hikers to take advantage of the resources the Library has to offer and to make donations to keep the facility in operation.