During 2020 Responsible Travel Week we are taking a virtual journey to Ixtlán with major updates to this page and links mentioned below. Padush!
Located in Oaxaca’s Sierra Juárez, Ixtlán de Juárez (elevation: 2,030 meters) is one of the most beloved rural travel operations in México.
Nature enthusiasts enjoy the guided treks through the mesófilo forests in the region well-known for its biodiversity. From the center of town, you are never more than just a few blocks from the forest. You’ll find plants here that exist nowhere else in the world. The community conserves more than 19,500 hectares of wilderness.
Shiaa Rua-Via — the local ecotourism office — provides maps and guides. Hike on prehispanic roads used for centures as commercial exchange route between the Central Valleys of Oaxaca and the towns along the Gulf of Mexico during the Zapotec Empire.
Hike uphill to Los Pozuelos (3,159 meters), a scenic vista where you can see the mangificent mesófilo forest as well as the Río Grande river basin and El Zempoaltépetl (sacred hill of the Mixe). On clear days, you can spot the Orizaba volcano in the state of Puebla.
Head toward Unidad Pisícola Shoo Betto. There’s a great meal at the end of the road! Delicious rainbow trout is served in the community dining room.
Arco de Ye-Hela
This hike follows an ancient path through an encino forest loaded with orchids, lichens, mosses, ferns and mushrooms. In the pool of the cave of Arco de Ya-Hela, you can swim or simply to wet you under the cascade. These hikes are great any time of year, though the prime time is the winter, particularly between November and February.
History and Culture
Ixtlán de Juárez boasts a colonial church (Santo Tomas) completed in 1734 and built in the Churrigueresque style. The portico is constructed of rosy quarry stone.
Ixtlan is 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Oaxaca City.
Transportation — There are numerous options. Oaxaca City’s ADO Terminal has service via the Cuenca bus line to Tuxtepec and you can buy a ticket to Ixtlan. The drop-off point is just two blocks from the Zócalo. Bus service is available from the second-class bus station via the Benito Juárez line. There are regular departures until 4pm. Van service is available from Transportes Ixtlecos on Rayon #608. Departures are on the hour every hour from 8am to 7pm. Another option is to take a collective taxi from the Laa-yetz taxi collective 200 meters north of the Monument to Benito Juárez. Departures are about every fifteen minutes from 7am to 7pm. If you are driving from Oaxaca, head west on the Cristóbal Colón highway until kilometer 5.5 (in front of the Monument to Benito Juárez). Then head north on Highway 175. The trip takes about an hour.
Services — There is a gasoline station south of town.
Fiesta — December 21 (Patron Saint)
Nearby — Guelatao is four kilometers away and is the birthplace of Mexican President Benito Juárez.
Tip — Prepare for the cold! As the elevation climbs in the Sierra, the temperatures plunge.
A few words about time — Please note that much of rural Mexico, including the Sierra Juárez, does not observe daylight savings time, so double check your watch.
Ixtlan de Juárez – Norma Montes and Gustavo Ramirez
Ecoturismo comunitario – Jorge Favela Fierro