Copalita trail:

A Discovery Journey into the Zapotec Mountains 

The Copalita Trail is a 5 day trek that will take you from the alpine region of Oaxaca, all the way down to the pristine beaches of the Pacific. 

The Copalita trail is a full immersion into Deep Mexico. Each day, you will embark on a 6-7 hour hike, accompanied by fully-trained local guides from the communities. Every day you will eat local, organic food, and witness nature and man living in harmony.  You will camp under the protection of the trees, drink from fresh water springs, and on clear nights, rejoice that you have chosen a 1 million star hotel.



Day 1: Sunday. Into the Mountains. 



We leave Oaxaca City at 9am. We´ll drive through the beautiful Sierra Madre for approx. 6 hours until we reach San Juan Ozolotepec. 

SJO is an agrarian community deep in the mountains, whose economic activities include organic honey, coffee, tomatoes, and avocado prodcution, as well as a fully sustainable community-owned logging company.

SJO has breathtaking views of the mountains, and is a great example of a well organized, progressive community with an above average quality of life. We´ll savor local flavors in the camp located within the community forest. 

Day 2: Monday . Hiking time: 5 horas. Difficulty: Low.

After breakfast, our community guide will take us along the pine and fir forests to the community of San Francisco Ozolotepec. This trail crosses through the sustainable forestry parcels and includes great views fromt he mountain ledges.

Lunch ag 12:30, arrive at SFO at 3pm.

Day 3: Tuesday. Hiking time: 9-10 hours. Difficulty: HIGH.

Throughout this trail not only will we encounter beautiful landscapes, but we will also experience the biological diversity of the area and see how different products are harvested under different climate zones.  This is a Zapotec community and that is the common dialect used to communicate amongst its people.  We will not cross the town of SFO, however, we will meet members of its community along the way.

The trail continues until we reach the bottom of the ravine where the communities of SFO and San José Ozolotepec meet.  San José is also a Zapotec community, and it can only be reached by foot.  Here we will rest alongside the river and change guides.  From this point on, because we will cross the river at different points, it is highly recommended to wear waterproof shoes.  We will also have a chance to swim and relax in the river.

Day 4: Wednesday. Hiking time: 6-7 hours. Difficulty: Medium.

We will follow the river and cross through areas of mango, coffee, guanacastles and ceiba trees.  We will be accompanied by guides from the San Felipe Lachilló community, where we will spend most of the day.

Arrival at Yuviaga at around 3:30 pm.  Yuviaga is a paradisiacal fresh water spring where we will have a chance to swim.  We will also visit cave paintings found in that area that trace back thousands of years.


Day 5: Thursday. Hiking Time: 6 horas.  Dificultad: Medium.

Today we will walk through an impressive Guanacastle tree forest and an abandoned coffee plantation. We are now in coastal vegetation, very humid, very green, and very dense.

We will arrive at the tiny community of Mandimbo at  aprox. 4 pm. Here they are also coffee growers, but in addition have bamboo plantations, and more uniquely a bromelia and medicinal plant project operated by the knowledgeable women of the community. 

Day 6: Friday. Rafting: 6 hours.  Dificultad: Low.

We will walk down to the Copalita River where rafts  or kayaks will be waiting for us.

We will row for 3 hours before reaching the community of La Blas, a haven for hundreds of bird species. After lunch and a brief rest, we will row for 3 more hours until we reach La Bocana Beach, located in Huatulco. La Bocana is a huge beach occupied only by a small fish restaurant and a few surfers.

End of Trail

Scheduled Dates 2019

All trips depart on a Sunday from Oaxaca City and arrive the

following Friday to Huatulco, where 1 night camping can be included.


Personalized trips for academic or other groups can be organized at any time. Please contact us for more info. 




16 - 21 june

14 - 19 july

11- 16 august

15 - 20 september

13 - 18 october

17 - 22 november

15 - 20 december


What you are supporting

Camino Copalita is a social enterprise operated by the 9 agrarian and Zapotec communities of the Southern Oaxacan Sierra. These communities make up the watershed of the Copalita River Valley, and have joined their efforts to ensure the preservation of their biodiversity, clean water and fertile soil. They have aptly named their group of communities SICOBI: Community Biodiversity System.

By joining a Copalita Trail journey, you not only experience the beauty of agrarian communities first hand, but you support their efforts to preserve this biome, along with it´s traditions, and sustainable food production practices, which include shade coffee of the highest worldwide ranking, GMO and agrochemical free corn, honey, tomatoes, beens, and avocados. 

Camino Copalita´s goals also include empowerment of women within the communities.  Tourism committees are headed and operated by women, which means they have a voice and vote in the design of the project and in the handling of the revenues . Additionally, the project is creating an incentive to return to native food sources and revalue their heritage.

Camino Copalita was designed with Fair Trade principles, meaning that 70% of the trip cost will directly benefit the communities involved.


Getting There and Away

"May god protect people from other communities that pass through this road."

Oaxaca City is a UNESCO protected colonial city, perhaps the most attractive destination the country has to offer. 

It has a well connected international airport, with direct flights from several US cities.

The Camino Copalita team will pick you up either from the airport or from your hotel of choice.

We are happy to make hotel arrangements in Oaxaca City for you.

Alternatively, we can pick you up in San José del Pacifico. San José is a small mountain town with unparalleled vistas. It is also known for its abundance of psylocibe mushrooms.

The trek ends in Huatulco, also a popular international tourist destination. 

Huatulco airport has several international airlines making daily trips. 

Oaxaca State

Oaxaca is commonly regarded as Mexico´s most beautiful, biodiverse and culturally rich state.


Oaxaca City is the gem of Mexican colonial cities. It is a UNESCO heritage site within short drives of dozens of archaelogical sites, including Mitla and Monte Alban.

Once the home of the mighty Zapotecs and Mixtecs, Oaxaca is now home to hundreds of indigenous communities, each fascinatingly unique.

Oaxaca is also famous for its many heralded painters and the gorgeous alebrije artisans.


If you´re a foodie, Oaxaca should already be in your Top 10 list. Several of its restaurants yearly make all the worldwide listings of best restaurants worldwide. Additionally, Oaxaca produces most of the mezcal sold round the world.


Oaxaca contains every single ecosystem present in Mexico, including alpine forests, rainforests,  deserts,  and of course, the paradisiacal Pacific beaches where you can practice surfing, scuba diving or simply hammock and beer downtime.


If you are interested in chamanism, look no further than Oaxaca. Once home to to Maria Sabina (Mother Mary from The Beatles´ “Let it Be”), it is still the epicenter of chamanic healing, especially with magic psylocibe mushrooms abundant in the sierra and its temazcal vapor huts.


Interested in visiting the Copalita Trail? Please contact us!

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