The Lost City:
Ruins of Quiotepec
(For tour price and other information, please see the Trip Details sidebar on this page)
A mountain topped by a crumbling, ancient city, a tiny village, red cliffs, green cactus and a blue river all deliciously far from the beaten path.
Oaxaca is a land of many wonders, and one if its wonders are that there is still so much out there to discover, still so much unknown and still a tremendous sense of adventure in exploring the outback. The lost city of Quiotepec, an ancient stronghold and ceremonial center built of red stones on the point of a mountain is just such a Oaxacan wonder.
This is our destination, but the getting there is enjoyable as well. Quitepec is in the Cuicatlan-Tehuantepec biosphere reserve which has some of the greatest cactus diversity and density on the planet and is home to the rare Military Macaw. The region is one of the oldest settled areas of Mexico with human occupation dating back 14,000 years and is one of the likely centers for the domestication of maize. This is no average corner of the planet! We'll be staying in adobe cabins in a 4 street village from another time on the edge of a large river with cliffs and sandy beaches. If you enjoy exploring, nature, water and culture you will love this adventure. NOTE: The ruin hike is a short, but steep, 1-hour hike. Please assess that you are fit for this hike.
||6-12 pax $565
3-5 pax $760
||Oaxaca, Mexico. Tehuantepec-Cuicatlan Biosphere reserve.
||3 days/2 nights
||Nov 29-Dec 1, 2013
Feb 19-21, 2013
||* Professional, bilingual guide
* All local transport in private van
* Entry fees, tips for meals,
* Local guides and transportation
* High quality, small group travel
||Two nights lodging double occupancy in adobe cabins (single supplement, limited availability $60)
|MEALS & DRINKS
||2 breakfasts, lunch daily, 3 dinners
||* Airfare and transport to/from airport
* Alcoholic beverages
* Personal items
* Some meals may not be included to offer flexibility in meal choices
* Tip to your tour guides should you feel it is merited. 5-10% of tour price is standard per person guideline for tip to the guide or guide team.
Tour Itinerary by Day:
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner included in tour price.
Day 1, (LD) Meet this morning at 9AM in front of Santo Domingo church with bags packed for our 3 day, 2 night excursion. Our travel out of the Oaxaca valley, over oak carpeted mountains and down, down, down brings us into the grand valley called La Cañada. We'll stop in the little town of Cuicatlan, which is also the largest in the region. The streets are shaded by tall zapote and tamarind trees and the town is backed by enormous red cliffs. We'll head up those cliffs (in the van) in search of small pyrimids and big views, and we'll also wander through the town's market. Then onward to a tiny village on the edge of a big river, Quiotepec. We'll spend the next two nights in adobe cabins in this charming village of earthen streets (and there are only 5 of them), friendly people and a peacefulness very much from another era. The river, cutting through red rock cliffs, is just below and a swim might be in order. Evening in Quiotepec.
Day 2, (BLD) Having first dibs on all real estate, the original settlers always got the best spot. The Cuicatecs or Zapotecs who built the city above Quiotepec were no exception to this rule. They chose the top of a red-stone mountain covered in huge green cactus at the confluence of two rivers just at the point where these two rivers become one and then cut a deep canyon through the Sierra Madre. From this ancient hill top city one could see for miles in any direction. A perfect location; close to the gods, well situated for dramatic effect (with the king's palace at the highest point on the mountain), placed such that all traders and travellers would have to pass through and pay tax and all attackers would have to get past the cliffs and defensive walls if they wanted to harm the city. A one hour hike though columnar cactus and palo verde trees brings us to this long abandoned and forgotten mecca. What was once a bustling city is now silent but for the wind and the sound of our feet on the stones. Coming down from the mountain we have the option of a swim in the river or an afternoon hike to see a rare species of succulent and red cliffs. Evening in Quiotepec.
Day 3(BL) Enjoy a slow start this morning, a wander through the village or down to the river's edge before packing up and heading back to Oaxaca. Time allowing we'll stop enroute to Oaxaca to see some interesting sights along the way. We expect to be in Oaxaca by about 5PM. Lodging this evening is not included in trip price. If you need assistance making lodging arrangements please contact us.
All itineraries subject to change without notice.