From La Sierra to the Dry Forest

Ecosystems of Oaxaca

A journey within the state of Oaxaca provides the opportunity to witness a mosaic of ecosystems and dramatic differences among them.

The Central valleys

A short travel from the Central Valleys to the coastline, about 130 kilometers starting from Miahuatlan (100 kms. from Oaxaca city) on highway 175, offers clearly marked changes of climate and vegetation.

The Central Valleys with its desert cactus and low bushes, has an average temperature of 25 Celsius degrees during the summer. The green colors come back to the small hills with the touch of the moist as long as the mountains frame the plateau with its blue tones and white clouds grasping the peaks.

Sierra Sur: San Jose del Pacifico

Only 30 kilometers through La Sierra the temperature drops as elevation increases. At San Jose del Pacifico the thermometer marks 18 Celsius degrees and the landscapes become a delight for travelers; the cool wind blows through the high mountain pines and the smell of wood fulfills the environment. Folkloric wooden-walled restaurants and cabins decorate the view. Pull in and take a walk through the high pines and plants moisten with the dew. There are spectacular creeks as long as you hike through the clouds and tiny waterfalls which seem to be everywhere.

Alongside the road local people have placed small stands where they elaborate and sell handcrafts such as "Alebrijes", those fantastic figures representing animals and plants carved on wood and colorfully painted. There are also carved mushrooms which represent the traditional medicine of the surroundings.

The evergreen jungle and coffee plantations

As the journey continues forward, only 60 kms. more, we get to the evergreen low forest located in the backdrop of Sierra Madre del Sur, where the temperature rises to 27 Celsius degrees. The coffee plantations lie under the shaded tropical forest which has one of the most famous coffees in Mexico: Pluma Hidalgo coffee.

Again the local growers sell fresh products alongside the road; bananas, mangoes, honey, coffee beans and coca beans at low prices.

Getting to the dry forest near Pochutla

Another 30 or 40 kms. the temperature rises to 30 Celsius degrees as long as the plants and trees of the dry forest start to appear near Pochutla, the land of the Pochote tree, also called Ceibas, where the green and black iguanas are an essential part of the culture, it becomes the final point of the short journey of beauty and amazing lecture of the power and wisdom of our mother nature.

Travel Guide Exploring Oaxaca

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