For anyone considering this hike, we strongly encourage you to read the full description of it on Coyote’s website. We had read it carefully in advance and came prepared, but were surprised that many others
on our trip had not. Our comments below are just to provide a little more information on how the day is structured and how the limited time on the trip is allocated.
The hike is at an elevation of 10,000 feet. That means it may (or may not) be quite cool and you may (or may not) need a warm jacket or rain gear or both. Total
elevation change over the entire hike is only about 1000 feet, and most of that is fairly gradual. However, when combined with the 10,000 foot elevation, some hikers may find it a bit strenuous. The trip includes two meals, breakfast and lunch, so you may (or may not) want to skip breakfast at your hotel.
Overall the hike was fine. Our guides were well informed, open to questions, and did what they could to adjust the hike to the differing interests of the hikers (some of us wanted to see and learn about the flora and fauna, others wanted a fast-paced hike). Still, we were disappointed in one or two aspects. First and foremost, the website describes it as a 10 km hike. After we’d finished, our guide told us that
in fact it was 5+ km. (This is consistent with a tracker one of the other hikers on our trip used, which he said reported 6+ km.) We would have preferred to spend more time hiking and to get the full 10 km hike as described. For us, too much time was spent at the two meals. (More than an hour for breakfast and 1 - 1/2 hours for lunch.) We knew the meals were included and understand that this is a source of income for the village, and that’s totally fine. Still, since it is advertised as a 10 km
hike, we would have preferred to have eaten more quickly and gotten on to the hike sooner and stayed out longer. (The food was cooked and all ready to go each time when we arrived so cooking
time wasn’t an issue.
In addition to the meals, after breakfast more time was spent reloading us all on
to the van again to drive a couple hundred yards back to a gate to fill out the waivers (it seems these could have been signed in the office in Oaxaca City while we waited for late arrivers to show up? Or at least, in the 1-1/2 hour van ride up the mountain?)
As we were finally leaving the village for the hike, we had a somewhat awkward prayer-circle. Again, we sincerely welcomed the introduction to an
indigenous custom, but felt it went on too long. We wish to emphasize that other potential hikers may find the meals, prayer-circle and suspended bridge more interesting than the hike; we understand this is a matter of personal preference. We mention all of this just so that potential hikers may have a better idea of how the ten hour day is structured.
Although we’d have preferred a full hike, we would still say this was one of the better activities we did in Oaxaca. Great, upbeat staff and a good opportunity to see a different part of the area.