About 4 kilometers northwest from San Cristobal center on the main road to Chamula, the Huitepec Ecological Reserve is signposted. Collectivos run regularly on this road.
Entrance costs 30 pesos per person. A small leaflet in English describes the 2.5-kilometer circular hike which climbs steeply up the northern side of Cerro Huitepec all through forest. The trail has wooden-supported steps up steeper sections and several simple wooden shelters. Birds are the only wildlife I saw in this small reserve, but there are a variety of tree, plant, and orchid species.
For the adventurous and fit it is possible to hike a small trail, which starts from the shelter at the highest part of the reserve, and continues up the ridge with a steep downhill section before climbing to the top of Cerro Huitepec. This trail is about 3 or 4 kilometers in length and stays on the ridge to the top. It is longer and more strenuous than the reserve trail which gives access to it, but the forest and views are better than in the lower reserve.
There is a clearing with two piles of stones on the summit which is higher than the nearby peak with antenae on it. It is the highest peak in the region with good views for long distances through forest clearings.
Cerro Huitepec is an extinct volcano with good soil, so its slopes are farmed by indigenous smallholders almost to the summit.
The peak with the antenae, which towers above San Cristobal, can be climbed by a concrete road. However, the area with antenae on top is fenced off, although there are still spectacular views over San Cristobal.
The small road leads down through farmland on the southeast slopes of Cerro Huitepec and becomes a maze of roads, tracks and trails. It's necessary to ask the friendly indigenous locals for the way back to San Cristobal, which is walkable. Otherwise a collectivo or taxi may be available.
Allow 5 or 6 hours for the complete summit hike from San Cristobal. HAPPY TRAILS -
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