Santa Ana waterfall2
Pacific Oaxaca / Explore the Ochovenado Ecotourism Route


The Ochovenado Ecotourism Route (Corredor Ecoturistico Ochovenado) lies west of Puerto Escondido on the coast of Oaxaca and consists of a group of communities whose inhabitants are keen to share their natural and cultural world with visitors.

Natural world


Jocotepec is a quaint community at 700 meters above sea-level, with coffee plantations and forest remnants and waterfalls as well as a deer and jabali breeding area which is primarily a conservation project.

Mata de Ajo has green and black iguanas in a semi-enclosed area with large trees, living with land turtles and wild rabbits (with baby iguanas in a breeding area to protect them from predators including various bird species)

Santa Ana has coffee plantations and some of the largest waterfalls in the region reached by a variety of walks.

Cultural world


In Jocotepec you can enjoy the many legends and stories in this remote-feeling village with many houses using the traditionally tiled roofs in the Sierra Sur foothills (yet only 21 kilometers from the coastal highway).
Mata de Ajo is also an organic agriculture ranch which tries to recuperate some of the culturally important natural varieties of corn, beans, water melon and other traditional Oaxacan food.
Tututepec is the oldest capital in Oaxaca of the Mixtec culture, and presently municipal capital. Do visit the community museum and the church - with more ancient relics right next to the church.
Santa Ana is a relaxed quiet village with friendly inhabitants.

History


The ecotourism route of Ochovenado (“Eight Deer” in English) is named after a particularly powerful Mixtec king who ruled in Tututepec in the 11th century uniting large parts of the Mixtec lands. His name in turn comes from his day of birth according to the Mixtec Calendar.

The Ochovenado Ecotourism Route has its origin in conservation efforts and projects some long-running of over a decade – long before anybody considered them as interesting from a tourism perspective – including declared cellular forest reserves that serve as refuge for flora and fauna, organic agriculture with traditional seeds and the iguana a and deer breeding projects. With the assistance of a local organization, Ecosta, the villagers started realizing that these efforts to conserve some of their disappearing species can also be of interest to visitors, giving birth to the idea of the Ochovenado Ecotourism Route, upon which cabins were built and other walks planned.


Services:
Rustic cabins (made from local materials)
home cooked meals - with mostly local natural ingredients - with families in the villages
Day walks, horse-rides and guided visits to the breeding areas available.

How to get there:
All the communities are to the north of the Coastal Highway #200 approximately 60-90 minutes west of Puerto Escondido.

Jocotepec is 21 kilometers above Río Grande map
Mata de Ajo is 4 kilometers north of Calzada San Miguel map
Tututepec has a large sign on the coastal highway just west of Santa Rosa

Santa Ana is 18 kilometers from the same junction as Tututepec map. (this road is being paved in 2008 and now the difficult steep curvy parts are completed making access much easier than in the past)

For more info and photos:
tomzap.com
Flickr album

Elsewhere on the Web

This article is mirrored on Planeta.com

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