The place where the sea meets the forest: a trip to San José del Pacífico, Oaxaca


San José del Pacífico is more than just a town in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca, it is rather a unique landscape in the world. An amazing combination of green forest, Pacific Sea and mountain mist that makes visitors feel that they have been able to get to know the clouds up close.

Although it is not close to CDMX (the car trip lasts just over 8 hours and up to 12 hours by bus), planning a quick getaway to San José can be one of the best decisions we make in life.

In addition, it is an obligatory stop if you travel to the beaches of Mazunte, Zipolite or Puerto Escondido. It does not matter if we go alone or accompanied, a few days in this place will give us the opportunity to return to ourselves, there between the mist and the distant waves of the sea.

Famous since the 60s

In the town there are no more than 1,000 inhabitants and the majority are descendants of the Zapotec race. For its part, San José del Pacífico is famous for being a place where hallucinogenic mushrooms abound, which made it a must-see destination for the hippie generation of the 60s and 70s.

Along with Huautla de Jiménez, which is in the Mazatecan sierra of Oaxaca, these towns became very popular destinations in those decades and today continue to be a great attraction for those who want to carry out an introspective ritual when consuming “psychotropics”.

It should be noted that this custom comes from ancient times in the region. Mushrooms have been used as a spiritual healing tool for centuries.

Mushrooms sprout in abundance thanks to the forest that surrounds San José. During the rainy season, a wide variety of edible mushrooms grow on the ground, which are not necessarily hallucinogenic and can be delicious when prepared. Some even have medicinal properties.

Things to do in San Jose del Pacifico

The cloud forest is a magnificent spectacle for anyone. The walks among the trees, accompanied by the singing birds, are a real pleasure.

Likewise, around the town we have many viewpoints where you can spend hours admiring the beauty of the mountains. There are also bike rides and guided tours through the forest.

Visitors have the opportunity to have a good temazcal session, the traditional pre-Hispanic steam bath made of red-hot rocks, accompanied by aromatic and medicinal herbs. Quite a relaxing and purifying experience.

San José del Pacífico is 2,500 meters above sea level and from several points you can admire the Pacific Ocean in the distance.

In some restaurants and ecotourism places have zip lines, and even swings with an incredible view of the immense mountains. These activities are exciting and fill the body with adrenaline. And there is no shortage of suspension bridges between the mountains.

The townspeople are famous for their hospitality and are used to dealing with tourists. Any questions we have will be resolved. All over the place there are excellent gastronomic offers at very affordable prices. And you can not miss an excellent mezcal.

The same goes for the accommodation. There will be no shortage of hotels or cabins to spend a few pleasant nights in this town that could be said to float in the clouds. By the way, the starry nights are unforgettable. San José del Pacífico is quite an adventure and a travel destination that no one should miss.

Source: Sopitas