Santiago Apoala (?Where they share out the water?, in Mixtec language) owes its name to the abundance of water of its territory. Apoala offers to the visitor peerless natural beauties: rocks, canyons, waterfalls and valleys, caves with wide galleries, and natural viewpoints. Due to the singular orography of the Mixtec region, mountain biking is a true adventure, crossing ways and paths amid beautiful valleys. Along the routes you can admire big canyons, or the so-called ?ghost forest? of oaks, besides diverse flora and fauna, as well as a singular set of prehispanic terraces in the slopes of a hill near the town. Tourists can appreciate the beautiful spectacle of the river water, of intensely emerald shades, while runs between the big white stones in its bed. It is also worth the visit to the several springs (?water eyes?) that flow into the river.
Amid this matchless paradise laid between rocks, you can enjoy routes of hiking or mountain biking, knowing sites like the grotto, the canyon (?the twin rocks?), the viewpoint, the ?Snake tail? waterfall, the ?Macaws rock? (where you can see some ancient cave paintings), and the ?Rock of the Devil?. As a complement of its natural beauties, one of the best examples of the magnificent culture of Apoala is the temple of Santiago Apostle, probably built in 16th Century. Altough this is a small temple, its main facade is composed by a cover and a tower with single body bellfry. In the corners of the atrium are the so-called ?capillas posas?, rooftop-less chapels, very common in the construction time. On the other hand, the library of the locality houses a facsimile of the Nuttall Codex, that explains the origin and history of the Mixtecs and their towns. Besides depicting the region and its characteristics, the document narrates the heroic deeds of a great Mixtec governor called 8 Deer Jaguar-Claw.
HOW TO ARRIVE
Apoala is located 78 miles west from Oaxaca. If you travel in public transport, take at Oaxaca a van of the line ?Transportes Turisticos de Nochixtlan? (daily departures every 30 minutes, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.), or a bus of the line ?Sur?(daily departures at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 and 20:30) to Asuncion Nochixtlan. In this town you can hire a taxi to Apoala.
12 adobe cabins (44 people), with chimney, 3
rooms parador (6 people).
Private and community restaurant.
EQUIPMENT FOR RENT
Mountain bikes, camping tents (2, 3 and 5 people), and headlamps.
Ecotourism office, community guides, camping areas, camp fire areas, guided trips.
INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS
?Yutsa To?on? Community Ecotourism office of Santiago Apoala.
Pino Suarez and Independencia, Santiago Apoala, Oax., 69625
Phone: (55) 51 51 91 54 (Attention: 8-20 hours)