With its numerous natural beauties, Huautla de Jiménez is an Oaxacan town full of spiritual vibes, excellent for unwinding and enjoying a quiet vacation. Get to know everything you need to know about Huautla with this complete guide.
1. Where is Huautla de Jiménez and how do I get there?
This Magic Town is located in the La Cañada region of the Teotitlán District, northwest of the state of Oaxaca and 230 km from the state capital. The town presents the rugged geography of the highlands in the Sierra Mazateca. The trip to Huautla de Jiménez from Mexico City is 385 km along the Mexico 150D highway, which takes you first to Tehuacán and 130 km later to your destination.
2. What is the history of the town?
The territory that is now known as Huautla de Jiménez was originally inhabited by the Mazatecs, who were subjugated by the Chichimecas nonoalcas, although later they were able to coexist in harmony. In 1927, Huautla was classified as an “Indigenous City” and in 1962 it entered negatively in Mexican history due to the assassination of Erasto Pineda, former municipal president of the town and a great defender of indigenous rights. Finally in 2015 Huautla de Jiménez joins the program of Magical Towns.
3. What is the local climate?
Due to its location in the Sierra Mazateca, the maximum altitude in the town is 1,820 meters above sea level and the climate is of the humid temperate type, with rains throughout the year, especially in the summer season. The spring period is the hottest and the one with the least rainfall. The average temperature in Huautla is 18 °C; being able to reach an extreme minimum of 9 °C in winter and a maximum of up to 27 °C in summer. The delicious mountain mist of cold days invites you to take shelter with it, so don’t forget warm clothes and an umbrella.
4. What are the main attractions of Huautla de Jiménez?
In Huautla de Jiménez you breathe a spiritual air and its natural beauty and indigenous history are the strong points of attraction. To speak of Huautla is to speak of María Sabina, the famous Indian healer, the highest cultural reference of the town. The Cerro de la Adoración is a sacred site of great importance for the inhabitants of Huautla. Other relevant natural attractions are the caves of San Sebastián and the Puente de Fierro Waterfall. Huautla also has buildings of interesting architecture, such as the Clock Tower and the Municipal Palace. As a curious fact, the town only has one Christian church, the Cathedral of San Juan Evangelista, since the difficult access and the strong implantation of indigenous spiritual traditions led to only a slight attempt at evangelization during the colonial era.
5. Who was Maria Sabina?
María Sabina Magdalena García was a healer of the Mazatec indigenous ethnic group who became a national and international celebrity thanks to her knowledge of the curative use of hallucinogenic mushrooms that grow in the region, which she affectionately called “healthy children”. Gifts such as clairvoyance and healing were attributed to the shaman woman of humble origin and she was always willing to come to the aid of anyone who needed her. She never charged her patients anything and she only accepted what they could offer in gratitude for her services. She came to be visited by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Walt Disney. María Sabina died on November 22, 1985 at the enviable age of 91 years, but her generous and wise legacy was present throughout the world, especially in her beloved land.
6. Where is the Hill of Adoration?
The Cerro de la Adoración is without a doubt the most sacred place for the inhabitants of the town. The mystical mountain is located 2 km east of Huautla de Jiménez and is the repository of secrets and legends of the Mazatec culture. According to indigenous mythology, the Mazatec god lives at the top, to whom the locals ask for favors, leaving as offerings from candles and incense to cocoa and eggs. To access the hill you can go up through the small community of Loma Chapultepec and in the place you can also practice recreational activities such as hiking, horseback riding and even camping when it is not the rainy season. Without a doubt an exciting adventure.
7. What are the San Sebastián Caves like?
Also known as the Sótano de San Agustín, it is the deepest cave system in all of America and the second in the world. Its depth reaches 1,546 meters and its length exceeds 56 km. Due to its complete darkness, the caves can only be visited at their maximum depths by professional cavers, since their most abysmal paths are highly dangerous and it is necessary to carry equipment. specialized.
8. What is the attraction of the Puente de Fierro Waterfall ?
This natural waterfall is located 15 minutes from Huautla de Jiménez and easily accessible by paved road. It is publicly accessible and it is a delight to stand under the stream and cool off with its fall that emulates a huge natural shower. The place has a suspension bridge that must be crossed to reach the jump. The Puente de Fierro Waterfall is a place frequented by enthusiasts of rappelling and camping activities.
9. What is the Clock Tower like?
In the heart of Huautla, located in front of the Municipal Palace, is the Clock Tower. It is a building of three quadrangular bodies crowned by a small pyramid. In the first two bodies there are openings and in the third a clock with several faces is installed. It was built in 1924 and is an important place for concentrations of the town’s inhabitants.
10. Where is the Municipal Palace?
Another emblematic property in Huautla is its Municipal Presidency. It is an attractive building that has 8 sturdy square columns in front that are both structural and decorative. The wide portal has lowered arches, the upper façade has balconies, also with flattened arches, and the building is crowned by a triangular body with a bell. The construction of the enclosure began in 1960 and remodeling and extensions were made throughout 39 years; finally the work was completed in December 2000. The building functions as the administrative headquarters of the local government.
11. What is the attraction of the Cathedral of San Juan Evangelista?
Being the only existing Christian temple in Huautla de Jiménez, the Cathedral of San Juan Evangelista is the main meeting point for Catholics in the town. It was built in 1966 and has a simple and attractive design. The twin towers house some bells that were cast in 1866 and installed in the sacred precinct 100 years later. The two towers are topped by pyramids and on the main façade the semicircular arches of the portal and the one in the upper triangular body can be distinguished.
12. How is the gastronomy and crafts of the town?
As in all Mexican indigenous people, pre-Hispanic gastronomy is still valid to date. Among the typical dishes is the pilte, which can be made with rabbit, pork or chicken meat and is wrapped in holy herb or avocado leaves. In Huautla, a delicious goat broth and bean and red sauce tamales are also prepared. The local artisans stand out in the making of colorful traditional Mazatec costumes and are also very skilled in the work of ceramics and in the elaboration of wicker baskets. You can buy one of these beautiful pieces as a souvenir in the center of town.
13. When is there a party in Huautla?
The most important festival in Huautla de Jiménez is that of the Lord of the Three Falls, which has its maximum day on the third Friday of Lent. The celebration includes music, fireworks, a fervent procession through the main streets of the town and other events and manifestations of joy. The feast of All Saints begins on October 27 and lasts a week; These days the “Huehuentones” appear, some characters with masks that represent the deceased. Other important festivities are that of the Virgin of the Nativity, celebrated between September 7 and 8, and the feast of the Virgin of Santa María Juquila, on December 7 and 8.
14. What are the best lodging options?
An option for a comfortable stay with an excellent quality/price ratio is the simple Posada de San Antonio, located on Avenida Juárez in the heart of Huautla. Another central selection is the Hotel Santa Julia, with clean and comfortable rooms and all the basic services, at a great price. The Hotel El Rinconcito, also located in the center of Huautla, is a cozy place with a beautiful view, comfortable rooms and a coffee bar.
15. What are the best restaurants in town?
The Rosita Restaurant is the one with the best seasoning in the town; Doña Rosa will prepare you some exquisite chicken chilaquiles that you can accompany with a milk chocolate and also the place has a nice view of the town. El Portal is a restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere and exquisite local food. Other options are the Nda Tigee Restaurant and the Jiménez Restaurant, where you can also enjoy the exquisite art of pre-Hispanic Mazatec cuisine.
We have reached the end of this magnificent journey through Huautla de Jiménez, but yours is just beginning. We hope we have helped you with this complete guide and we encourage you to leave comments about your trip to this spiritual paradise.
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