Hiking/Canyoning

Between the Huatulco National Park, the canyons that house the rivers, and the limitless terrain of the Sierra Madre, hiking opportunities abound in the area. The known trails are covered in the other sections - the hikes into Organo and Cacaluta and beaches in the National Park in The Nine Bays, and as noted in the The Waterfalls section, all of the Copalitilla locations involve beautiful hikes to reach the various falls.

Llano Grande River Trail Chachalaca Upper Zimatan Trail Upper Zimatan Canyon

Lower Zimatan Canyon Hike or Paddle - This is a spectacular hidden canyon that few people but locals know about. One of the great advantages to it is that it doesn't involve the long uncomfortable trip that the Copalitilla waterfalls do, being only about 45 minutes from town with only a small part of it being on dirt roads. There are a few ways to go about it, depending on athleticism and whether you want to go with a wet or dry approach. The hiking trail that skirts the edge of the canyon has one somewhat dicey traverse with poor footholds, so that route is suggested only for the mildly adventurous and those unafraid of heights. An approach that almost anyone is capable of is paddling kayaks up the river to near the El Chorro waterfall at the head of the canyon. Since the water is shallow most of the way, it's also possible to walk upriver to where the deep pools in the canyon begin. For those willing to traverse the canyon trail, an easy sandy trail continues upstream from the canyon for miles along the river. Click here for photo gallery.

your humble guide leading the way

Upper Zimatan Canyon Hike- Eight miles above the lower canyon, there is a nice hike to the beginning of the wild whitewater run in the upper canyon. While not as deep and dramatic as the lower canyon, it features a series of amazing rapids. There is about 15 minutes of easy forest hiking before you reach the beginning of the canyon, and from there it is about 45 minutes to an hour of rock hopping along the top of the canyon to see the whole of this upper part. The hiking along the canyon rock is quite easy and virtually anyone can do it. One can choose to see as much or as little as you want, so roundtrip hiking times range anywhere from an hour, to 2 1/2 hours. It is about an hour and 15 minutes driving to get there, and is only a slight side detour coming or going to the Copalitilla waterfalls. Click here for photo gallery.

hanging out in the upper Zimatan canyon

Pluma Hidalgo Ridge Hikes- The first hike is a ridge top hike above the town of Pluma Hidalgo, passing through shade grown coffee areas in beautiful high mountain forest. The short version starts at about 5100' and tops out at 5400', reaching the peak of the mountain before returning the same way to your vehicle. The long version continues along the trail past the peak and descends to the road at around 4800' elevation, before hiking back up the road a mile or so to your car. The full trip hike is 1.5 - 2 hours, the short hike about 45 minutes to an hour. The air is always crisp and cool at this altitude, making for the most comfortable hike you can do in the area. The views are incredible, since this spine drops off in every direction. On clear days you can see the Pacific. The second hike is a kilometer further along the dirt road where it descends on to the north side of the ridge in to an incredibly lush cloudforest environment of ferns galore. The hike begins in a stand of tree ferns mixed with towering pines, an unlikely combination. It stays relatively level the whole way, crossing the side of a ridge through thick canopy filled with bird life and through fields of coffee planted on the hillside. At the end of the trail you have a glorious view of the surrounding mountains from a spine above a valley, and you return the same way. Click here for photo gallery of first hike.

second ridge hike second ridge hike second ridge hike second ridge hike