text and pictures: Anna Bruce
Oaxaca City is surrounded by mountains. Down each colourful avenue is a range of distant, blue peaks. They have always been tempting, but especially now, almost a year exactly since Covid arrived and travel was restricted. The most enticing mountain route is the one to the Oaxaca coast. Not far as the crow flies, but around seven hours door-to-door if you drive. The road is not to be underestimated, winding its way through the mountains and pine forest, up above the cloud line.
One of the highest points on this journey is the town of San José del Pacífico, famous for its beautiful views, hikes and of course, magic mushrooms.
In my experience, the most common way to make this trip is by catching one of the colectivos run by Líneas Unidas. These take about fifteen people at a squeeze and go every half hour from Calle Bustamente 601. They stop in the centre of San José and Pochutla as you head on down to the coast. The drivers know the route well and make rapid time through the mountains. Unfortunately, these buses have gained a reputation for travel sickness, so be wary if you choose this option.