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With tile roofs, adobe houses and yellow quarry constructions, Capulálpam de Méndez is a beautiful town nestled in the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, just 75 kilometers from the state capital.
It receives its name from Nahuatl due to the abundance of the capulín tree. And these mountain forests have been conserved in such a way that, in 2002, the World Wildlife Conservation Fund granted Capulálpam recognition for this effort.
During colonial times, it was known as San Mateo Capulálpam, but in 1936 it acquired its current name in honor of the nineteenth-century liberal hero, Miguel Méndez, who integrates the so-called mountain trilogy with Benito Juárez and Marcos Pérez.
Its main temple is that of San Mateo, whose construction began in the sixteenth century and, in the arch of the entrance, it is indicated that it was finished almost two centuries later, in 1731. On one side is the Center for Traditional Medicine, where massages, temazcal baths and even "clean" and "sobadas" are offered.
On Saturdays and Sundays it is mandatory to attend the presentations of the San Mateo Children's and Youth Band, made up of young people between 6 and 18 years old, who with their trumpets and tamboras fill this town with an incredible atmosphere of celebration and joy. At noon the inhabitants follow them through the streets until they reach the front of the temple, where they play some more pieces.
If you prefer adrenaline, Capulálpam has the Los Molinos Recreational Center: a place that offers the incredible experience of flying over nearby forests.
It all starts with renting a bicycle to get to the first zip-line tower. Once there, you can glide to a height of 40 meters above the tops of pines and cedars. There is also a suspension bridge that leads to five more zip lines, and if you decide, you can finish the route with a descent to rappel of approximately 60 meters.
In the Los Sabinos Recreational Center there are areas for camping, also has large and beautiful spaces for family recreation and the practice of different sports. Right here is the natural viewpoint "El Calvario", an ideal angle for bird watching and different species of beautiful orchids.
Of course, you should not miss the famous Oaxacan cuisine, among which delicious dishes are black, red, yellow and green, not forgetting the typical dish of the town, the chichilo, which is another exquisite mole.
The wealth of Capulálpam is appreciated in its streets and squares as well as in its natural environment; However, the warmth of its people will undoubtedly be the greatest and best memory you will get from this beautiful Magical Town of Oaxaca.
What to Visit?
- Saint Mathew Parish Built in the sixteenth century, this temple still conserves its original ceiling.
- Center for Traditional Medicine Here, you can acquire medicinal herbs and medicines made with regional plants.
- De la Cruz Viewpoint Ideal place to admire the surrounding mountainous landscapes.
What to do?
- Center for Traditional Medicine Here, you can have a temazcal sauna or a soul healing ritual based on ancient techniques and spiritual knowledge.
- Los Molinos Amusement Center Here, you can practice outdoors activities, such as zip-lining and bike riding.
- Go for a walk Through ancient trails in the route that goes to Cerro Pelado (Peeled Hill,) or in the Camino Real (Royal Road) that used to connect Capulalpam with other Sierra villages.
- Festivity of the patron Saint Mathew A Novena that begins on September 10th each year. This festivity includes a regional fair and many cultural events.
- Nativity scene contest In Christmas time, a nativity scene contest is organized with the participation of local families.
- Oaxaca mole sauces Delicious sauce prepared with different kinds of chili, peanuts and, even, chocolate. In Oaxaca, there are different kinds of this sauce –black, yellow, red and green. This unique sauce is served on top of rice and chicken or turkey meat
- Chichilo This kind of mole sauce is prepared adding peas.
- Atole Hot beverage based on milk, sugar, corn flour, and any specific flavor that you can think on –coconut, walnut, chocolate, vanilla, you name it!
What to Know?
- In Nahuatl language, the word Capulalpam means "Land of the capulin tree."
- In 2002, the World Wildlife Fund recognized this Magic Town because of the conservation of its nearby forests.
- Cotton embroideries in blouses, huipiles, tablecloths and napkins
- Carved wood
- Handicrafts and jewels made with precious metals
Observa la monumental belleza de Capulálpam de Méndez.Gallery
Learn more about life in Capulálpam de Méndez with our audio guideAudiospot
more about Oaxaca
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