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Capulálpam de Méndez English


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This is one of those places that is close to heaven–not just for its altitude, one mile above sea level–but for its people, scenery, and buildings that live together in perfect harmony.

Surrounded by mountains and forests and shrouded by white clouds, visitors to Capulálpam will feel transported to an Alpine village with indigenous color. Its inhabitants speak Zapoteco and are proud of their roots, as well as professing great respect for nature.


Listen to a Marimba Nueva Esmeralda concert with local kids.

Watch the sun come up from the Mirador de la Cruz lookout point.

Try the local delicacies prepared by families on Sundays under the archways downtown.

Do a cleanse in the Centro de Medicina Indígena Tradicional.

Mirador de la Cruz

This lookout point is an excellent spot to take in the mountainous scenery of Capulálpam, cloaked in pine and oak forests. Another good spot to enjoy the view is Mirador del Calvario, located in Centro Recreativo Los Sabinos park, where you can camp and play sports.

Centro Recreativo
Los Sabinos

A verdant park with campgrounds, a natural pool ringed by ancient junipers, and a nature trail with a boardwalk winding through a wooded area. Enclosed by a stone wall, the spot has bathrooms and a 100-person capacity. The Mirador del Calvario lookout point allows camping.

Plaza Principal and Parroquia de San Mateo

The Parroquia de San Mateo church is the crown jewel of this Oaxacan Magical Town’s Plaza Principal. Over 300 years old, visiting the church is like stepping back in time as it still has the Dominicans’ original decoration, characterized by colorful fleurs-de-lis.

It was built in the 16th century and still retains its ceiling from this era. The elegant vaulted roof is covered with clay tiles on the exterior. While austere outside, the interior is incredibly detailed with unique artistic elements.

There are 14 priceless wood altarpieces that display all the variations of Mexican baroque styles from the 17th and 18th centuries, from the more restrained Solomonic baroque style to the lavish Churrigueresque with fine figures of angels forming estipite columns. Some say they were made on site, and others claim that they were brought from several locations in the Sierra Norte mountains.

Get Up Close to White-Tailed Deer

The Unidad de Manejo Ambiental del Venado Cola Blanca (White-Tailed Deer Environmental Management Unit) is a 10-acre reserve of woods and lowland forests where 15 white-tailed deer are kept to promote their reproduction.

Take a bit of food and approach the herd slowly; they will smell the food and come eat out of your hand as tamely as any pet. But be careful! The males can be territorial and be volatile.

Delve into Its Mysteries

The caves called Cueva del Arroyo, north of town, are filled with rock formations. Plus, there are adventure sports and guided tours on which the guides challenge visitors to find the playful figures in the limestone shapes while recounting historical trivia, such as the importance of the caves during the Cristero War.

Wander Through Downtown

This Magical Town is set more than a mile above sea level, surrounded by mountains and forests, and wrapped in white clouds. You will immediately feel like you have stepped into an Alpine village decked out in indigenous color. In the mornings before sunrise, we recommend going to Mirador de la Cruz lookout point to drink in the gorgeous views.

In the afternoons, fog settles over the town’s square, and the walls of the church seem straight out of a medieval story. From its broad atrium carpeted in grass you can enjoy an enviable view of the mountainous terrain and the colorful streets of Capulálpam whose red tile roofs climb the slopes of the mountain. Close by is the Museo Comunitario, a museum whose mural tells the history of this Magical Town and hosts temporary exhibitions.

Nativity Scene Contest

Christmas night is a party throughout the state, and Capulálpam has its own special tradition. Its Nativity Scene Contest is held on December 25th, showcasing the creativity and talent of the participants, both artisans and amateurs, who take the attention and care paid to their creations to a new level every year.

Among the handicrafts, you can see the materials that each region is known for, including wood, textiles, black pottery, red pottery, and cardboard, all exhibited on the Plaza Principal.

When: December 25

Day of the Dead

Performers, traditional Day of the Dead bread, and altars are the key elements in this Magical Town’s Day of the Dead celebrations, which reflect Zapotec customs. Altars are usually three levels, representing hell, earth, and heaven.

They are filled with regional fruit and the traditional Day of the Dead bread shaped like rabbits and angels. Performers costumed as characters related to the event or simply well-known figures fill the streets, celebrating to the rhythm of the San Mateo band. At night, the central tourist corridor bustles with rides and food stalls that celebrate the arrival of the dead.

When: October 31 – November 2

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