Crossing a piece of land with pre-hispanic roots adds a layer of epicness to a trail run. El Camino Real in the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, used to be a Zapotec commerce route that connected the Gulf of Mexico to the city of Oaxaca. There are still well preserved stones and paintings on the trail from ancient times.

This magic trail is in the north east of Oaxaca city. To get here you have to take highway 175 towards Ixtlán de Juárez. Approximately about 5km before Ixtlán you have to make a right turn before a bridge. There is a sign which reads "San Miguel Amatlán".The road you take when making a right turn it is a dirt road. It will take you about 30 min until you get to San Miguel Amatlán. In total it takes you one hour and thirty minutes from Oaxaca City until Amatlán.

Hence, we recommend that you leave Oaxaca City at 5:30am to start running at 7am just when the sun is coming up.If you do this like we did, you have to have a driver who can drive from Amatlán to Latuvi while the others run. You can find other ways to get around too.

The adventure starts in San Miguel Amatlán. You have to initially run to the town of Lachatao, which is just about 300 meters from Amatlán up hill. There is an evident main road in Lachatao which you have to take and run to the right of the town. This road splits into two. Then you have to take the one that is to your right and is flat. Do not take the one that is up hill.

Follow this road about 700 meters and you will see a triangular yellow sign on a tree. Here begins the trail "El Camino Real".The trail runs along a river for a long part. You will cross a canyon and you will be able to observe the incredible and diverse vegetation of the Sierra Norte.

Once you get to the town of Latuvi, run until the tourist information center. There is a small restaurant there with a great view and amazing breakfast. Ask for Marta the cook. She is wonderful.At the turistic center you can shower for 20 pesos.

Pack List


  • Camelbak
  • Trail running shoes
  • Either a watch or mobile with GPS

Nice to haves:

  • Buff
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • A set of clothes to change in Latuvi when you finish.
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RT Distance 10.9 Miles
Elevation Gain 1312.3 Feet
Activities Photography, Running, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring
Trail Type Point-to-Point


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