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Santiago Suchilquitongo, Oaxaca

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From Oaxaca City colectivos (MX$17), displaying Suchil in the front windows, depart frequently for Santiago Suchilquitongo from the sitio on Trujano, west of Periférico Sur and north of the Abastos market. Alternatively, white shuttle vans (MX$15), holding a dozen or so people, run frequently from north west corner of the Abastos market. Look for the white vans with Suchil on the front windows at the far end of Juárez Maza. (See map for location.) Once you arrive in Santiago Suchilquitongo, have the driver drop you off in front of the Municipal building, the Museo Comunitario (MX$20) next door to the left. If you're driving just follow the main road into town for about about two kilometers until you come to the Municipal building.

To visit the Cerro de la Campana archaeological site, flag down a mototaxis on Independencia and it'll run you to the top of the hill where the site is. It's about a 3 kilometer hike down the hill to Independencia, so if you don't want to hoof it down off the hill, you'll have to negotiate with the mototaxis driver to wait for you.

Alternately, you can hike it. From the museo, head back towards the main highway along Independencia for about a kilometer until you come to Calle Victoria, across the street from the tiny Capilla de la Santisima Virgen de Juquila on the right. (See blue path on map.) Turn left and head straight uphill until you come to the large church conspicuously perched on the hill. Fork right and continue around the back of the church and past the cemetery on the left. Here, the paved road turns to dirt, but is wide and well maintained, so if you're driving you should be fine. Continue for another two kilometers along the ridge, stopping every so often to enjoy the stunning views of Etla Valley and surrounding mountains, passing the old woman with a machete resting on the side of the hill, watching over her small herd of goats, the goats grazing on the thick, green summer grasses, the dirt road dead ending at the archaeological site.

To return to the city, flag down a white van or colectivo anywhere along Independencia. One should be along soon.

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