San José del Pacífico

High in the misty mountains that close off the south end of the Valles Centrales, 135km from Oaxaca, San José del Pacífico is chiefly renowned for one thing – the hallucinogenic mushroom Psilocybe mexicana. Though their consumption is officially illegal, these hongos mágicos (magic mushrooms) help to make San José quite a popular travelers' stop en route between Oaxaca city and the coast. There's a significant community of alternative lifestylers here and in nearby villages. Mushrooms or no mushrooms, San José has a touch of magic anyway and is a beautiful place to break a journey. When the clouds clear, the views over pristine forested ranges and valleys are fabulous. There are good walks, a handful of surprisingly good places to stay, and several places where you can take a temascal steam bath.

Plan with a local