A few weeks before Christmas (2019), a couple friends and I have decided to ditch Oaxaca de Juárez and head to the mountains for the colder climate, for new views, and well, for the mushrooms.
It would seem weird at first that a bunch of friends would ditch the city to head over to the mountains for some mushrooms. But let me tell you that these are not ordinary mushrooms, they are magic mushrooms. Yes, the psychedelics. I, personally, have not taken them before. But a bunch of the people I were with have done it, and I was very keen on trying it out.
The mountain town was called San José del Pacífico, and it is pretty popular throughout Mexico. Honestly, when you mention this town, everybody knows what you are headed there for. It is not secret to Mexicans and travellers alike what this town is mostly made up of.
San José del Pacífico was about a two to three hour drive from Oaxaca de Juárez, and you can opt for a bus, a small van, or a rental car. I have a met a lovely couple from the United Kingdom through a friend and they were coincidentally headed to San Jose as well and they were driving a rental car. So they invited me to come join them. What lovely thought, eh? But I had already committed to three of my friends that I met at the hostel we were staying at, and we were going to San Jose via small van. We each paid $110 MXN or about $5 USD for a spot in the small van, and I think that is a pretty reasonable price considering it is a three hour drive.
Now, getting into San Jose was no problem. One of the main problems you will encounter is finding an accommodation. There were no hostels nor hotel via Booking.com nor Hostel World, so you would have to get there pretty early (especially on weekends) to get a spot at the most sought after place in town, which is called Cabañas la Cumbre. Almost everyone who we have met in Oaxaca were raving about la Cumbre, and so we wanted to get a spot in this hostel. So we left Downtown Oaxaca at around 9a and arrived at San Jose at around 12n. I think that we had a great amount of miracles that day since when we got to la Cumbre, they said that our rooms were the only two rooms left. We were four people, and we got two rooms with a double bed and each shared rooms with each other. We paid about $24o MXN or about $11 USD for a room with a double bed.
La Cumbre is a hostel on top of the mountain, so before we got there, we were all pretty fricken’ tired. We all had our massive backpacks and we were not told we had to hike up the mountain to get to the hostel. But hey, it was an adventure so we gladly did it…even if we (mostly me) died to get there. Ha! They also had their own little restaurant so you would not have to go up and down to mountain to eat. Smart move on their part.
If you are one of the unlucky ones who cannot get a room at la Cumbre, worry not. There are a bunch of other hostels around the mountain where you can rent a room. Plus, the main viewing decks at la Cumbre are always open to outsiders so you can hangout with people there.
We went to San Jose in the winter time, so we were told that the mushrooms were not in season. The only mushrooms you can get during this time are dried mushrooms and mushrooms soaked in honey. Now we have heard a bunch of mixed reviews about this since a bunch of people said the mushrooms did not work, but a bunch also said that it really did its magic. So we said, why not?
We got to la Cumbre on Friday, and just rested for the rest of the day. We tried to gather our energy for our magic mushroom adventure the next day. Apparently you need to take it very early in the morning so you will get the benefit of being high the rest of the day. So that was exactly what we did.
On Saturday, we bought mushroom tea. This was basically just mushroom soaked in honey that was boiled in a pot of water. We paid $4oo MXN or $18 USD for a cup each. It was pretty expensive but considering that it was not in season, we did not complain and we just gave it a go.
Before taking the mushroom, we went on a little adventure around town and had lunch. Then we hiked back up to la Cumbre to do it. Cat and Johnny were the first ones to take it. Then it was Viraj, Shauna, Ioan, and I. We were actually pretty skeptical if the mushroom will work since two groups of people already took the mushrooms earlier that morning and they said it did not work at all. But we still took it.
Ten minutes after taking the tea, I went to the loo but as soon as I was in there, I felt the entire loo closing up on me. Damn, it was starting to work. So I got pretty freaked out and went outside.
I told Cat, “I think it’s working.”
Then Johnny told me, “I’m really high.”
No more than fifteen minutes, and we were all high off our wits.
We just sat by our viewing deck and just let time pass by. It was my first time trying psychedelics and I had no idea what to expect, but I was hopeful. We spent a good two hours just chilling by the viewing deck and looking at the clouds. It was so trippy, but we are were enjoying and nobody was freaking out…which was a good sign.
Then Ioan (pronounced yo-an) stood up and told us we all should go on a hike in the mountains. So we packed grabbed our fanny packs and backpacks and head out. It was actually funny because when we were exiting la Cumbre, we stumbled upon a group who said they have had two cups of mushroom tea each and it did not seem to work. Then there we were, a group of six and no more than fifteen minutes, we were all so high. I have no idea what they took, but what we took was pretty strong.
So we head for the mountains and spent the entirety of our ‘trip’ there. We stopped about three times before heading our ultimate destination…right next to two massive cactus. Then whilst we were tripping, we stumbled upon two of our friends who were studying in abroad from Germany; Miles and Stas. They said they did not trip as hard as us, but that was fine. They trip sat us. You know, trip sitting? Kind of like babysitting, but for people who were high? Hahaha.
We spent a considerable amount of our time on that little spot in the forest, and we had so much fun. At some point everyone kept on saying, ‘wow’. Every time someone said it, we would repeat it. It was so funny. Then at some point, I kept on crying for no apparent reason. It was weird, but it felt good…it was such a relief, really.
The funniest thing was, I felt the earth was breathing. Then I took out my phone and started taking photos for me to look at once my high has passed. Obviously, I was high as a mountain so these were just normal photos of the earth. Hahaha! Funny, but whatever.
It felt like hours when we hiked up the mountain to get to the spot we were at. But then when our high was on the down low, we hiked back down and it was literally just three minutes. Ha! Then we headed back to la Cumbre around sunset, and we had some beers and there was this local DJ playing some tunes. Then we just stayed on the viewing deck and had such a fun time.
After that, we all took showers then headed to the restaurant for some food and hot chocolates. Then we got some wood then we started a bonfire. We sat around the fire and got cosied up with blankets and our hot chocolates, then we just told jokes and stories. It was such a fun time. I loved it so much, and it is such a trip that I will never forget. Even the people who have done the mushrooms before told me that it was one of the best trips that they have had. So considering that this was my first, it would be so hard to replicate.
Here are some photographs that I took via my iPhone on that high time we were in the forest:
How beautiful is this horizon?
Most mornings and afternoons would be this foggy, and truthfully, it was actually quite magical.
The hike back up to la Cumbre mainly consists of us stopping every five minutes to take photographs because we were amazed at the views.
This was the mushroom tea that we drank. I kid you not when I said that it was black.
This was a funny selfie since I had just gotten my nose ring a couple of days prior. I was still pretty conscious about it and I felt like it added to my trip, hahaha.
Here are a bunch of selfies from our adventures in the forest. There are Cat, Viraj, and I.
At one point I started taking selfies with the tree branches since I felt like they were getting closer and closer, hahaha.
Here is one earth photograph that I took when I felt like the earth was breathing. Obviously, it was just a normal photo, but the story behind it was really funny.
For a few hours I just started crying and a freaking out a bit, but my friends really handled me well. It was such a great company, and I think when you are taking hallucinogenics, you really have to make sure that you have a great bunch of people.
I just took some photographs of us whilst on the peak of our trip because I wanted to see what we looked like from the outside.
We were saying, “wow”, throughout most of our trip and so I caught that on photo.
There were me, Ioan, Cat, Viraj, and Shona.
This photograph was taken as soon as we got back to la Cumbre, and here I was with Cat and Johnny.
Just in time to catch the beautiful sunset.
Just chilling in my Adidas slides…Adidas, please sponsor me. Ha!
Then we just chilled around our bonfire for the rest of the night.
Our view the next day.
This was our lunch crew the next day and these people were me (obviously), Cat, Ioan, Stas, George, Viraj, and Miles.
There we can see George taking a hit on what appears to be a cigarette.
I could not have left without taking a photograph of my boy, Dante, por supuesto.
This was taken just before we left for the weekend to go to warmer climate. We headed to Mazunte after San José del Pacífico, and it sure was a change!
On the night that we took the magic mushrooms, I wrote this on my journal:
“Oh, sometimes I feel sad to not be travelling with a ‘partner’, but views like this and friends like mine makes everything seem alright.”
Our time at San José del Pacífico will surely be a moment that I will cherish forever. A great adventure and ‘trip’ that I got to share with life long friends, and spectacular views that will be in my mind forever.
San José del Pacífico is one of those magical places that you just have to go to, at least, once in your lifetime. I strongly recommend heading to this beautiful mountain town if you have the chance and are in Mexico.
Finally a portrait with my beautiful mushroom crew: Viraj, Ioan, Shona, Johnny, Cat, and I. These people are great and I do not think I can ever take magic mushrooms without them again, hahaha. I mean, I could, but it will be hard to find great trip buddies.
If you have any questions with regards to taking magic mushrooms or San José del Pacífico, just comment below and I would love to help you out!
For now, I hope you guys enjoyed this little story time and be safe at home! Ciao!
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
John 3:36 NIV