April is the hottest time of year in Oaxaca. The sun has not yet made it to its northernmost point, so it’s right overhead. Burning down. Not a good time to visit Oaxaca’s hottest region, or it is?
Most of what makes the Central Valles Region of Oaxaca hot is the sun, at 1,555 meters above sea level (5,102 ft.) that sun really beats down on you. The Papaloapan region in northern Oaxaca is where the gulf coast plane meets the mountains. The trip from Oaxaca City to Valle Nacional first takes you up over 2000 meters before dropping down to a mear 60 meters above sea level (196 ft.) in Valle Nacional. Be sure to travel during the day and get a window seat as the views are spectacular.
The stretch between Valle Nacional and Tuxtepec is lush and green and its rivers are full of cold water coming down the mountains in the form of beautiful waterfalls and natural swimming holes.
The most famous of which is Zuzul, where a large pool has been made before the water joins the main river. While the air temperatures are in the upper 30s (over 100) this time of year, the water is around 22 degrees (about 70).
Monte flor is also well known as it’s right off the highway, and easy to get to. The swimming area is smaller but built with the water flowing through it and it’s safe to continue floating on downstream.
Harder to get to, but very worth it is El Naranjal. This is a series of waterfalls with pools of a variety of depths set back in the trees so you can completely forget about the heat.