Volcanoes of Mexico

Climb Volcanoes of Mexico With Alpine Ascents

Great experience pushing our climbing skills to the next level. Everything about the Volcanoes of Mexico climb was perfectly arranged from booking to climbing. AAI’s logistics, high altitude acclimation, guides, local knowledge and contacts, climbing safety, and team building continue to be #1.

Overall, an outstanding trip. Loved it. My son loved it. Memories for a lifetime. And fuel for more mountain adventures.

Highlights of our Mexico Volcanoes Expedition

New itinerary: We have a new itinerary for 2023/2024 as conditions on Ixta have become extremely hazardous and we now climb La Malinche.

  • Alpine Ascents guides lead each trip.
  • There is a low climber-to-guide ratio.
  • We offer a fully inclusive trip with no hidden costs.
  • Our 10 day itinerary greatly increases chances of summit success.
  • We hand pick our local guides and transportation.
  • Cultural activities are included in the itinerary.
  • Alpine Ascents has 30 years of experience guiding in Mexico.
  • This trip provides excellent preparation for Denali. 
  • See more on our Why Climb With Us in Mexico page. 

Recent Success

We had a great 2022/2023 season with all teams reaching the summit of Ixta and Orizaba. We are excited to continue operations this fall with guides Stuart Robertson, Connor Chilcott, Hannah McGowan, and Seth Timpano heading up our trips.  The Volcanoes of Mexico is one of our advanced beginner climbs at altitude, a perfect follow-up to Mt. Rainier or other Beginner Mountaineering Courses, and is particularly beneficial for those needing more experience before climbing Denali. In most cases our Mexico climbs are led by the same guides who lead our Denali expeditions.

About the Trip

In the heart of Mexico, about 800 miles south of the United States border, rise the third highest mountains in North America. El Pico de Orizaba (also known as Chitlalcotepetl, 18,491 ft. 5636m) towers impressively above the central plateau. In preparation of our ascent of Orizaba we will climb La Malinche and Sierra Negra (5th highest peak in Mexico). The new itinerary has climbers acclimating and on La Malinche and Sierra Negra as Itza has become increasingly hazardous due to changing conditions. This Alpine Ascents expedition provides a fantastically rich experience for both the advanced beginner and the intermediate climber. It also serves as an excellent preparation for climbing mountains such as Denali and is an affordable way to participate in a successful international high-altitude expedition.

The Mountains

La Malinche is located 30 miles north of Puebla at an elevation of 14,640 feet. We will spend several night at La Malintiza located inside La Malinche National Park and was the form training facility for Olympic athletes. On 7.5 mile climb we will start by walking through its beautiful plants, flowers and tall old growth trees. As we near the final section to the summit La Piramide we will get views of famous Mexico volcanoes Popocatepetl, Iztaccihuatl, and our final climbing objective Orizaba.

Sierra Negra’s name means ‘black mountain’ or ‘black peak’. Sierra Negra or ‘tliltepetl’ is the 5th highest peak in Mexico at 15,354ft / 4680. Sierra Negra rises from the saddle (Valle del Encuentro) it shares with El Pico de Orizaba. The mountain is home to one of the world’s premier astronomical instruments. The observatory located on the summit that is operated in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts and the Institute Nacinal de Astrofiscia in Mexico City. Standing on the summit of Sierra Negra provides surreal views of Orizaba and helps prepare us for our final climbing objective.

The Legend of Popo and Izta

This traditional story is well known throughout the Puebla regions and is quite famous throughout all of Mexico. As the legend goes, while Popo (the Smoking Warrior) was at war, the emperor’s beautiful daughter, Izta, died of heartache. When he returned and learned of her death, he built two mountains. On one, he laid her body and on the other, he stood holding a funeral torch. Some days it still appears as if Itza is stretched on her back while the steam of Popo watches over her. Given its recent activity, many are reluctant to forego the romantic imagery of this great “Smoking Mountain.”


I think the expedition was great. I have nothing but praise for our guide and everyone I spoke with in your office. Reasonably priced, great guides.

High camp on Izta at the Otis Mcallister hut
Final push on the summit ridge of Orizaba
Looking over the Valley of Mexico and Mexico City from high camp on Izta
Alpine Ascents Mexico Volcanoes
Photo: Mario Simoes
Alpine Ascents Mexico Volcanoes
Photo: Mario Simoes
Summit ridge of Izta
Street artist in Cholula, Mexico
The Aztec calendar on display at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City
Climbers on a day hike to acclimate near Izta
High camp on Izta at the Otis Mcallister hut
Summit ridge on Izta with Popo in the background
Early morning sunrise with Orizaba castings its shadow
Looking down the summit ridge of Orizaba
Architecture in Mexico City
Mesoamerica artifacts at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City


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