Itinerary

Mexico Volcanoes Expedition Itinerary

Top notch guides, flawless logistics, great food and lodging, amazing cultural experience as well as adventure.

I am loyal to Alpine Ascents because of the people first, and the mountains second. Everyone I have ever dealt with at AAI has been great – professional, responsive, friendly

 

Day 1

Flight to Mexico City, early afternoon arrival (not evening). We’ll begin with a thorough equipment check and orientation at our hotel at 5PM, including a discussion of Leave No Trace practices. After a nice dinner in the neighborhood near our hotel, we will spend the night in Mexico City and rest up for our first climb.

  • Altitudes: Mexico City: 2,240 m/7,350 ft.
  • Travel times: Airport – Hotel: 45 min
  • Accommodations: Hotel with WiFi and cell phone signal

Day 2

Following breakfast, we will tour the Museum of Anthropology, the national museum of Mexico. Considered by some to be “a national treasure and a symbol of identity”, the museum contains an excellent selection of archaeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage. From the museum, we will drive in private vehicles to the small town at the base of La Malinche (14,636 ft.). We will spend the night at the La Malintizi Resort (10,000 ft.).

    • Altitudes: Mexico City: 2,240 m/7,350 ft.
      La Malintizi Resort: 3,050 m/10,000 ft.
    • Travel times: Hotel – base of La Malinche: 2.5hrs
    • Accommodations: Hotel with WiFi and cell phone signal

Day 3

Climbers now begin to acclimatize with a short hike on the flanks of La Malinche hiking to about 12,000 ft. In the afternoon we will relax at the La Malintizi resort and prepare to climb La Malinche 14,636 ft. We will spend the night at the La Malintizi Resort (10,000 ft.).

      • Altitudes: La Malintizi Resort: 3,050 m/10,000 ft.
      • Vertical gain climbing: 600 m/2000 ft.
      • Hiking/climbing times: 3-4 hours on acclimating hike
      • Accommodation: Resort with Wi-Fi and cell signal

Day 4

After breakfast depart for the summit of La Malinche 14,636 ft. . On a clear morning we will have exquisite views of the surrounding Mexico volcanoes. It is easy to visualize the geologic cataclysms that created these giant mountains. After returning from the summit we will have lunch at La Malintizi and drive to Puebla. We will spend the night in Puebla (7,100 ft.) enjoying a traditional Mexican meal.

      • Altitudes: La Malintizi Resort: 3,050 m/10,000 ft
        Summit La Malinche: 4,461 m/ 14,636 ft.
        Puebla: 2164 m/ 7,100 ft.
      • Vertical gain climbing: 1413 m/4,636 ft.
      • Travel times: La Malintiza – Puebla 1.5 hours
      • Hiking/climbing times: La Malintizi resort – summit La Malinche roundtrip 5-7 hours
      • Accommodation: Resort with Wi-Fi and cell signal

Day 5

The team will have a rest day in the colonial town of Puebla where we will visit local market, shops, and cultural sites such as churches and other prominent buildings in the town. After lunch we will drive out of Puebla and head up to Zoapan (10,000ft).  This evening we will organize and make any final equipment adjustments to prepare for Sierra Negra and Orizaba.

      • Altitudes: Puebla: 2164 m/ 7,100 ft.
      • Altitudes: Zoapan: 3,050 m/10,000 ft
      • Accommodations: Hotel with limited WiFi and cell phone signal

Day 6

Today we attempt our second objective, Sierra Negra which is a sub peak of Orizaba. Sierra Negra (black mountain) is the fifth highest peak in Mexico standing at 15,354ft. The climb to the summit takes most groups around 4-5 hours. On the summit we will enjoy close up views of Orizaba. After a long break on the summit we will retrace our steps back down to the trailhead. In the afternoon we will drive to Tlachichuca, where we will meet our local outfitter and transport gear by 4x4s for the drive to our Base Camp at Piedra Grande (14,000 ft.), the lower slopes of Orizaba. Overnight at Piedra Grande.

      • Altitudes: Zoapan: 3,050 m/10,000 ft
        Trailhead for Sierra Negra: 3,931 m/ 12,900 ft.
        Summit Sierra Negra: 4,680 m/ 15,354 ft.
        Orizaba Base camp Piedra Grande: 4267 m/ 14,000 ft.
      • Vertical gain climbing: 750 m/ 2,454 ft.
      • Hiking/climbing times: Trailhead – summit Sierra Negra roundtrip 4-5 hours
      • Accommodation: Orizaba Base Camp, no wifi/limited cell service

Day 7

After breakfast we will take an acclimatization hike up towards the glacier. We will review technical skills on the side of Orizaba in preparation for our ascent. In the afternoon we will spend rest of the day relaxing, hydrating, and fueling to prepare for our summit bid the next day.

      • Altitudes: Orizaba Base camp Piedra Grande: 4267 m/ 14,000 ft.
      • Vertical gain climbing: 600 m/2000 ft.
      • Hiking/climbing times: Training and skills review 4-6 hours
      • Accommodation: Orizaba Base Camp, no wifi/limited cell service

Day 8

Our final climbing objective is an ascent of Orizaba, Mexico’s highest mountain, known as Citlaltepetl or El Pico de Orizaba (Mountain of the Star). At 18,491 ft/5636m, it stands almost 1,000 ft. higher than legendary Popo. We begin our climb before dawn to take advantage of optimum snow conditions and provide ample time to complete the climb before dark. En route, we’ll climb through a rock ravine, then make our way to the base of the Jamapa glacier where we will rope up and climb up the iconic glacier slopes. On the final stretch, we’ll maneuver the summit ridge along the crater’s edge. From the summit, we can scan the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the central plateau to the west. We’ll return to Tlachichuca for a summit celebration.

      • Altitudes: Orizaba Base camp Piedra Grande: 4267 m/ 14,000 ft.
        Summit Orizaba: 5636 m / 18,491 ft.
      • Vertical gain climbing: 1369 m/ 4,491 ft.
      • Hiking/climbing times: Base Camp – summit Orizaba roundtrip 8-10 hours
      • Accommodation: Hotel with WiFi and cell phone signal

Day 9

Following breakfast, we travel back to Mexico city. The team will have a team dinner before flying out the following day. Day 9 can be used as an alternative climbing day on Orizaba if weather/conditions do no permit for a summit attempt on Day 8.

      • Altitudes: Mexico City: 2,240 m/7,350 ft.
      • Travel times: Tlachichuca – Mexico City 4.5 hours
      • Accommodations: Hotel with WiFi and cell phone signal

Day 10

Depart for country of origin.

It was hard and dirty. It was fun. The guides were great. My fellow team mates were awesome. Our guide was a great cook, and we ate well. The hotels were perfect, the logistics seamless. This was my first international expedition, and presented a great learning opportunity. I’d go back in a heartbeat!

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

Volcanoes of Mexico BLOG

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