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Volcanic Adventure in Mexico

Overview

The trip begins with a visit to the Teotihuacan Pyramids, before an acclimatisation hike around the crater lakes to the summit of Nevado de Toluca (4,691m).

We then transfer to a camp below Iztaccihuatl (or "Izta" as it is known), which is located 50 miles southeast of Mexico City. At 5,260m this extinct volcano is Mexico's third highest mountain. It is an immensely interesting peak, with snow, ice, rock and a superb long ridge.

After our ascent of Izta, we visit the fascinating cultural centre of Puebla, before arriving at Orizaba (5,746m).

Orizaba is the highest peak in Mexico and the third highest mountain in North America. It is a perfectly conical shaped volcano dripping with glaciers, which we have an excellent success rate on, partly due to using a high camp at 4,900m. To round off this short trip, we spend a day sight seeing in Mexico City.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival - Mexico City
Arrive in the electric capital Mexico City and you will be shown to your hotel for the evening.

Day 2: Mexico City - Teotihuacan Pyramids
Just 50km northeast of the capital, Teotihuacán was Mexico's biggest ancient cities. You will take a guded tour of the world- famous Teotihuacan Pyramids and after a full day of sightseeing, return to your hotel in Mexico City.

Day 3 & 4: Nevado de Toluca
Today we leave the city and drive in 4-wheel drive vehicles 110km down the highway to Nevado de Toluca. The volcano, which last erupted 3300 years ago, has a crater with two lagoons, called the 'sun' and the 'moon', where archaeological remains have been found in the past. The lakes are extremely cold, but divers who are brave enough can sometimes be seen in the lagoons. We spend two nights camped at 3,500m to begin our acclimatization.

Day 5: Ascent Nevado de Toluca (4,691m)
This is Mexico's fourth highest mountain and an excellent peak to acclimatize on. The route follows a rocky trail, before the exciting scramble around the summit crater. This has been described as similar in quality to the Snowdon Horseshoe. Overall, the climb to the summit should take roughly 4 hours.

Day 6: Iztaccihuatl (or "Izta" as it is known, 5,230m)
From our camp on Nevado de Toluca, we travel to La Joya camp at the base of Izta. Our base camp is at 3,900m on the edge of a pine forest.

Day 7: High camp on Izta
We use either the La Arista del Sol (Ridge of the Sun) route or the Glacier de Ayoloco route to climb Izta, depending on the weather conditions and the strength of our team. Whichever route we decide to climb, today, we move to a camp higher on the mountain at around 4,725m. It should take approximately 4 hours to make this ascent.

Day 8: Ascent of Izta (5,260m)
It is an 8 to 10 hour day to make the climb to the summit and back down to the road head. We'll need to start early in the morning whichever route we decide upon. From the summit, the views are superb across to Popcatepetl (previously a popular peak to climb until it starting erupting again), Mexico State, Puebla, and Mexico City. We descend all the way back down the mountain and drive out to a relaxing hacienda at Amecameca village for hot showers and a rewarding evening meal.

Day 9: Rest day in Puebla
We drive for 2 hours to Puebla. Puebla is en route to Orizaba and has a beautiful city centre, which is perfect for relaxing in cafes, looking around museums and churches and visiting a good bar in the evening. Our hotel for the night is centrally located and serves excellent food.

Day 10: Travel to Orizaba
We travel approximately 150 kilometres by road in our 4-wheel drive vehicles and then up the flanks of Orizaba to the Piedra Grande hut, which is located at 4,230m on the north side of the volcano. We spend the night in either tents, or in the hut on the plateau just above the tree line.

Day 11: High camp on Orizaba
We walk up to high camp on Orizaba, located at 4,900m, we make the straightforward climb to this higher 'jump' position where we can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing before tomorrow's ascent.

Day 12: Ascent of Orizaba (5,746m)
A pre-dawn start is needed to reach the summit before snow conditions deteriorate in the midday sun. The route follows the Glacier de Jamapa, which is a straightforward slope at an average angle of 30°. We rope up as there are occasional crevasses and sometimes conditions can be quite icy. The route goes through a rock ravine and traverses below a band of rock before reaching the crater rim. From here, we follow the edge of the crater round to the summit, which is marked by a cross. The views across the Gulf of Mexico to the east and the central plateau to the west are quite breathtaking. After spending some time on the summit, we descend back down to Piedra Grande hut. The climb and descent should take 8 to 10 hours in total.

Day 13: Return drive to Mexico City
In the morning, we drive back through rural Mexico to our hotel in the city. You can spend the afternoon showering and generally relaxing after the previous day's climb. In the evening, we go out for a celebratory meal.

Day 14: Departure
There is time for a full day of sightseeing. We take in Mexico City's wonderful collection of colonial buildings from the Spanish era, epic murals by the likes of Rivera, Orozco and Siquieras and excellent museums of art and archaeology. Our flight home leaves Mexico City late in the evening. Hasta Leugo, Amigo!

Map

Essentials

Included:
  • Accommodation - Lodge, mountain hut and camping accommodation throughout the trip
  • Ground transport
  • All meals during the expedition
  • All porterage costs
  • All costs for leaders, guides and local helpers detailed under Team Composition
  • Not Included:
  • International flights
  • Internal flights (if applicable)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Meals & drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips & personal expenses
  • Visa fee
  • Lunch and evening meals in Mexico City
  • Essentials

    The volcanoes are very accessible and the climbing is technically moderate in this programme. Therefore team members need to have completed Grade 1 scrambles and have some crampon and ice axe experience.

    To join the expedition to Mexico you need the following specialist equipment:

  • Ice Axe
  • Crampons
  • Climbing Harness
  • Helmet
  • 2 x Screwgate Karabiners
  • 3/4 metres of 6mm climbing rope (for prussic loops)
  • Double Mountaineering Boots
  • 4 Season Sleeping Bag
    A complete climbing equipment and clothing list is included in the expedition dossier, which is sent to you on booking along with details of our comprehensive Equipment Hire Service.

    Are you wondering about flights, deposits and other bits and pieces? Here are a few items of essential information that could help with the planning of your trip with Tango Tours. If you have any questions please just contact us.

    International Flights
    Getting to Mexico is straightforward from most areas of the world, but you may find that the choice is bewildering, or you’re not sure about the easiest route. Tango Tours are experienced in planning flights and we are very happy to advise you on the different choices available. Because prices tend to increase closer to your departure date, we advise that you buy your international flight tickets as soon as you have made a decision about your tour. As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can assist in your purchase of international flights. In fact, your entire tour can be protected under our ATOL licence by booking your international flight with us. Please note that flight tickets are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Internal Flights
    As with international flights, Tango Tours' friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to book your internal flights for you if required. For some itineraries, you need to arrive at a particular destination at a required time/date therefore, it is vital that you book the correct flights and times of arrival. Our ATOL licence will protect your whole tour if your internal flights are purchased through us. Please note that flights are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Payments
    To confirm your booking with Tango Tours, we require a payment of 20% of the ground-based arrangements and 100% of all flights. The remaining balance of your tour is then payable 10 weeks prior to departure. For any bookings made within these 10 weeks, the full amount is payable.

    Activities
    We provide brief activity/excursion information in the itinerary. If you would like more in-depth details regarding any included activity/excursion then contact us! Please note: itineraries ma