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10-Day Volcano and Culture Expedition in Mexico

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Follow one of the wonderful IFMGA-certified guides of Alpine Ascents International to Mexico and join a 10-day mountaineering excursion of its great volcanoes.


Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt

10 Days

Oct - Dec




* Conquer El Pico de Arizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico.

* Discover the rare terrain of stratovolcanoes and their exciting ascents.

* Immerse yourself in traditional Mexican towns and their culture.


Climb into the heart of Mexico and reach the peak of the third tallest mountain in North America! Take ten days to delve into the local culture of an immensely beautiful country and ascend two of its notorious volcanoes, El Pico de Orizaba and Citlalcotepetl, on a top-notch mountaineering program!

El Pico de Orizaba, or Citlalcotepetl, rises 5,636 meters in the central plateau of Mexico. Located on the border of the states of Veracruz and Puebla, this dormant volcano is the second most prominent volcano in the world. Not only does this memorable peak have summit views of the Gulf of Mexico, but it is also home to Mexico’s largest glacier.

Slightly smaller in stature, but no less important, is Iztaccihuatl (5,230m). Also known as “Izta,” it is another dormant volcano and the third highest peak in Mexico. The mountain is visible from Mexico City, lying on the border between Puebla and the State of Mexico. Its small glaciers and low-numbered crevasses make it an exciting climb.

Mountaineers from across the globe seek out these peaks, which have been formed from as far back as ten million years. It is a unique terrain that add a level of excitement to the climbs. While they do have certain challenges and difficult spots, these summits are great for all experienced mountaineers.

Our ten-day adventure is designed to give you the best of Mexico and its volcanoes. We will dig into the history of Puebla and the authentic towns of the central plateau. You will supplement your glorious ascents with intriguing history, national museum visits, learning about Mexican archaeology and viewing its artifacts.

The region and its mountains, while featuring their own compelling terrain and mountaineering opportunities, are a great place to hone your skills for more ambitious climbs, including Denali. They provide practicing mountaineers valuable experience in high altitudes, glacier traverses, technical climbing, and sustained mountain time.

Should we encounter poor weather and we are unable to summit Iztaccihuatl, we will focus the first half of our program on summiting Nevado de Toluca (4,680m) and La Malinche (4,461m). This will include stops in Valle de Brava (home to Mexico’s incredible world of adventure sports), local home-cooked meals, and authentic interactions with the towns and people.

These two peaks are the most exciting and stunning climbs in Mexico, and we are always looking forward to making the climbs. Our passion for fun, safe climbs make this a perfect program for anyone who is looking for an unforgettable way to experience Mexico. This fantastic program allows us the chance to share our expertise of these awesome mountains and have a blast with fellow adventurers.

This program should be approached with appropriate planning and preparation, including a high level of fitness and mental fortitude. You should have prior experience in mountaineering and an understanding of its safety requirements.

Book this 10-day expedition now and enjoy a mountaineering program that offers memorable volcano climbs intertwined with the rich cultural tapestry of Mexico.

We can also take a 16-day mountaineering trip to Bolivia… maybe 20 days… and conquer its indomitable peaks! Or we can slay Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America and one of the seven summits!


Day 1: Welcome to Mexico City

We will arrive in Mexico City in the early afternoon, with plenty of time to go over our gear and the itinerary for the expedition. This will also include a discussion of our Leave No Trace policy.

We will rest up in a hotel and prepare for our adventure.

Day 2: Amecameca

After breakfast, we will visit the Museum of Anthropology, the national museum of Mexico. It provides an in-depth look at the vibrant history and identity of Mexico, as well as the pre-Columbian heritage associated with it.

Moving on from the museum, we will head out into the foothills and to the town of Amecameca. Nestled at the base of Volcanoes National Park, this traditional town is a perfect way to spend an authentic Puebla afternoon at a local marketplace in the warmth of its people, surrounded by the rich regional vegetation.

We will end the day in La Joya, possibly at Altzimoni Hut, where we will set up base camp for our climb of Iztaccihuatl.

Day 3: Base Camp

We will continue acclimatizing and resting for the upcoming climb.

Day 4: High Camp

Our day consists of breaking down camp and moving above 4,500 meters to set up our High Camp.

Day 5: Iztaccihuatl Summit

Before dawn, we will start our ascent of Iztaccihuatl by traversing the Ayaloco Glacier. The conditions may warrant crampons and ice axes, and we can expect some moderate ridges, ice cliffs, and a high couloir that will set you up for the last march to the top.

Guided by the sunrise on clear days, this spectacular climb culminates in mountain panoramas and the compelling geology of the terrain. Descending back to La Joya, we move to Puebla in preparation for the second goal of our adventure.

Day 6: Puebla

The colonial town of Puebla possesses deep tradition and offers a genuine local experience. We will enjoy a more relaxed day strolling through the marketplace, and in the late morning we will visit Cholula and the largest pyramid in the world. Our evening will be spent going over equipment for the following days.

Day 7: Piedra Grande

Driving to Tlachichuca will get our gear loaded up and ready to take to the Base Camp at Piedra Grande. This location gets us in proximity to El Pico de Orizaba.

Day 8: Acclimatization Hike

We will take it easy on this day. An easy hike accompanied with proper hydration and nutritional fueling will set us up for success on our next climb.

Day 9: El Pico de Orizaba

With ravines, crevasses, and even a climb along the ridge of the crater, this is an exciting climb that we will start early. The technical challenges add to the sense of accomplishment once you reach the summit, where you can look to the east and see the Gulf of Mexico.

We will descend back down and return to Mexico City for one last night.

Day 10: Head Back Home

After an exciting and unforgettable trip, we will return home with a whole new story to tell.



More info

Programs usually consist of six (6) to eight (8) climbers.

If poor conditions restrict us from summiting Izta, an alternative itinerary will feature a climb of three summits: Nevado de Toluca, La Malinche, and Orizaba.

Please purchase trip cancellation insurance within 21 days of booking this program.

The following personal gear and items are required for this program: - Ice axe - Crampons - Climbing harness with two (2) locking carabiners - At least four (4) additional non-locking carabiners - 40-feet of accessory cord - Trekking poles - Mountaineering boots - Gaiters - Three (3) pairs of hiking socks - Short underwear - Base-layer pants and shirts - Mid-layer top - Soft-shell pants and jacket - Hard-shell pants and jacket - Insulated lightweight jacket - Insulated synthetic pants - Insulated down parka - Liner gloves - Soft-shell gloves - Insulated mittens - Climbing helmet - UV buff - Hat for sun protection - SPF 30+ sunscreen - SPF 30+ lip balm - Ski hat - Headlamp - Glacier glasses - Ski goggles - Sleeping bag - 55-liter climbing backpack - Foam pad - Inflatable sleeping pad (optional) - Personal food - Wide-mouth water bottles - Travel mug, bowl, knife, and spoon - Durable trash bags - Urine bottle (and funnel, if necessary) - Toiletry bag including toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste - First aid kit and medication(s) as necessary - Earplugs - Internet device (smartphones are acceptable) - Water purification and treatment set - Running shoes for approaches and off-mountain travel - Travel clothing - Duffel bag (recommended) - Camera (recommended) Some of these items are available for rent. Contact us with any questions you may have.

Meeting point

We will meet at your hotel in Mexico City. Contact us upon booking to establish a meeting point.

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