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Mexico Mountaineering Adventure in 2024 (Iztaccihuatl & Orizaba)

Mexico City is a great destination to have fun between city life and surrounding hikes to offer some variation. Mexico City is one of the most important political, cultural, educational, and financial centres in North America. Its environment is rich and diverse making it a popular destination in Latin America with its long history as a densely populated area and its central role as a political powerhouse in the region for centuries. Among its many fascinating historical attractions is the Templo Mayor which is the site showcasing ruins from Aztec culture from the 13th-century, the baroque Catedral Metropolitana de Mexico of the Spanish conquistadors and the Palacio Nacional, which houses historic murals by Diego Rivera. All this can be encountered around the Plaza de la Constitucion, the massive main square also known as the Zocalo.


TENTATIVE DATE: JANUARY 21-26, 2023


Itinerary

Day 1 - (Travel and acclimatization day). This day you are arriving to Mexico City in the late evening or early morning. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Our itinerary for the day will consist of hiking to Circuito Cumbres del Ajusco (4000m, 6km, 656m elevation gain). It starts from the hotel driving towards the parking lot of Albergue Alpino Ajusco (approx. 1 hr). We will walk along the horseshoe-shaped ridge that will pass three high points including Ajusco’s peaks, Pico de Aguila, and the Cruz de Marques, which is the highest point inside Mexico City. From this highpoint, we can enjoy great views of the entire city spread out before us, including the unforgettable view of Popocatepetl, Iztaccihuatl volcanues, and Nevado de Toluca in the distance. This hike is a great acclimatization hike to start.


Day 2 - (Hiking day). We will drive for a couple of hours to approach the trailhead of Nevado de Toluca (8.2km, 863m elevation gain). This incredible hiking loop goes along the crater's ridge with an attractive view of La Luna and El Sol Lakes in this dormant volcano’s bottom crater. We will traverse several summits along the route and get to the highest peak called Pico del Fraile (4680m). We will return to Mexico City for the evening.


Day 3 - (Transit day). Moving to the base camp of Iztaccihuatl at Parque Nacional Iztaccihuatl – Popocatepetl, also known as Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park. This is located at the border of the states of Mexico, Puebla and Morelos. It will take 3 hours of driving to reach the base camp called La Joya. There we will set up tents and prepare packs for the next day’s climbing day.


Day 4 - (Iztaccihuatl summit day). This day will involve an early alpine start, coffee, and some light breakfast to help kick-start our day. Our goal is to reach the summit of Iztaccihuatl volcanoe (5230m, 13km, 1200m elevation gain ). This objective will provide us with fabulous views and a fantastic sunrise overlooking the surrounding area. The majority of the route follows a rock ridge with a well-marked trail until we reach "el campo los cien" (the group of 100 camps) where there are a few sections that will require us to traverse some ledges and small and easy glacier sections. On our way down we will pack up all our staff and drive to Puebla (approx. 2.5 hrs) where we will have a nice evening and a well-rested night in a hotel bed.


Day 5 - (Orizaba base camp). After breakfast, we will load the car and continue driving to reach Parque Nacional Pico de Orizaba with a stop in Tlachichuca, a small town at the base of the mountain. From here we will switch vehicles and transfer to a 4x4 for driving on the rough mountain terrain in order to reach the base camp called Piedra Grande (4240m). There is also a refuge that we could use but it is first come first serve, so if it is full we will set the tents up and install ourselves near the refuge. We will use the remainder of the time to plan our next day, pack our backpacks with gear, and have a good rest before our early start for the ascent.


Day 6 - (Orizaba summit day). Summit day will involve an early alpine start (around 12am) with some coffee and light breakfast. Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico, will greet us a welcoming and gorgeous morning sunrise over its glacier from the lofty summit (5640m). After summiting, we will return to the base camp, pack up all our gear, and hop into the truck as early as possible in the afternoon to head back to Mexico City by late evening. We suggest that you take the latest flight to return to your home country. Note: this will be a long day and a tight schedule, so we will need to efficient with our time.


This itinerary includes airport transfer (upon arrival and departure). Cost for transportation, accommodation, guiding, gear (harness, crampons, helmet, ice axe, tent), park permits, and meals on Iztaccihuatl and Orizaba ascents are also included. Meals outside of the Iztaccihuatl and Orizaba hikes are not included. We highly recommend that you purchase private insurance from your home country. Maximum group size is 6 people. Please be prepared for variable weather (e.g., appropriate layers and clothing for temperatures up to -15 degrees Celsius). A more detailed gear list will be sent to participants after confirmation of registration. Please contact us to peruandesguide@gmail.com for a price quote.


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