Mexico Volcano Climber
Mexico, Climbing, 15 days - from £1,795 (land only) - from €2,155 (land only) - from $2,960 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Mexico City. A timed group airport transfer is provided. KE Land Only package services begin with the overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: After breakfast we drive 90km down the highway to the base of the peak known as La Malinche. After checking in at our hacienda base, we will have an acclimatisation hike on the slopes of the mountain. Returning to the hacienda, we will pack for the ascent on the next day.
Day 3: This is Mexico's 5th highest peak and provides excellent acclimatisation for the climbs later in the week. Today, we hike for 4 or 5 hours to our high camp on Malinche.
Day 4: Above our high camp, we follow a good trail across scree to reach rockier ground on the summit ridge. It will take us 3 hours or so to reach the summit at 4462 metres and a further 1 or 2 hours to return to high camp. We break camp and hike back down to our hacienda base.
Day 5: Today, we drive to our basecamp for the next peak, Iztaccihuatl, which lies approximately 70 kilometres south-east of Mexico City. Our camp is at La Joya at an altitude of around 3900 metres, on the edge of a pine forest.
Day 6: Following the normal route, known as La Arista del Sol, we move up to a high camp on the mountain at around 4725 metres. It should take approximately 4 hours to make this ascent.
Day 7: Continuing our ascent of the 'Ridge of the Sun', it is an 8 to 10 hour day to reach the summit (5260m) and descend to La Joya. From the top, the views extend to Popcatepetl and Mexico City. After the climb, we drive back to our hacienda below La Malinche.
Day 8: This is a useful rest day, as we drive the 150 kilometers to the Servimont Climbers Hostel in the town of Tlachichuca. We have lots of time to check out the town and to prepare our gear for the ascent of Orizaba.
Day 9: We hike up the flanks of Orizaba to the Piedra Grande hut (4230m) on the north side of the volcano. This is not the standard route but gives us a better opportunity to acclimatise and see the mountain. Our gear will be transported by 4WD to the hut. We spend the night in the hut, just above the tree line.
Day 10: Moving up to a high camp at around 4750 metres gives us extra acclimatisation and reduces the effort of tomorrow's ascent. The afternoon is spent relaxing and taking in the views.
Day 11: We make an early start for the ascent of Orizaba (5746m). The route follows easy angled snow slopes on the Glacier de Jamapa. Reaching the crater we then follow the edge 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 breathtaking. We descend to the Piedra Grande hut after 8 to 10 hours.
Day 12: After breakfast at the hut, we pak our gear into the 4WD and hike back down to Tlachichuca. The afternoon is free. Overnight at the Servimont Hostel.
Day 13: This is a contingency day in case of bad weather to give us a second chance to attempt Orizaba. If we have climbed the peak at the first attempt, we will return to the hacienda below Malinche today and visit the nearby town of Huamantla, with its cafes and markets.
Day 14: In the morning, we drive back through rural Mexico to our hotel in the city. For those who wish there will be a guided tour of Mexico City's wonderful collection of colonial buildings from the Spanish era.
Day 15: After breakfast there is a timed group transfer to Mexico City Airport where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.