Hiking the Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park

Take a walk along the most iconic volcanoes as you discover the landscape and endemic species of this region
View of the Iztaccihuatl volcano – File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
02/01/2018
12:34
Viridiana Ramírez
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The volcanos Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl are the second and third highest peaks in Mexico. And in case you didn't know, the National Park around them was one of the first to be recognized as a Protected Area, in 1935.

What to do

This park has six hiking routes signposted throughout which you can do on your own. The two most famous ones are the route of the volcanic rabbit (known as teporingo) which takes you to places where you may catch a glimpse of this endangered species, found only in Mexico, and the Alpine Way, a 7-km walk which ends at the overlook of La Joya, the starting point for those who wish to climb to the Iztaccíhuatl.

If mountain climbing is not your thing, the hiking trails offer you magnificent views of the volcanoes and of several waterfalls and wildlife along the way.

popocatepetl3.jpg
(File photo/EL UNIVERSAL)

Mountaineering

While it is forbidden to climb the Popocatepetl because it's considered an active volcano, it is possible to climb the Iztaccíhuatl. If you aren't making your expedition with a tour operator, you must register at the Visitor's Center and hire the services of a mountain guide. There are no fixed prices.

What to wear

Preferably, thermal clothes. It's highly recommended to dress in layers as temperatures range between 8°C and -4°C for this time of the year. Sunblock cream, gloves, scarves, and outdoor footwear are also highly recommended. Wearing wear thin shoes, such as canvas shoes, is strongly discouraged.

Where to sleep

7 kilometers from Paso de Cortés you can find rustic cabins for rent at the recreational center Buenavista. Rooms prices range between MXN$500 (roughly USD$25) per night and family cabins from MXN$1,100 (roughly USD$56). They all include a set of logs to start a fire.

popocatepetl2.jpg
(File photo/EL UNIVERSAL)

How to get there

The main access to the National Park is Paso de Cortéz, 23 kilometers from the city of Amecameca. Our recommendation is that you try to get there between 6:00 and 7:00, as there are security checkpoints which control the entrance of visitors to the park, and it can take you up to five hours to get inside the National Park.

If you want more information, please visit the Spanish website.

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