Today we want to tell you about one of the most beautiful volcanoes in America, the Nevado de Toluca or Xinantécatl, 4,680m, situated in the State of Mexico, less than one hour away from the city of Toluca.
This mountain is ideal to get started with alpinism, as it is non-technical, and its normal route can be completed in less than five hours, with a vertical difference of hardly 700 meters.
On the other hand, it is a volcano of great beauty, as it holds two lakes inside its crater, that of the Sun and that of the Moon. The normal route implies walking to the edge of the crater, descending, climbing across a good section of the ridge till the summit (called Pico del Fraile, or Friar’s Peak), descend again to the crater, go around the Lake of the Sun, and trek back to the parking area.
For those adventurers with mountaineering experience, the Nevado is a fantastic place to improve their acclimatization before heading for a higher peak, such as Iztaccíhuatl (5,220m) or Pico de Orizaba (5,630m).
There are two routes that help us with our acclimatization process: one is the famous “around the crater ridge”. In this case, we spend between three and four hours at an altitude of at least 4,600 meters. The other route is the Bear’s Ridge (Arista del Oso). Here we start off at a lesser altitude, 3,700 meters, y walk thru a gorgeous forest till we reach the rigde and the summit.
You will find more information and images here.