The Nevado de Colima or Zapotépetl (4,280m) is a Mexican volcano situated in the State of Jalisco, two hours south of its capital, Guadalajara, and less than one hour from Ciudad Guzmán. It is the sixth tallest Mexican volcano, and an ideal place to practice basic alpinism, in a one-day trekking trip from the capital.
The Zapotépetl is neighbour to the Volcán de Fuego or Tonaltépetl (3,600 meters), which is currently active.
How to arrive
From Guadalajara we take the 54D toll highway towards Colima. At Ciudad Guzmán we take the road to Autlán. Just passing El Fresnito, we drive up a dirt road leading, 17 kilometers later, to the entrence to the Park. We register, and we can overnight at the huts belonging to the Code (Centro de Alto Rendimiento), at 3,700 meters. This will help our acclimatisation process.
We start from a spot called La Joya, and hike up through a forest. At 4,000 meters, the trees disappear, and we climb up a scree slope, till we run into a imposing massif, which I find similar to the silhoutte of the Cervino.
We leave the massif to our right, climb a semi-technical 5-meter wall, and reache the summit ridge. Twenty minutes later, we are at the highest point of Jalisco!
On a clear day, from the summit we will have a spectacular view of the active Volcán de Fuego, which is only five kilometers away.
The descent can be done following the ascent route. You can also continue around the massif, which stays to your right, at you will be back at La Joya in about 90 minutes
The estimated duration is between six and seven hours, depending on our fitness level.
Nevado de Colima is a double misnomer, as it sits entirely in the State of Jalisco, and it is rarely "nevado" (snowed).