Mexico's volcanoes offer an exciting trip for climbers seeking the challenges of climbing at moderate altitude amidst an interesting cultural backdrop. Volcanic giants aside, Mexico's climate is also well suited for rock climbing. Best known alpine rock climbing is found in El Potrero Chico. Further south the peaks get generally lower.

  • Mexico Most of Mexico aside of narrow coastal strips is covered with mountain chains running close to both coasts and the land in between is is high Plateau, not unlike Colorado Plateau further north. The highest peaks of the country are volcanoes located in Cordillera Neovolcanica in the central part of the country, not far from Mexico City. Highest mountain is Pico De Orizaba (also known as Citlateptl) at 5611m. Other volcanic giants are Popocatepl (5452m) and Iztaccihuatl (5286m), all of them located in Cordillera Neovolcanica.
  • Guatemala The highest peaks of Central America are to be found in Guatemala where several volcanoes rise to almost 4000m and Volcán Tajumulco exceeds that altitude by a fair margin (4220m).
  • Costa Rica Further south the highest peaks are located on Costa Rica where few peaks rise to almost 4000m altitude. The highest peak of the country is Chirripó Grande (3819m).

Mexico

About Mexico

Most of Mexico aside of narrow coastal strips is covered with mountain chains running close to both coasts and the land in between is is high Plateau, not unlike Colorado Plateau further north. The highest peaks of the country are volcanoes located in Cordillera Neovolcanica in the central part of the country, not far from Mexico City. Highest mountain is Pico De Orizaba (also known as Citlateptl) at 5611m. Other volcanic giants are Popocatepl (5452m) and Iztaccihuatl (5286m), all of them located in Cordillera Neovolcanica.

  • Baja California Baja California, or Peninsula ranges, cover the ranges located in Baja California peninsula. The range is direct continuation of Pacific Ranges, most closely Sierra Nevada. The highest peaks are located in the northern part with Picacho del Diablo (3095m) beinbg the highest.
  • Central Mexico Sierra Madre de Occidental runs through the western Mexico. Further south another range, Cordillera Neovolcanica continues further, curving more to west-east direction and runs all the way to the eastern coast. South and west of Cordillera Neovolcanica smaller Sierra Madre del Sur forms a southern barrier. On the eastern coast of Mexico rises less pronounces Sierra Madre Oriental. Between Sierra Madre Occidental and Oriental lies Mexican Plateau (Mesa Central).
    • Sierra Madre Occidental
    • Mexican Plateau Central plateau of northern Mexico that lies between Sierra Madre Occidental in the west, Sierra Madre Oriental in the east and Cordillera Nevolcanica in the south. In the north the area borders on US Southwest Basins and Ranges.
    • Sierra Madre Oriental Most famous climbing destination of the range is sport climbing mecca El Porarero Chico located close to city of Monterrey.
    • Cordillera Nevolcanica West-east range in Central Mexico, close to Mexico City. The highest peaks of the country are located in Cordillera Neovolcanica with Pico de Orizaba (5636m), Volcán Popocatépetl (5400m) and Volcán Iztaccíhuatl (5220m) being the giants of the range.
    • Sierra Madre del Sur Mexican West coast, south of Mexico City. Cerro el Nacimiento (3700m).
  • Central America Ranges Ranges to the east of the narrowest part of Mexico. Volcán Tacaná (4067m) of Chiapas Ranges is the highest peak of the range. All other peaks are significantly lower as Montañas Peña Blanca (3518m) is the only other peak above 3000m high.

Climbing in Mexico

Mexico's volcanoes offer an exciting trip for climbers seeking the challenges of climbing at moderate altitude amidst an interesting cultural backdrop. All of he highest volcanoes are high altitude climbs in glaciated terrain but with limited technical difficulty. However, Popocatepl is currently off limits due to relatively recent volcanic activity. Volcanic giants aside, Mexico's climate is also well suited for rock climbing. Best known alpine rock climbing is found in El Potrero Chico close to the city of Monterrey.

Best climbing season for Mexican volcanoes is around christmas with dry season spanning from November to March. Volcanoes of Cordillera Neovolcanica can be reached by bus from mexico city.

  • Secor, R. J.: Mexico's Volcanoes - A Climbing Guide, 3rd edition. Isbn: 9780898867985. The Mountaineers Books, 2001.

Baja California

Baja California, or Peninsula ranges, cover the ranges located in Baja California peninsula. The range is direct continuation of Pacific Ranges, most closely Sierra Nevada. The highest peaks are located in the northern part with Picacho del Diablo (3095m) beinbg the highest.

Cordillera Neovolcanica

West-east range in Central Mexico, close to Mexico City. The highest peaks of the country are located in Cordillera Neovolcanica with Pico de Orizaba (5636m), Volcán Popocatépetl (5400m) and Volcán Iztaccíhuatl (5220m) being the giants of the range.