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10 Tips for Hiking at the Nevado de Toluca

By Daniel Alcalá |

Follow these 10 mountaineering tips to face the challenges of hiking at the Nevado de Toluca, one of the most famous and tallest volcanoes in Mexico.

Hiking at the Nevado de Toluca National Park

Mountaineering  is a sport that DINKtravelers love to practice. The mountain is a mythical place where life is created and where you can practically touch the sky. It is magical reign in the clouds. The Nevado de Toluca is one of the most famous volcanoes in Mexico and, due to the fact that it’s inactive, you can even visit its crater. That’s why today your world travel guide brings you some mountaineering tips. Prepare to rise to the challenge and enjoy your hiking to the fullest.

What You Need to Know About The Nevado de Toluca

The Nevado de Toluca is a volcano located near the valley of Toluca, in the State of Mexico. It’s also known as Xinantecatl, which means “naked man” in the Nahuatl language. It’s one of the highest mountains in Mexico with 4,680 meters over sea level. For this reason, the landscape you’ll find at the top is majestic. In order to start you hiking at Nevado de Toluca you can drive to the Venados rural inn and keep going up until you find the first shelter. From there, you must continue on foot. Near the crater you’ll find two lagoons that create a dreamlike view. Their color varies depending on how sunny the day is. For example, you might find very intense blue hues, or if it’s cloudy, you’ll see greenish shades. Both of them are beautiful.

Surrounding the crater you’ll also find some peaks. The ones known as the Friar (Fraile) and the Eagle (Águila) are a big challenge for mountain climbers. For this reason, even if you’re an experienced climber, we recommend going with an expert and following his/her advice. If you want to have a good intermediate level for hiking at the Nevado de Toluca, simply follow our  mountaineering tips or hire a tour from Toluca or Mexico City.

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5 Tips before you start hiking at the Nevado de Toluca

  • Choose the right mountaineering clothes. The Nevado de Toluca, like any mountain, usually has cold temperatures ranging from 28 to 53oF, so consider wearing warm clothes. Preferably, wear thermal but light underwear so that you can move freely. Better yet, wear mountaineering pants and boots, a breathable t-shirt, a thermal sweatshirt and a waterproof jacket. When you go mountaineering you should wear several layers of clothing because sometimes, if it’s sunny, it gets warm.
  • Hiking boots are essential to protect your ankles and avoid slipping, as are light gloves with a good grip.
  • Food and water are also important to avoid physical fatigue and dehydration, but remember to travel light. Carry 2 liters of water at the most as well as healthy snacks to replenish your energy reserves. Among them, you can take energy bars, nuts, dry fruits and dark chocolate. This will also prevent dizziness and hypotension.
  • Use sunscreen even if it’s cloudy. At this height, the UVA and UVB rays damage your skin even more.
  • Take your camera with you. It can be your cell phone camera or a professional camera, but take it because there are many landscapes you’ll want to capture during your visit to the Nevado of Toluca. If you have one, take an action camera. This way you can create memories of your trip in any weather condition. Again, weight is important, so if you take a professional camera, carry only two lenses. DINKtravelers suggests a wide-angle lens for landscapes, and a 50mm lens for details.

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5 Mountaineering Tips for Your Ascent at Nevado de Toluca

  1. The Nevado de Toluca opening hours are from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00 h, and Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 18:00 h. Begin your ascent as early as possible so that you can enjoy more hours of daylight. Also, don’t wait until the last moment to climb back down because at night, temperatures drop considerably.
  2. Prevent mountain sickness. Take your time when hiking at Nevado de Toluca, avoid unnecessary efforts and take breaks from time to time. Remember that at that height it’s common to suffer from low blood pressure (hypotension), so have some snacks along the way.
  3. If you take your pet with you, consider that your hiking will take more than two hours, so take your dog’s leash, water, dog food and poop bags.
  4. Descend to the crater from the left side, near the Moon Lagoon. There the terrain is a bit gritty, so going up that way is more tiring. Continue your way towards the Sun Lagoon and follow the trail you’ll find there.
  5. Any time of the year is great to visit the Nevado de Toluca; if you like snow go in winter. In spring the landscape is a bit drier.

With these 10 mountaineering tips, you are ready. Now, it’s time for hiking the Nevado de Toluca! Have fun!