Route: Malinche (Mexico)


La Malinche mountain, also known as Matlalcueye or Malintzin, is an inactive volcano (dormant for the last 3,100 years) located in Tlaxcala and Puebla states, in Mexico. Officially, its summit reaches 4,461 metres (14,636 ft) above sea level, though it is generally considered to be closer to 4,440 metres (14,567 ft), using GPS measurements.[3] Its height makes it the highest peak in Tlaxcala, the fifth-highest in Puebla, the sixth-highest in Mexico, the 23rd-highest in North America, and the 252nd-highest in the world. Its height above nearby cities varies from 1,908 metres (6,260 ft) above Huamantla, 2,461 metres (8,074 ft) above Villa Vicente Guerrero, 2,221 metres (7,287 ft) above Tlaxcala to 2,299 metres (7,543 ft) above Puebla. The summit is 22.4 kilometres (13.9 mi) from Tlaxcala, 28.3 kilometres (17.6 mi) from Puebla, and 118 kilometres (73 mi) from Mexico City. The climate is cold on the summit and mild on its lower slopes.

The park offers a resort area at 3,080 metres (10,105 ft)—"Centro Vacacional Malintzin"—with very comfortable cabins and camping. It is an ideal location to acclimatize and start an ascent of the volcano. There are sporting facilities, a restaurant and a gift shop. Outside the resort, there is also a convenience store and a little "antojitos" restaurant, as well as horses and llamas for riding on the weekends. The access road passes the resort area and continues partway up the mountain, switchbacking most of the way. A hiking trail to the summit begins at the resort area, cutting across the road switchbacks for the first section. The trail then leads into a conifer section at around 3,400 metres (11,155 ft). The tree line, from where the "false" summit is visible for the first time, is at 3,900 metres (12,795 ft). After that, a very steep grassland section begins. The ridge starts at 4,200 metres (13,780 ft) and leads to the summit, which is just behind the false summit. The last 100-or-so metres involve a bit of scrambling.