Ascent of Volcán La Malinche on 2015-01-13

Climber: Duncan Lennon

Others in Party:Susan Wheeler <6174>
Date:Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Volcán La Malinche
    Elevation:4419 m / 14501 ft

Ascent Trip Report

This mountain is straightforward to climb. Getting there via public transit, as we did, is more difficult. I realize that many people hire cars to whisk them around Mexico climbing volcanoes, but it is possible to access La Malinche more cheaply, and have an adventure while doing so.

From the main Puebla bus terminal, called CAPU, we caught a Verde bus (nice coach) to Apizaco, in the state of Tlaxcala. This was roughly 74 pesos or US $5, and took a bit over an hour. The bus drops you at a small station with room for two buses. We exited the station, turned L (south) and went for five blocks, turning L again and going one block. Here is a city block entirely filled with collectivos (white Toyota vans). We asked around a little bit and determined that, supposedly, the last collectivo for Centro Vacacional Malintzi had "just left". Maybe they would have told us this no matter when we arrived. Hiring a private collectivo is expensive-for-Mexico at 180 pesos total (we negotiated this down to MEX $150, or US $10). A 30-40 minute ride dropped us at the little restaurant that marks the end of the open road and the trailhead. We arranged to leave a bit of stuff at the restaurant that we decided we didn't need, and ascertained that the last collectivos down to Puebla or Apizaco left at between 5:00 and 5:30. Climbed the peak, made it down at 5:00, and boarded a MEX $150 bus that took us directly back to Puebla in 1.5 hours. This was less of a pleasant ride than either of the morning ones, as it wound around the west flank of Malinche on narrow roads, and made many stops to pick up farmers and their bundles of pine needles (apparently used for some traditional decorative purpose; our Spanish wasn't good enough to figure out exactly what). It was nice to not have to return to Apizaco, however.

We departed Puebla at 7:00 am and returned 12 hours later. Our party of four spent US $17.50 each on the public transit; a private car would have been somewhat more, at least $100 for the day. I'd recommend the bus/collectivo route if you aren't on a brief peakbagging spring break, as you get to interact with more Mexicans and see the countryside.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)

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