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La Malinche
Mountains & Rocks
Mountains & Rocks

La Malinche

La Malinche

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Puebla/Tlaxcala, Mexico, North America

Lat/Lon: 19.23083°N / 98.03194°W

Object Title: La Malinche

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling

Season: Winter

Elevation: 14640 ft / 4462 m


Page By: Scott, Haliku

Created/Edited: Mar 24, 2001 / Jan 16, 2017

Object ID: 150260

Hits: 49526 

Page Score: 89.58%  - 31 Votes 

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Dedication of this Page

On Saturday, November 20, 2010, Chris Pruchnic (Haliku) lost his life in an ice-climbing accident in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. Haliku was a valued contributor to SP, but his worth went well beyond the pages he created and is missed very much both from friends who have climbed with him, and by anyone who asked him for advice about climbing. I am honored to be able to continue managing this page and I believe it is in the best interest to keep as much of the text Chris wrote intact and that's exactly what I will do. Anything added will be clearly marked and credit will clearly be given to sections written by Chris. Although I never had the chance to meet him, he will be missed and as a member of the climbing community, he will never be forgotten. Written below is a beautiful tribute from one of his long time friends.

He always was willing to give a hand or advice to anyone in anyway that he could, and he always wanted to share his joy of climbing and exploring other cultures with his friends and fellow climbers. The climbing community and the world needs more people like Chris, not less, which makes the tragedy of his early parting so much more difficult to accept. He will live on in our hearts and memories. He and I had been talking about climbing Kilimanjaro soon, and someday when I stand atop that peak I will call Chris' name to honor my friend. --chicagotransplant


La Malinche is in the state of Tlaxcala east of Mexico City and north of Puebla, 44km from its capital Tlaxcala. It is frequently used as a training/acclimatization climb by mountaineers whose main goal is to climb one or more of the "high" volcanoes. It's elevation is 4462 meters or 14,640 feet and the walk up there is pretty easy. On sunny weekends Mexican families try to get up there with their children and grandparents, mountain bikers drive around in the parks dirt roads and even sport-fanatics make it all the way to the top running! No special equipment is required, there are no dangerous parts and the trail is very easy to follow so no guide is needed.

La Malinche is within Malinche National Park. There is a paved road that goes all the way up to 3100m where you can park and also sleep in the "Centro Vacacional IMSS La Malintzi. They have about 40 cabins, camping area, a shop, restaurant, basketball and soccer fields etc. So if the reason for you going to the mountains is seeking silence and solitude, dont go there on a weekend!

Getting There

Access is very easy. From Puebla, drive north on Highway 119, past the city of Tlaxcala to Apizaco. From Apizaco, take Highway 136 east 13 kilometers to a signed junction, pointing the way to the "Centro Vacacional IMSS La Malintzi". Stay on this main road for 9 kilometers to the "Centro Vacacional", where the pavement ends. If you don't have a car, busses (micros) go all the way up to the "Centro Vacacional" using this road.

Alternatively you can take a beautiful dirt road starting from Puebla and driving towards La Malinche to the town of Canoe. From there a paved and later dirt road goes all away around La Malinche joining the main road to the "Centro Vacacional" about 1 km before its end. A third (paved) road starts from Huamantla joining the main road at the same intersection about 1 km below the "Centro Vacacional".

On all of these roads you will pass a military post at the entrance of the National Park, asking you some question and writing down your licence plates. Usually no entrance fee is required.

After the "Centro Vacacional" the pavement ends and the dirt road continues about another 5 km up. But due to the heavy traffic on weekends the government closed this road with a gate and you cannot pass it anymore. So you will have to start your trip to the Malinche at the "Centro Vacacional" and leave your car here (either somewhere outside the "Centro Vacacional" or - safer - inside the "Centro Vacacional" paying a small fee of about 20 Pesos). If you choose to sleep in the "Centro Vacacional" you can leave your car there the whole day without any additional fees, just be sure to check out the room before 13:00.

Red Tape

No permits are required to climb. There is no entry fee or parking fee if you park outside the "Centro Vacacional". This is also true for camping.

When To Climb

The dry season is November through March, which is the best time to climb. April and October can be good, but May through September tends to be wet with rain and snow.

November may be the best month since it is by far the least crowded month in the dry season.

The "Centro Vacacional" is open all year round, so you can go there anytime if the weather is good.

Transportation & Guide

If dealing with public transportation and taxi cabs is more than you want consider hiring your own driver for your trip. The larger your group the better it is to have a driver. A large passenger van can carry up to 8 climbers with gear.

A reliable option:
Jesus Antonio Juarez Guzman
044-55-39080-242 cell

We met a guide while on Orizaba that also guides Izta and La Malinche. He came recommended from the Limon's in Tlachichuca.

Roberto Flores Rodriguez aka Oso
Mountain Guides

Guide Books
RJ Secor's guidebook for Mexico's Volcanoes: A Climbing Guide is one source of information on climbing all the major mountains in Mexico.

For complete information on getting to Mexico and traveling around I highly recommend the Lonely Planet guidebook on Mexico now in its 11th edition.


The "Centro Vacacional" is a huge resort with cabañas (huts), camping area, a little shop, a restaurant and bar, basketball and soccer fields etc. All the huts have hot showers, TV, fridge, kitchen, fireplace (take your wood with you or buy it at the entrance) and come with either 4 or 6 beds. Be sure to check if the hut is fully equipped before you pay. On weekends this place can get crowded by Mexican families or teenage groups taking lots of beer and music with them and partying so don't expect this to be a "cozy and quiet resort lost in the mountains". The cost varies during the week (weekends are more expensive) and also during the year. High rates are about 490 Pesos for a 4-bed hut and 690 Pesos for a 6-bed hut. Low rates are about 80 to 100 Pesos lower.

There is also a campground within the "Centro Vacacional". The price is around 40 Pesos per person. For both the campground and the huts the checkout time is 13:00, but you can leave your car within the "Centro Vacacional" until your return from La Malinche. To ask for available huts and/or prices call the "Centro Vacacional" at (246) 462-4098.

If you don't like using the resort you can camp at no fee just outside the "Centro Vacacional" in the forest. There are lots of flat places around, even some accessible by car.

Alternatively take your gear and walk about two hours up the trail towards the La Malinche. Where the forest ends there are tons of flat places with great views. For your next day climb to the Malinche you can hide your backpack somewhere in the woods. Be sure to take warm stuff with you as you will sleep just below 4000 m.

Mountain Conditions


Weather averages for Nevado Toluca at elevation 14,052 feet/4283 meters are below. La Malinche should have a similar climate, but the temerature on top may be a few degrees cooler.

MonthHigh (° F )High (° C)Low (° F )Low (° C)in. Rainmm RainRain/Snow Days
JaN 45 7 27 -3 0.60 15.3 2.7
Feb 46 8 28 -2 0.52 13.2 2.6
Mar 49 10 31 0 0.49 12.4 2.5
Apr 50 10 32 0 2.22 56.4 6.6
May 50 10 32 1 4.58 116.4 13.4
Jun 49 9 33 0 8.06 204.6 19.9
Jul 47 8 33 0 9.59 243.5 24.5
Aug 47 8 33 0 8.98 228.1 23.0
Sep 47 8 33 0 8.21 208.4 21.2
Oct 46 8 31 0 3.46 87.8 12.6
Nov 45 7 29 -1 1.07 27.1 4.5
Dec 45 7 28 -2 0.59 15.1 3.0

External Links

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-5 of 5    
ncstPublic transportation


Hasn't voted

The first bus ('collectivo') for La Malintzi from Apizaco leaves at 8.20 am from the corner of Av. Hidalgo and Av. Serdan (in front the 'Elektra' store). Come in time because it fills up fast with people working at the 'centro vacacional'. It drops you off at 9 am at the entrance of the centro vacacional, where the trail starts. To return, there is a bus at 1pm, 3pm and at 5pm, which is the last one, but it gives you more than enough time to summit, go down and have a late lunch. The bus fare is 20 pesos one way.
Posted Aug 17, 2009 10:07 am
bcrowell2Re: Public transportation

Voted 4/10

The 3:00 bus to go back down the mountain only exists Fri, Sat, and Sun. The 5:00 bus exists every day of the week. As of 2014, the standard one-way taxi fare seems to be about 200 pesos, which is about $15.
Posted Jan 12, 2014 10:41 am

Voted 4/10

The route is pretty straightforward, but it would be nice to have a little description of it in the page. Maps are difficult to obtain; you can theoretically download E14B33 and E14B43 from inegi.org.mx, but in reality the website doesn't seem to work properly. Basically it's a very direct slog up a conical volcano. Starting from the locked gate on the road, you walk up a trail that cuts across the switchbacks of the road. After about 30 minutes you get to a sign and a garbage heap where the trail departs from the top of the road. The wide trail continues up through the forest. Near tree line, it passes to the left of a huge gendarme, and you can take a variety of lines to regain the ridge beyond it. (The prominent gray ribbon of scree is good for boot-glissading on the way back down, but not so great for ascending.) Continuing up the ridge, the grass disappears and you're in the alpine zone. Pass to the right of a second, smaller gendarme, then continue with class-2 climbing over boulders; you can either stay near the crest of the ridge or a little to the right. Some of the best views of the double caldera are from the crest of the ridge, not the summit. Be careful stepping onto the summit block if the somewhat exposed gully in front of it is icy. A teensy bit of class-3 takes you to the top of the summit block. At a reasonable pace the ascent takes from 2 to 4 hours, the descent about 2 hours.

Wikivoyage has info on the town of Apizaco: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Apizaco
Posted Jan 12, 2014 11:02 am
docrstRoad to Canoa


Hasn't voted

The road from Puebla through San Miguel de Canoa is now paved all the way to Centro Vacacional de Malintzi. The road leaves Puebla near the stadium and when you are about to enter the village of Canoa, veer left on the paved (not brick paver) road. After that, the route to Malinche is straightforward.
Posted Feb 16, 2014 11:09 pm
bodofztSpecial equipment sometimes required


Voted 7/10

>No special equipment is required, there are no dangerous parts

This is NOT true when it has snowed recently! I went there in January, after a snow storm. Above the tree line it was cold and extremely windy. On the ridge, I even feared I could be blown away by the gusts. I then had to turn back at the north (false) summit because I started to fear for my life.

Seriously, people, bring crampons and an ice axe if you plan to climb la Malinche after a snow storm!
Posted Jul 29, 2016 7:57 pm

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