In view of the regular queries here is some info gleaned from my recent visits. Obvioulsy you may find things a little different, if I’ve made mistakes let me know, but it should give a general idea of things:
1/ Getting there.
Buses go from Mexico City’s TAPO bus station. This is near the airport. Two bus lines go there; Sur and Volcanes. Tickets cost 20 pesos (about 2 dollars) each way. The bus drops you a block from the zocalo (main square) in Amecameca. It isn’t always the final (or first) stop, so you need to check.
Most people stay at the San Carlos. This hotel is on the zocalo, next to the HSBC bank. Rooms vary in cost from 100 pesos (10 dollars) to about 250 pesos (25 dollars). The cost depends on a) size of room and b) whether there is a TV or not. The hotel has a good supply of hot water (if you let it run for a while) and is friendly and reasonably clean. They will store stuff for you while you climb, and can sometimes organise transport up to La Joya. The San Carlos doesn’t really do reservations. We have never had a problem getting a room there, even on carnival weekend.
There is another hotel in Amecameca about a block from the zocalo. Idon’t know what its like, and a “spa resort” just ouside.
3/ Transport to Izta
As soon as you get off the bus taxi drivers will approach you and ask if you want to go to Paso de Cortes or La Joya. You will have no trouble getting someone. If there more than 4 of you getting a camioneta (VW van) is the cheapest way - this cost us 1000 pesos for two vans (12 people) including a six hour wait for us while we climbed.
It is possible to hitch, and sometimes peseros (little buses) go to the Paso de Cortes, don`t rely on this though.
4/ Eating in Amecameca
The market and street food here is great. Tamales, Esquites, Tlacoyos and so on. If you don’t fancy this, there is also a pizza place and an Argentinian restaurant close to the zocalo. There is a café on the zocalo that does breakfasts.
Bar Mi Officina is a traditional cantina on the zocalo, its not pretty or a comfortable place to drink, but its convenient and “authentic”. Around the corner is El Secreto, and mouch more convivial place to drink. Friendly and cheap (beers 12 pesos, cocktails 30 pesos) it comes highly recommended.
Do not under circumstances go to the pulqueria unless you want a hair raising adventure!
There is no gear shop in Amecameca. On the zocalo is a new supermarket wher you can get most basic stuff. Contrary to what Secor says, I have never seen gear for sale in the market. I have seen a “House of Mountain Guides” on Av. Hidalgo on the way out of town with gear logos painted outside – but it has always been closed when I have been there. There is sometimes a stall at La Joya selling random gear and renting crampons and ice axes, but its selection seemed a little ropey, and they may only be there at busy weekends.
7/ Red Tape.
You need a permit to pass the military checkpoint in between Amecameca and Paso de Cortes. You can get these in the Park office in between the church and the San Carlos. This office may be closed however. You can download the permit from
http://www.xpmexico.com/modules.php?op= ... e7ed6c9df6
and fax it however.
You also need to pay a 20 peso (per day?) fee at the office at the Paso de Cortes, in return for a wristband permitting access to Izta.
Hope this helps....[/u]