The extensive Mexican territory has many tourist attractions for locals and foreigners, beautiful and mystical places that enchant everyone who visits this Central American nation.

The capital of the state of Mexico, Toluca, has some of the most representative places in the country, such as the Nevado de Toluca, also known in the Nahuatl language as Xinantécatl.

How to get?

From Mexico City: Take the highway that goes from CDM to Toluca and drive until you reach the Valle de Bravo Ixtapan turnoff. Follow the signs “Volcán Xinantécatl – Sultepec” until you find a dirt road 45 minutes driving.

You can stop at the Los Venados Park booth, on the slopes of the Nevado de Toluca, to have breakfast, use the restrooms and contemplate the landscape and vegetation on the slopes of the volcano.

10 minutes after following the road you will arrive at the parking lot for vehicles and from that point you can start the march towards the viewpoint of the Nevado de Toluca.

When is the best time to visit the Nevado de Toluca?

Although any time of the year is good to visit the Nevado de Toluca, it is best to go between December and February when the mountain is covered in snow. These months are very cold, so you must be well dressed.

The minimum temperature can drop to -2 degrees Celsius and the maximum can hardly rise to 10 degrees Celsius.

If you do not prefer so much cold, visit the Nevado de Toluca between June and July when temperatures are between -2 degrees Celsius for the minimum and 14 degrees Celsius for the maximum.

In that season you can practice mountain biking, hiking or hiking and observe the colors of the two lagoons (Moon and Sun) that are formed in the crater of the volcano by the melting of the upper part of the mountain.

The water in the lagoons is drinkable, so you can drink it. They also celebrate religious rites and ceremonies such as offerings of copal and cult objects.

How far is the Nevado de Toluca from Mexico City?

The mountain of Xinantécatl or Nevado de Toluca is 122 kilometers from Mexico City and 30 kilometers southwest of the city of Toluca.


The Nevado de Toluca is open to the public all year round from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5 pm. On weekends, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Access to the mountain is restricted when it is snowing. You can only get there by walking to Parque Los Venados.

The most responsible thing to do is to call the park before traveling to see it to find out what the climatic conditions are in the area.

The fee to enter by car or van is $2.30. The motorized pay 1.01 USD. Those who arrive walking do not pay.

How to prepare for hiking

1. Wear warm clothes such as jackets or thick jackets, gloves, scarves and hats that protect you from the cold.

2. Wear comfortable shoes with non-slip soles because the walk is long. If you wear boots, even better.

3. Bring water to avoid dehydration and some snacks or snacks such as nuts or peanuts, to keep you strong during the excursion.

4. Take a small medical kit with you because when ascending the mountain you may feel weak, dizzy, nauseated or have a headache, especially if it is your first time on this type of tour. It is best that you walk slowly so that your body adapts to the altitude and the amount of oxygen.

5. Use a backpack and not a bag.

6. Arrive early because admission starts at 8:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm.

How long do you last in the ascent to Nevado de Toluca?

The estimated time to achieve the ascent is 2 hours.

What is the height of the Nevado de Toluca?

The Nevado de Toluca has a height of 4680 meters above sea level. It ranks fourth among the highest volcanoes in Mexico.

When is there snow in the Nevado de Toluca?

The mountain is covered in snow in January, so you can make balls and dolls. In December it is more sleety and from mid-February the thaw stage begins.

Tips to go to the Nevado de Toluca

1. People sometimes only make it as far as the overlook and miss out on exceptional views. What is the most recommended? After reaching the viewpoint, go down to the smaller lagoon and then go up a bit so you have views of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes. Then you can go to the large lagoon to tour it completely.

2. If you want to go to the Nevado de Toluca before dawn, the most responsible thing to do is to do it with someone who knows the way and carries a flashlight.

3. Due to the low temperatures in the Nevado de Toluca, the duration and maintenance of the batteries of cameras and cell phones is reduced. Take a portable battery.

4. Do not forget comfortable shoes that are resistant to any type of terrain. Also do not stop wearing very warm clothes.

5. To the water that you must carry to be always hydrated, add some sunglasses, because although the temperatures are low, the glare could bother you.

6. Do not harm any animals, plants, or take anything to take home.

7. Take the garbage you generate with you and dump it in the containers provided for it. If you find it during your walk, pick it up and deposit it where it belongs.

8. You will find a mountain lodge in case you decide to stay. These have stoves, bunk beds, a living room with a fireplace, personal hygiene services, sale of supplies and surveillance. There is also a family inn.

Curiosities of the Nevado de Toluca

The Nevado de Toluca National Park covers an area of ​​51,000 hectares and is one of the most visited and admired places in Mexico.

On the slopes of the volcano is the Los Venados Park with recreation and rest areas, for before and after climbing the Nevado de Toluca.

In the same area of ​​the Nevado de Toluca are the Fraile and Águila peaks, with 4,558 meters above sea level and 4,518 meters above sea level, respectively.

The lagoons of Nevado de Toluca were looted by “divers” for more than 30 years, who extracted offerings of copal and other objects offered to the gods submerged in its depths.

The park rangers of the area were the ones who stopped the illegal extraction of the historical riches of the lagoons, a defense that was joined by devotees of the mountain who also deposit offerings to ask for beneficial climates for their crops and agricultural work.

The Nevado de Toluca is the only volcano in the world that can be accessed up to the crater by car. However, it is no longer allowed as a protection measure against car fumes and fuel residue.

The Nevado de Toluca was declared a national park on January 25, 1936, remaining a protected area until 2013, when President Enrique Peña Nieto removed that condition. Now the land near the volcano can be exploited by the public and private sectors.

Legend about the Nevado de Toluca

The Nevado de Toluca, which in the Nahuatl language is called Xinantécatl, has stories about its formation. Let’s get to know the best known and most popular version of how it came about.

This legend comes from the Matlatzinca people and its protagonists are a pair of priest brothers who competed to stay in power.

The eldest of the brothers had an arrogant personality and his intentions were to cause a war, while the younger brother tried to cope with the anger of his blood relative through religion.

The gods observed the behavior of both brothers and did not like the way the elder acted. Despite the fact that he gave them offerings of human beings, they decided to finish him off.

When the younger brother learned of the gods’ intentions, he interfered with the decision and passed away. To pay homage to him, the gods buried his body in the middle of the forest, where the Jocotitlan or Xocotépetl hill began to form.

Believing himself the owner of power, the older brother left his mourning and rebelled and protected by that rebellion he destroyed everything he could, committing all kinds of abuses and outrages on the community.

Seeing his attitude, the gods were upset and in addition to stripping him naked and making him reach the center of the valley, they opened his chest and let him die slowly. This is how the Xinantécatl volcano was created.

As he lay dying, he apologized for all his wickedness and realizing his repentance, the gods covered his heart and thus the volcano died.

Flora and fauna in the Nevado de Toluca

During your walk through the Nevado de Toluca you will find several bushes, a variety of ferns, mosses, grasses, algae and volcano flowers. Also lots of stacked trees used to shelter the road.

With any luck you will see raccoons, opossums, snow rabbits, teporingo rabbits, squirrels, coyotes and white-tailed deer.

Regarding birds, you can see hawks and golden eagles. In the lagoons you can find white and rainbow trout, as well as huachis.

Tours and excursions to the Nevado de Toluca

If you choose the winter season for your visit and excursion to the Nevado de Toluca, the most appropriate thing will be for you to opt for a tour.

The tour managers provide the equipment required for trekking (excursionism) reducing the chances of accidents or mishaps to almost zero.

The selected routes will depend on what you want to do and experience. The most common and frequent starts at La Pluma, 6 kilometers from the volcano’s crater. It is a route that can be done by any type of person.

For the adventure route it is necessary to have preparation and physical condition, as well as an ice ax and crampons. You will require more than 3 hours, during which time you will be exposed to humid weather and direct sunlight.

It is possible to have picnics in Parque Los Venados. They rent kiosks with grills and you can enjoy a tasty barbecue at the foot of the Nevado de Toluca.

In addition to trekking, in the park you can rent ATVs, ride horses and ride mountain bikes with downhill tracks.

How much does a Nevado de Toluca tour cost?

The price per person to take a tour in the Nevado de Toluca was 64.85 USD in 2018. In September 2019 it became USD 83.60.


See also:

  • Click here to know the 12 best places for adventure tourism in Mexico
  • Also read our guide on the 10 best places to go rafting and kayaking in Mexico
  • We leave you our guide so you know how to use Expedia Mexico to find cheap flights and hotels

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