Orizaba is situated close to the foot of the loftiest peak in Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba (Citlaltépetl), a perfectly formed, snow-capped volcano. There is a fair amount of disagreement over its exact height – 5636m seems the most widely accepted, though locals often claim more – but there’s no disputing that it’s a beautiful sight and a seriously challenging climb, for experienced mountaineers only. Numerous local companies offer guides and facilities, mostly based in the village of Tlachichuca, which at 2600m is where the main trails begin. To get there, take a second-class bus to the small town of Serdán (2hr), where you change for Tlachichuca itself (1hr); there are also occasional buses direct from Puebla. Details of the climb (Oct–May only) can be found in R.J. Secor’s Mexico’s Volcanoes. Reliable operators include Summit Orizaba and Servimont, both with their own accommodation in Tlachichuca.

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