Nevado de Toluca is an inactive volcano which is located about 2.5 hours drive from Mexico city. The last time it erupted was around 10,500 years ago. There are two crater lakes, Lago del Sol and Lago de la Luna with cold clean water. The sky`s reflection paints the surface of the lakes in blue. The lakes were sacred for the pre-hispanic indigenous people, they use to conduct their ceremonies and sacrifices there. As such a huge amount of artefacts have been found by divers.
Many Mexican tourists go there just to see snow for the first time in their life, a concept that truly fascinates me as a Russian. I can’t imagine how they must feel when they see the snow. I love snow, Christmas and New year without snow seems weird for me:)
The height of the mountain is around 4,600 m and it makes it really difficult to climb. I had to stop every 5 – 10 steps to catch my breath, my hearth was pounding like crazy, although I had thought I wasn´t in bad shape:) Olympic athletes go there for training. Whatever they do after that at sea level should be a piece of cake for them.
However, the effort is totally worth it. The scenery is suprime, it feels like you are on another planet. The combination of multicoloured sand, blue lakes and ashy hue of the mountains looks surreal. If you are lucky and the day is not too foggy you can see the entire valley from the top of the mountain.
We went in an Uber and it dropped us off at the closest point to the top and from there it took around 2 hours to climb to the peak. People also do the whole ascent from the base of the mountain, but it is a very long way. If you love camping, try it, you will enjoy the adventure.
A few tips to consider if you decide to visit Nevado de Toluca:
It is the coldest place in Mexico and very windy sometimes. We went there at the end of February and it was 6-11 C. By the way, the dry season is from November to April and the wet season is from May to October with high precipitation. Be sure to dress appropriately.
Take sunscreen, the altitude makes you more prone to sunburn.
The area is not that developed and you will not find any cafes or shops, so take everything you need with you (the food, water etc.).
Dogs are allowed, we saw many people climbing with their dogs.
Overall it was a breathtaking experience and the place is easy to reach from Mexico city. It is actually amazing to be able to get in touch with such beautiful nature without having to travel that far. This page can help you with additional information.