Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
needtoclimb

Mexico or Ecuador climbing

Recommended Posts

Looking to head south this winter for a week.  Haven't decided on the Mexican volcanoes or Ecuador.   I would want to hire a local guide to handle logistics, lodging and transportation.   Any recommendations for either location, and any recommendations of a local guide?  Anyone else headed down this winter with room for two more (me and my wife), or anyone looking to go that want to join us?  I figure prices get cheaper the more people you have.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One week MX would be far better- shorter travel time, and cheaper flights. If you speak rudimentary Spanish, there is zero reason for guide/travel service to get around. Just keep low profile and don't travel at night. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, glassgowkiss said:

If you speak rudimentary Spanish, there is zero reason for guide/travel service to get around.

Agree. Mexican bus travel is pretty easy and safe (and nice!). Cheap too.

 If you go for Orizaba, check out Dr. Reyes’ services in Tlachichuca. Totally customizable and affordable. 

http://www.servimont.com.mx/en/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We stayed at Servimont one night on each end of the Orizaba trip, arranged for transport to Piedra Grande, and bought water and fuel. It’s a simple climb, just a fun slog at elevation. I would save your money and not hire a guide.

It was just my girlfriend and I travelling and we had no issues. I speak semi-decent Spanish, but lots of folks pull it off with zero Español. 

We only had seven days, and only climbed Orizaba—with a stopover to hike La Malinche for acclimatization. So no info on the other volcanoes. It was a great trip, and totally doable with a short window. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's more BS to deal with on the high volcanoes in Ecuador than Mexico: there are guards, and depending upon whom you talk to, you may or may not need a guide to climb.  Mexico is much more laid back, with no guards, and good free camping near the Izta trailhead and on the south side of Orizaba (not the normal gringo route up the shrinking glacier).  If there are two or more of you in Mexico, I'd rent a car instead of messing with public transit.  It's not that expensive, you can make better use of your time, and you have a place to store the gear you aren't using.

Either way, it should be a great trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  Good info.  For Mexico, I wouldn't want a guide.  Looking for more of a logistical planner.  I sent Servimont an email regarding that.  Thanks for the tip.

After researching Ecuador, guides are required.  They won't let you climb without one.  Still very much in planning phase and cost.  Mexico is cheaper, but less "real mountaineering" other than altitude.

Equador seems more expensive but appears to be more glacier climbing.  At the end, it will come down to cost vs reward.  

If anyone has an ecuadorian guide company they recommend, please share.   No way am I going with an American one like RMI.  The prices they charge are outrageous, and I dont meed or want the pampering they do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, needtoclimb said:

Thanks.  Good info.  For Mexico, I wouldn't want a guide.  Looking for more of a logistical planner.  I sent Servimont an email regarding that.  Thanks for the tip.

After researching Ecuador, guides are required.  They won't let you climb without one.  Still very much in planning phase and cost.  Mexico is cheaper, but less "real mountaineering" other than altitude.

Equador seems more expensive but appears to be more glacier climbing.  At the end, it will come down to cost vs reward.  

If anyone has an ecuadorian guide company they recommend, please share.   No way am I going with an American one like RMI.  The prices they charge are outrageous, and I dont meed or want the pampering they do.

Volcano is a volcano. Do not expect technical aspect in either place. Also 1 week is a very short trip, so travel time counts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@Need2Climb I'm headed to Orizaba and probably one other peak in the area over 4-5 days including Thanksgiving and that weekend. My wife has already agreed to let me miss Thanksgiving this year so long as she doesn't have to spend it with my side of the family. It's a win-win.

I never use guides if I can help it. I just research the heck out of my trips and put a lot of prep into them. So far I have one tentative partner. My plan is to go cheap as possible. I like the flexibility of the rental car idea, but only if I can split it between 4 people. It would need to be a 4x4 for the drive to Orizaba. I also posted on your Alpine Dad's thread. You seem to have many of the same plans as me this year. Feel free to PM me. Maybe we can work things out.

Edited by Jeremy McLain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Jeremy McLain said:

 It would need to be a 4x4 for the drive to Orizaba.

Seems pretty common to drive to Tlachichuca in a rental, then arrange higher transport through Servimont. They shuttle up and down all the time.

It’s also a convenient place to get fuel.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Nolan E Arson said:

Seems pretty common to drive to Tlachichuca in a rental, then arrange higher transport through Servimont. They shuttle up and down all the time.

It’s also a convenient place to get fuel.

Good point. I've read that you can get a taxi, bus, or even hire a driver to Puebla and Tlachichuca for pretty reasonable. Less than $100 to hire a driver and probably much less for a bus. I wonder how much a rental car would cost for the trip?

Edited by Jeremy McLain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We took a cab from DF to Apizaco for a Malinche hike. It was a bit pricey, but we were in a hurry, and didn’t have the lay of the land—transport-wise. Bus from there to Tlachichuca (and back to DF) was cheap and quite nice. It was nice to actually be in the culture for a minute, instead of always being the rushing tourist. 

I read something about the mandatory insurance for car rentals being expensive, so I didn’t dig deeper. That said, there were a few parties (even twosomes) of climbers who did rent, so it can’t be that bad. I really don’t know...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding car rental:

For one, yes- you need to add insurance , which makes rental more $$$, but it's a must.

Second, can you handle traffic and how they drive there, particularly in smaller towns? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/22/2019 at 6:10 PM, Nolan E Arson said:

I read something about the mandatory insurance for car rentals being expensive, so I didn’t dig deeper. That said, there were a few parties (even twosomes) of climbers who did rent, so it can’t be that bad. I really don’t know...

It ain't cheap, but it's only "expensive" by Mexican standards.  With a group of two or more people, an economy rental is a pretty good deal.

As for traffic, it's not bad once you get out of Mexico City, though there are some conventions you need to get used to, like people passing down the middle of a 2-lane road with wide shoulders.  I was just down there in February, and did not find it too stressful.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 21/5/2019 at 9:25 PM, needtoclimb said:

Thanks.  Good info.  For Mexico, I wouldn't want a guide.  Looking for more of a logistical planner.  I sent Servimont an email regarding that.  Thanks for the tip.

After researching Ecuador, guides are required.  They won't let you climb without one.  Still very much in planning phase and cost.  Mexico is cheaper, but less "real mountaineering" other than altitude.

Equador seems more expensive but appears to be more glacier climbing.  At the end, it will come down to cost vs reward.  

If anyone has an ecuadorian guide company they recommend, please share.   No way am I going with an American one like RMI.  The prices they charge are outrageous, and I dont meed or want the pampering they do.

I live in Ecuador, so of course I would recommend climbing here. It can be expensive to get here, but it's a small country, from Quito you're an hour from Cayambe, 90 minutes from Cotopaxi, and 4 hours from Chimborazo, not to mention the acclimatization climbs on Guagua and Rucu Pichincha, which are basically in Quito. Travel, food, and lodging can be really inexpensive, I would imagine comparable to Mexico or less. We use the US dollar, it's safe, and travel is really easy.

I have a guide that I've used, and I could pass you his contact if you'd like. He's high stoke, good decision maker, can help arrange logistics for you on the cheep, or work with someone who can. He may speak some English, but I only remember speaking Spanish with him. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For Mexico, I'd recommend hiring a driver through your logistics company to pickup/dropoff at the airport. Servimont offers this. We took public buses from the airport to Tlachichuca and back and while the buses themselves were very nice, navigating the bus station and doing the bus transfer was tedious. It took us about 8-9 hours both ways. Mostly due to traffic jams on the highway.  But it was also a lot of waiting time, it was an hour+ waiting for the bus at the airport, then an hour waiting to transfer buses in Puebla. I'd definitely recommend getting the first class bus from MEX to Puebla though, it was really nice and not that expensive at all. The bus leaving Tlachichuca was packed with students so we had to stand in the aisle for more than an hour.  Getting a taxi from the bus station in Mexico City to our hotel took over an hour.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×