A trio of craggy peaks looming in front of the still-smoking mound of Popocatepetl volcano and clearly visible on the horizon from Mexico City, the Iztaccíhuatl Volcano is one of the capital’s most iconic landmarks and a popular choice for hiking and camping excursions. Named for its resemblance to a sleeping woman, Iztaccíhuatl translates from the Nahuatl language to “white woman,” with the three peaks said to appear from a distance like the head, breasts and feet.
Reaching a height of 17,000 feet (5,230 meters), the Iztaccíhuatl Volcano measures in as Mexico’s third-highest peak, and scaling the permanently snow-capped summit offers impressive views over the neighboring Popocatepetl and the Valley of Mexico below. Most hikes start out from La Joya at 12,000 feet (3,700 meters), from where a range of technical and non-technical hiking trails run up the mountainside, taking about three to four hours to reach the summit.
The Iztaccihuatl Volcano is located 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City and is typically visited from the town of Tlalmanalco, connected by regular buses to the capital. Hiking the summit is not recommended without a guide.