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Nevado de Colima: Climbing Mexico’s Most Active Volcano

Nevado de Colima, Jalisco, Mexico.

Climb Nevado de Colima (4.260m / 13.980ft) to observe clouds of smoke coming out of Volcan de Fuego, Mexico’s most active volcano. The views are as impressive as they sound.

However, being on the summit is just part of the fun. See the ecosystem change at different altitudes, and enjoy its rich biodiversity while walking across pine and holm oak forests and catching a glimpse of hawks, pumas or armadillos.

Foggy forest
Early morning start

Where To Stay

La Joya camping area is right by the entrance of the National Park. It’s accessible by car (dirt road), besides, there is running water, toilets, barbecue grill, and many spots to camp.

About The Climb

The climb has no technical difficulty, and no guide is needed. Nevertheless, reaching altitudes above 4.000m (13.000 ft) requires a good physical condition. Two main possibilities depending on your time:

  • One day

It is possible to climb Nevado de Colima and be back in one day. In this case, you need to drive a dirt road all the way up to la Joya camping area (entrance of the National Park). From there, it’s a 4-5 hours hike to the top and back.

  • Two days

The wisest choice if you have the time. Arrive the first day to La Joya camping area 3.500m (11.500 ft), either walking or by car. Sleeping at such altitude and drinking a lot of water will help preventing altitude sickness. Beware of cold nights! The following morning, start really early (6AM) for a better chance to avoid clouds and have a better view of the Volcan de Fuego.

How To Get There

  • By car. Take the road 54D from Colima to Ciudad Guzman or the other way around, and exit in el Fresnito. From there, drive a dirt road to the entrance of the National Park.
  • Public transport. There are buses from Ciudad Guzman to the base of the volcano. From there, it’s a 5 hours to la Joya. Less reliable.
Walking over the clouds
Smoke coming out of Volcan de Fuego


Tips & Info

  • Open all year, except when there’s intense volcanic activity. Entrance fee: 30 MXN (1.5 USD) per person getting there by car. No fee if walking.
  • Whenever trekking, it’s always safer to go in a group.
  • Take warm clothes, and a good sleeping bag. It gets cold at night.
  • Check Nevado de Colima official website for the volcano’s most recent activity.

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