Climbing Cerro de las Culebras

Richard M and Colleen use a laundry service here in Coatepec. For approximately $1.40 CAD per 2 kilograms of laundry, you drop it off one morning and pick it up the next afternoon washed, dried and neatly folded! When Colleen and I were on our way to pick up the laundry yesterday she pointed out a green hill in the distance. On top was a bright yellow circular tower of some sort with a cross its side. I immediately wondered if there was a trail leading up to it.

A quick internet search was all it took to discover that Cerro de las Culebras (Snake Hill) and the lookout tower on its top are easily accessible from the centre of town. This morning was warm and sunny, so after a hearty breakfast the four of us set out to find the trailhead and climb to the top. Forty-five minutes later we were at the bottom of a series of steep cobbled steps leading up the hillside.

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The lush greenery on either side made it a beautiful climb and soon we began to catch glimpses of the town spread out below.

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Before we knew it, we were at the top where the lookout tower with a white statue of Christ at its top stands in the middle of a grassy clearing. The views of Coatepec and the surrounding mountains were spectacular. In the distance, we could even see the snow covered peak of Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s highest mountain and a dormant volcano that last erupted between 1545 and 1566. It is the third highest mountain in North America and the world’s second highest dormant volcano, behind only Kilimanjaro in Africa.

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If you can’t spot Pico De Orizaba in this photo, I’ve circled it in the next one which was taken from the top of the observation tower.

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