The majestic Popocatepetl

With its majestic height, the Popocatepetl volcano towers over the surrounding landscape. The locals of Mexico City affectionately refer to it as 'Popo'. The volcano is a wonderful destination for walking, climbing, skiing or simply to take in the views. But make no mistake, 'Popo' is still active.

Popocatepetl seen from Iztaccihuatl

Popocatepetl seen from Iztaccihuatl

A bond with its twin brother

Estimated to be around 730,000 years old, Popocatepetl is a so-called stratovolcano: a cone-shaped volcano composed of many layers of hard lava. The volcano is connected to its 'twin brother' Iztaccihuatl. Both volcanoes are located approximately 70 kilometres from Mexico City and are separated by a 16-km-long mountain ridge. A tour along this ridge offers great views of Popo and is a nice alternative in case the giant is too active to climb. Various tour operators in Mexico City offer guided tours to these volcanoes.

Historic highlights

In addition to nature and scenic views, Popocatepetl also offers interesting historic attractions. Along the slopes of the volcano you will find 14 Spanish monasteries dating back to the 16th-century. These offer a wonderful glimpse into Mexico’s history during Spanish rule. The Spaniards built these monasteries in an attempt to convert the indigenous people to Christianity. All monasteries are open to visitors. The special Monastery Route leads along 11 of them.

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