Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl

Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl


Fast Facts


Active volcano in the state of Puebla, Morelos and Mexico

One of the most active volcanoes in Mexico

730,000 years old

5,426 m (17,802 ft) high

Second highest peak in Mexico

70 km (43 mi) southeast of Mexico City

popoCan be clearly seen in both Mexico City and Puebla

2001, Popocatepetl’s glaciers had become extinct due to increased internal and external temperatures

15 major eruptions since the Spanish arrived

1991 increased activity and since 1993 smoke can be seen constantly streaming from the crater.


Dormant Volcano

3rd largest peak in Mexico

Pico de Orizaba is first 5,636 m (18,491 ft)

Second is Popocatépetl at 5,426 m (17,802 ft)

Iztaccíhuatl is 3rd 5,230 m (17,160 ft)

Joined with Popocatépetl by the “Paso de Cortez”

Can be seen from Mexico City and Puebla

Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl the Legend

popo3Popocatépetl in the Nahuatl language means “the Smoking Mountain” and Iztaccíhuatl “white woman”

Bill and I chased the volcano Popocatépetl today as it was a clear day with just a little cloud and the ancient Warrior was smoken!

I love the myths about Popo and Iztaccíhuatl but this is the most common. The warrior Popocatépetl was in love with and Iztaccíhuatl and wanted to marry her. Iztaccíhuatl’s father the Emperor wasn’t very happy with that idea so told Popo he must go to war and bring back the head of the enemy if he wanted to marry his daughter.

A rival suitor came back from the front a few months later and told the family that Popo had died in war. Iztaccíhuatl was so despondent that she wouldn’t eat and died of a broken heart.

Pop returned a few days later and found out what happened and became furious. He carried her body far out into the countryside and lay her body down on a funeral table overflowing with flowers. He knelt down and wept. Eventually he too died of sadness.

popo2The gods were moved by the young couple’s love and turned their bodies and souls into grand volcanoes. Popocatépetl is the largest and sometimes shows his anger by smoking and erupting with anger. Iztaccíhuatl is happy to be beside her great lover and remains sleeping and peaceful.



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