As many of you know, Mexico isn't just about the beaches, although we certainly love those. We like the fact that on any given day, you could hop on the airplane or catch a bus and experience any myriad of things in this country.
I shot this photo about 2 years ago while flying from Mexico City to Huatulco (see other photo in the gallery), and while I knew that there were were volcanoes in Mexico, I didn't fully connect the dots with the location and the sheer size of them.
Located only 70 km to the southeast of Mexico City, Popocatepetl volcano is still highly active. It sits at a dizzying elevation of 5,426 m (17,802 ft) and is the second highest mountain in Mexico.
To put the elevation into perspective, Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is at an elevation of 1,463 m (4,800 ft)...the city of Denver, Colorado has an elevation of 1,609 m (5,279 ft)...while Mexico City sits at an elevation of 2,240 m (7,349 ft).
The name Popocatepetl comes from the native language Nahuatl and the words popoca, "it smokes" and tepetl, "mountain" are derived from here.
Popocatepetl is connected to another volcanic cone called Iztaccihuatul to the north and is separated by a high mountain pass know as the Paso de Cortés. It is located on the eastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Paleomagnetic studies have placed the volcano to be around 730,000 years old.
|Pico de Orizaba - Photo: Wikipedia|
Pico de Orizaba is one of only three peaks in Mexico that supports glaciers and not surprisingly contains the largest glacier along with nine other glaciers.
So, the next time you think of Mexico, think of the amazing geography and geology contained within this country. It will really open your eyes!