The second highest peak of Mexico is the spectacular peak of Popocatepetl. It represents an active volcano spewing smoke all the time, featuring a scary view that can intimidate even the more experienced mountaineers. It is very hard not to call this spectacular peak a real monster. Popocatepetl became a mixed blessing for the beautiful Mexico. The travelers have to come at this marvelous region and taste from the delightful facade offered by this extraordinary mountain.
Popocatepetl received its name from two Nahuatl words, meaning “it smokes” and “mountain” . However the word Popocatepetl has a literary translation, called the “smoking mountain”, that really exists as an active volcano for the past 100 years, with great eruptions and spewing of gases at specific intervals of time. The base of the enormous mountain is very large including a diameter of about 25 kilometers, while its main crater features an elliptical hole, being 600m long and 400m across. This splendid mountain includes a height more than 5000 meters and exists as a tremendous destination in the country for about 730,000 years.
Popocatepetl can be admired even from Mexico City itself, that is located at about 70 kilometers from the spectacular mountain. A more ideal area from where the Popocatepetl is visible is the small Puebla town, located only 40 kilometers away, from where the tourists can get to see the amazing glimpse of the mountain’s ever continuous trail of smoke and it’s snow-covered peak.
The remarkable volcano has been intermittently active during the 2000's and ascents on the mountain are not so often allowed by the authorities. When the mountain is open for hikers, they will climb Popocatepetl following the normal route on the north side of the mountain from Tlamacas above the Paso de Cortes. The ascent lasts only one long day from the Tlamacas huts continuing till the crater rim. This standard ascent is surprisingly an easy walk organized over scree and snow slopes, enjoying exciting adventure while hiking its steep and dangerous paths. Mountain climbers can have a restriction when climbing the mountain but this activity is definitely recommended to tourists that are experienced and are not scary to experience this spectacular and risky massif.
The first recorded ascent of the mountain was made by the Tecuanipas tribe and took place in 1289. The first Spanish ascent of the Popocatepetl was an unforgettable expedition organized by Diego de Ordaz in 1519. The last major eruption of the volcano happened in 1947, and on December 21, 1994, it awakened from dormancy, spreading around gas and ash, which was taken by the wind as far as Puebla. The towns that are close to the mountain were evacuated, and the zone was explored by the scientists, who tried to determine the next possible eruption.
Anyway the superb mountain is a lovely destination while in Mexico. It will offer only exciting adventures and nice experiences to its guests, providing outstanding panoramas with picturesque landscapes that truly fascinate the tourists. Just have fun and admire the scenic beauty that the peak offers to you!