2. Sep, 2015

Cotopaxi, Ecuador - August 2015

Many sources claim that Cotopaxi means "Neck of the Moon" in an indigenous language, but this is unproven. The mountain was honored as a "Sacred Mountain" by local Andean peoples, even prior to the Inca invasion in the 15th century. It was worshiped as “rain sender”, that served as the guarantor of the land's fertility, and at the same time its summit was revered as a place where gods lived.

With 86 known eruptions, Cotopaxi is one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes.The first recorded eruption of Cotopaxi was in 1534.

Cotopaxi's most violent eruptions in historical times occurred in the years 1742, 1744, 1768, and 1877. The 1744 and 1768 events destroyed the colonial town of Latacunga. In the 26 June 1877 eruption, pyroclastic flows descended all sides of the mountain melting the entire ice cap, with lahars traveling more than 100 km into the Pacific Ocean and western Amazon basin draining the valley. The city of Latacunga was again levelled completely due to the mudslide deposits.


In 2015, a steam eruption marked a new phase of volcanic activity as the photo taken on my flight out of Ecuador shows.