At 5897 meters above sea level, and rising majestically above the Andean mountains, the Cotopaxi mountain is Ecuador’s highest active volcano - as well as being one of the most active volcanoes anywhere in Ecuador. With an almost perfectly symmetrical cone shape its identifiable sign, Cotopaxi mountain is also a picture book image of Ecuador.
The Cotopaxi is highly symmetrical a conical volcano whose glaciers have not affected it much due to the recent origin of these. The inclination of its flanks observes 30º approximately, whereas the diameter of its base is in the 15 kms. The name of the mountain is a voice Cayapa that is disturbed asi ': Boundary , neck; pag , of pagta, sun and if of shi, candy. That is to say, "Sweet Sun Neck". In the old language of the Panzaleos , cotopaxi means "fire Throat". The crater of the volcano is made oval with a diameter of 800x600 m. and a depth of 200 m.s from the edge to the bottom of the same one. This active volcano appeared back in the middle of the Pleistocene between million and 200,000 years on still more old volcanic layers.
The small hill Morurco or Guagua Cotopaxi that is a little to the south more is the surplus of old Cotopaxi volcano when this it had one more an activity more explosive than the present one. Already at the end of the Pleistocene until the present time, the Cotopaxi resumed its activity and constructed the present cone. For 500 years, in historical times, numerous eruptions of the Cotopaxi have been entered that have destroyed near valleys, their last eruption of importance was in 1906, reactivating itself in 1944 and 1975 but with little force.