View of volcano Coropuna

The Coropuna is with 6425 m the highest volcano in Peru and the third highest peak of this country. The heavily glaciated mountain is part of the volcanic chain ( Cordillera Volcánica ) in southern Peru. It is located about 150 km northwest of the city of Arequipa and 110 km from the Pacific coast.

More recent sources indicate that the height of the Coropuna is only 6377 m. He would still be the highest volcano in Peru, but only the fifth highest peak in Peru.


The Coropuna is a stratovolcano, whose origin dates back approximately one to three million years, so it is done in the Pliocene. Demonstrably, the volcano was still active several times during the Holocene. However, there is no record of an eruption in historic times. Geologists have identified Holocene lava flows, which are widely flowed to 8.5 km. There are also deposits of ash and lapilli within 7 km of the mountain. The Coropuna is considered one of the dormant volcanoes. The current activity is limited to a few thermal springs in the vicinity of the volcano, the water temperature is between 20 ° C and 51 ° C. According to geologists the chance of a new outbreak in the coming years is almost zero.

The base of the mighty volcano has a diameter of about 20 km and is located at an altitude of 4200 m. The summit area is characterized by at least six ice-covered hilltops.


The snow line is now between 5300 m and 5600 m. The glacier melt has - dramatically accelerated over the last 50 years - as everywhere in the Andes. If the ice still indicated in 1955 with 122.7 km ², one measured in 2003 only 56.7 square kilometers, which corresponds to a reduction by 54%.

The melt water of Coropuna supplies around 50,000 inhabitants of the provinces Condesuyos and Castilla in the Arequipa region. If the melting process at the same pace, the Coropuna could be ice-free in about 50 years, which would mean that residents in its vicinity no drinking water and no more irrigation water had available.

Holy Mountain

The Coropuna is how many more mountains in Peru, from the perspective of the indigenous population, the Holy Mountain, which is inhabited by an Apu. A Apu is a mountain deity who was worshiped intense time of the Incas and what they brought offerings to make the climate or the amount of rainfall accordance with the wishes of the residents. The Incas up for this purpose to the summits of many holy mountains in southern Peru to be the Apu as close as possible and bring him sacrifices.


The ascent of Coropuna is technically not very demanding, but the remoteness of the volcano, the large amount and at times extremely low temperatures can provide very high physical demands on each climber. The rise is mostly undertaken by the Laguna Pallarcocha, which lies at the southwestern foot of the glacier.