These are the 10 most active volcanoes in Latin America

With more than 3,000 volcanoes in its territory, Latin America is one of the most active volcanic regions. Only 14 of all the volcanoes are active.

These are the 10 most active volcanoes in Latin America
Popocatépetl volcano from Amecameca (looking south-east). Image: Pixabay

Latin America is one of the most active volcanic regions, with more than 3 thousand volcanoes in its territory, which extends from Mexico and the Caribbean to the tip of Patagonia, the southernmost point of South America. However, only 14 of all colossi are active, some of which represent a danger for the populations living in their outskirts or nearby entities.

Popocatépetl volcano

This volcano is one of the most active in Mexico and is considered one of the most dangerous on the planet, according to the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) Mexico, because 100 kilometers of its crater inhabit some 25 million people.

The last significant eruption was recorded in February 2018, when ash and vapor emissions reached 2 thousand meters in height. In September 2018 an explosion was recorded in which the volcano released incandescent fragments at a distance of 200 meters from the crater.

At the moment it is in yellow alert concerning the semaphore of volcanic alert, which means that there is a manifestation of activity with frequent local volcanic seismicity and sporadic and light ash emissions.

Colima volcano

The University of Colima, through its University Center of Studies and Investigations of Volcanology, considers that it is the most active volcano in Mexico because of the number of eruptions it has had in the last 500 years.
On February 3, 2017, its most recent explosion occurred, while in December 2016 it made two strong explosions that released smoke and incandescent material.

Turrialba volcano

The Turrialba volcano is located in Costa Rica, located 60 kilometers from San José, the capital city of the country. It was activated in 1996 and its strongest cycles of explosions have been more recent, taking place since 2010. In 2015, volcanic warnings were ignited due to the existence of gas columns and ash over 900 meters high that left the volcano.

Fuego volcano

In Guatemala, there is the Fuego Volcano, which erupted on June 3, 2018, killing at least 72 people and affecting 1.7 million inhabitants of its surroundings.

Santiaguito volcano

This colossus is also located in Guatemala and is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. In addition, the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology, and Hydrology (Insivumeh) considers it the youngest and most studied volcano in Guatemala.

Masaya volcano

The Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program considers this volcano located in Nicaragua as one of the most active volcanoes in the nation. Between October 2015 and August 2016 it had explosive activity, the resurgence of lava, and increased seismic amplitude.

Nevado del Ruíz volcano

This volcano located in Colombia is part of the 21 volcanoes monitored by the Colombian Seismological Service. An eruption in 1985 was considered the second deadliest of the 20th century. In it, 23 thousand of people lost their lives. After this, the volcano remains on yellow alert, because it represents a latent danger and an eruption is still expected.

Cotopaxi volcano

In Ecuador, Cotopaxi Volcano is considered one of the most dangerous in the world because of its frequent eruptions and the number of populations potentially exposed to its threats.

Tungurahua volcano

In September 2016, this volcano in Ecuador activated an orange alert due to an eruption during which emanated steam and ash reached 2 kilometers in height.

Reventador Volcano

This volcano is located about 90 kilometers from Quito and is considered one of the three most active volcanoes in Ecuador. In December 2017, it erupted, offering spectacular images. There were no threats to the lives of the surrounding residents.

Worldwide there are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes

The Earth has about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes. This term means that they have been active in the Holocene, that is, in the last 10,000 years, according to most scientists, and may be active again in the coming decades. This includes everything from thermal anomalies to eruptions. Spain has three areas with active volcanism: the Garrocha field (Catalonia), the Calatrava region (Ciudad Real), and the Canary Islands, where the eruption of the volcano is located in the area of Cabeza de Vaca, on La Palma, began. Of these 1,500 volcanoes, about fifty are currently exploding without serious consequences. There are historical records of eruptions of about 500 volcanoes.


It is located on the island of Tenerife, in the Canary archipelago. It has a height of 3,715 meters and is the third-largest volcanic structure on the planet, after Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, both in Hawaii The national park where Teide is located was named a Natural World Heritage Site in 2007 by Unesco.

Mount Vesuvius

It is one of the most famous volcanoes. It is 1,281 meters above sea level, in the Campania region of Italy. In the year 79, it buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. This episode was one of the first volcanological observations ever made. The last time it erupted was in 1944.

Piton de la Fournaise

It is on the island of Reunion (France), in the Indian Ocean. It has a height of 2,632 meters. This volcano was created southeast of another one called the Piton des Neiges. Every year it undergoes between one and three eruptions.


(Kyushu, Japan) At an altitude of 1,117 meters, it is known for frequent episodes of volcanic lightning. The 1914 eruption was the most intense and largest of the 20th century in Japan. This volcano has been intermittently expelling explosive elements since 1955.


This volcano is located in Suðurland, south of Iceland, and its height is 1,491 meters. It is the third most active volcano in the country and is one of the 30 active volcanic systems. Its last eruption was in 2000, although the largest in its recent history was in 1947. It caused a column of gas and ash that rose some 30 km into the stratosphere.


It belongs to the city of Legazpi, in the Philippines. Its height is 2,462 meters. Because of its shape, this mountain is known as a perfect cone. Since 1616, more than 30 eruptions have been recorded. The most damaging was in 1814 when the lava buried the city of Cagsawa and left 1,200 dead.