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|Pico de Orizaba|
Pico de Orizaba, looking northwest from Fortín de las Flores, Veracruz
|Elevation||5,636 m (18,491 ft)|
|Prominence||4,922 m (16,148 ft)|
|Isolation||2,690 kilometres (1,670 mi)|
|Parent peak||Mount Logan|
|Volcanic arc/belt||Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt|
|First ascent||1848 by F. Maynard & William F. Raynolds|
|Easiest route||moderate snow/ice climb|
Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl (from Nahuatl citlal(in) = star, and tepētl = mountain), is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America, after Denali (formerly known as Mount McKinley) of the United States and Mount Logan of Canada. It rises 5,636 metres (18,491 ft) above sea level in the eastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla. The volcano is currently dormant but not extinct, with the last eruption taking place during the 19th century. It is the second most prominent volcanic peak in the world after Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.
Pico de Orizaba overlooks the valley and city of Orizaba, from which it gets its name. The name Citlaltépetl is not used by Nahuatl speakers of the Orizaba area, who instead call it Istaktepetl (Iztactépetl in the traditional orthography for Classical Nahuatl), or 'White Mountain'. In the earliest mention of the volcano, it was referred to by the natives during the Pre-Columbian Era as Poyautécatl, which means "the ground that reaches the clouds".
Citlaltépetl was the common name in the Náhuatl language when the Spanish arrived in Mexico. Citlaltépetl comes from the Náhuatl citlalli (star) and tepētl (mountain) and thus means "Star Mountain". This name is thought to be based on the fact that the snow-covered peak can be seen year round for hundreds of kilometers throughout the region. A legend from the city of Coscomatepec tells of how the planet Venus can be seen settling into the crater of Citlaltépetl. During the colonial era, the volcano was also known as Cerro de San Andrés due to the nearby settlement of San Andrés Chalchicomula at its base.
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