Capilla de San Miguel Arcángel and Popocatépetl

When visiting Atlixco in October, I was hoping to get some nice photos of the volcano Popocatépetl, potentially with some of the local churches or other landmarks.  I thought a photo of the volcano with the small chapel San Miguel Arcángel would be nice.  San Miguel sits on top of a small hill, so it’s above the rest of the skyline and easy to see.  Ideally, I’d use a very long lens to compress the scene and make the volcano look gigantic.

Prior to arriving, I spent an hour or more on Google maps looking for places to try to take the photo from.  I wanted the Chapel to line up with the volcano behind it, so standing in just the right place was important.  To use a long lens and compress the scene, I’d need to be a couple of miles away from the Chapel.  I found a few spots that looked promising on the highway outside of town.  I decided to take a 150-600mm lens with me, which I don’t always like to carry (it’s huge and weighs 5 lbs), but for this photo, it was needed.

When I arrived in Atlixco, the clouds gave me fits for the first day.  I wasn’t able to see the volcano, so clearly a photo was out of the question.  On my second day, the skies cleared in the late afternoon, so I decided to go for it.

I had a taxi drop me off outside of town, and I made my way to the location I had found.  While it looked good in Google street view, it didn’t work in person.  I ended up moving to a secondary location, nearby, and it was much better.  Here’s the photo:

View of Cerro San Miguel and Popo.  Capilla de San Miguel Arcángel

View of Cerro San Miguel and Popo.  Capilla de San Miguel Arcángel


I think this turned out pretty well.  It ended up being very popular on my Instagram feed, and I’m glad I made the effort!



8 comments on “Capilla de San Miguel Arcángel and Popocatépetl”

  1. Catherine Hicks says:

    Absolutely astounding!

    1. Peter says:


  2. Dean says:

    Very interesting photo, but for some reason the Chapel does not appear to be level can you explain this?

    1. Peter says:

      User error, bad eyesight, not using the built-in level in my camera? Or perhaps all three? Does it need a slight tilt to the left?

  3. cess_45 says:

    Atlixco is a place with many attractions, especially its church that is on a hill, it is wonderful and fantastic,

  4. Ana Nico says:

    Very interesting, the picture and the information are amazing.
    I’ve been sometimes there, it’s a wonderful place.

  5. Daniela says:

    oh thaks is a very interesting and very useful because I know more about where I live

  6. Nena Víctor says:

    It´s a amazing picture. Atlixco is a good place for live. The volcano Popocatepetl is incredible when have snow. You should take some photos when it’s like this.

    It´s wonderful.

    Thank you for photos.

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