Ever since I first saw the image of the church Nuestra Señora de los Remedios and volcano Popocatepetl in the background, I knew that I wanted to take a similar photo. It is one of the most iconic tourism pictures of Mexico and I guess it is easy to see why.
Therefore, I went to visit Puebla and Cholula in September 2015, while I was studying Spanish in Oaxaca. To my delight, the volcano was not visible during the whole weekend and so I spend my time exploring the city, searching for a location that aligns the view of the church Nuestra Señora de los Remedios with Popocatepetl. After hours of walking, consulting various websites and Google maps I came to the conclusion that there are two flyovers on the main street from where I could have the perspective I wished for and that I needed to come back with a 200 or better a 300 mm lens.
As it turned out, it was not enough. I simply could not get the image I wanted. Trees and antennas popped up unexpectedly and I never found THE perspective. I realized that most of the photos out there must be Photoshop composites. Maybe it is possible to achieve the perfect photo with a rental platform, a drone or a helicopter, but for now, I have to admit, I have failed to find it.
Here is a short summary of what I did: I took a shot of the church from the parking lot down below. Then I drove to San Andrés Calpan. It is a great drive and you will be rewarded with great views of Popocatepetl. Thereafter, I combined both pictures in Photoshop.
For your information:
Popocatépetl is usually covered with snow from March to the end of April. The rainy season is from June to October. Knowing what I know now, I would say that end of March is the perfect time for going there.