Popocatépetl is one of the most active volcanoes in North America. Its current predominantly mild activity is contrasted by a history of large effusive and explosive eruptions and sector collapse events, first summarized by Espinasa-Pereña and Martín-Del Pozzo (2006). Since then, a wealth of new radiometric, geophysical and volcanological data have been published, requiring a re-evaluation of the evolution of the Popocatépetl Volcanic Complex (PVC). We combined existing literature data with new field observations, aerial imagery and digital elevation model interpretations to produce an updated and improved reconstruction of the growth and evolution of the PVC throughout its history. This will be fundamental for the assessment and mitigation of risks associated with potential future high-magnitude activity of the PVC. The PVC consists of four successive volcanic edifices separated by three sector collapse events producing avalanche deposits: Tlamacas (>538– >330 ka, described here for the first time); Nexpayantla (c. 330 to >98 ka); Ventorrillo (c. 98–23.5 ka); and Popocatépetl (<23.5 ka). The newly described Tlamacas collapse propagated towards the ENE, forming part of the Mayorazgo avalanche deposit.