Maipo retains a symmetrical, conical volcanic shape, unlike many of the other nearby peaks, making it the best known peak in the region, though it is not the highest. (Nearby Castillo is 5,485 m high.) Maipo is also almost the southernmost 5,000 metre peak in the Andes. (That honor goes to Sosneado, about 50 km to the south).
Maipo is located within the Diamante Caldera, a feature of about 15 km by 20 km size that is about one-half million years old. It rises about 1,900 m (6,230 ft) above the floor of the caldera. Immediately to the east of the peak, on the eastern side of the caldera floor, is Laguna del Diamante, a picturesque lake that formed when lava flows blocked drainage channels from the caldera in 1826. The Diamante Caldera erupted 450 cubic kilometers (108 cu mi) of tephra, 450 ka.
The region's climate is transitional between the drier Mediterranean climate of the peaks to the north and the cold, moist climate of Chilean Patagonia. Hence, while less glaciated than Patagonia, it has more permanent snow (on the wet, Chilean side) than peaks of similar elevation to the north.
Sruoga, P.; Llambías, E.J.; Fauqué, L.; Schonwandt, D.; Repol, D.G. (2005). "Volcanological and geochemical evolution of the Diamante Caldera-Maipo volcano complex in the Southern Andes of Argentina (34°10’S)". J. South American Earth Sci.19: 399–414.
^The given height is supported by SRTM data. Higher elevations given by some other authorities are incorrect.