Volcano Early Warning Systems (VEWS) have become a research topic in order to preserve human lives and material losses. In this setting, event detection criteria based on classification using machine learning techniques have proven useful, and a number of systems have been proposed in the literature. However, to the best of our knowledge, no comprehensive and principled study has been conducted to compare the influence of the many different sets of possible features that have been used as input spaces in previous works. We present an automatic recognition system of volcano seismicity, by considering feature extraction, event classification, and subsequent event detection, in order to reduce the processing time as a first step towards a high reliability automatic detection system in real-time. We compiled and extracted a comprehensive set of temporal, moving average, spectral, and scale-domain features, for separating long period seismic events from background noise. We benchmarked two usual kinds of feature selection techniques, namely, filter (mutual information and statistical dependence) and embedded (cross-validation and pruning), each of them by using suitable and appropriate classification algorithms such as k Nearest Neighbors (k-NN) and Decision Trees (DT). We applied this approach to the seismicity presented at Cotopaxi Volcano in Ecuador during 2009 and 2010. The best results were obtained by using a 15 s segmentation window, feature matrix in the frequency domain, and DT classifier, yielding 99% of detection accuracy and sensitivity. Selected features and their interpretation were consistent among different input spaces, in simple terms of amplitude and spectral content. Our study provides the framework for an event detection system with high accuracy and reduced computational requirements.