Costa Rica

Poas Volcano National Park

Worried Wanderer378 views

So, it’s a bit embarrassing, Tyrone and I have been here for almost a year and we haven’t visited a volcano at all. Luckily we’ve made some friends and they helped change that. Ariela and her boyfriend Jose took us on a little sightseeing tour to Poas Volcano.

Travelling to Poas Volcano

It’s about 2 hours (travelling by car) outside of San Jose in the Central Valley and it’s one of the most visited National parks in Costa Rica. Entry to Poas Volcano National Park costs $15 for all foreign visitors and you need to pay for parking.

Once you enter you’ll find everything you need. There’s a great coffee shop, a gift store and a small museum dedicated to volcanoes and wildlife in the area.

Tyrone and I were prepared for a great trek to the Poas Volcano crater, but really the walk takes about 5 minutes (it’s only about 400m away from the entrance gate).

Once you’re at the top there’s no guarantee that you’ll get to see the crater.

In fact, we were warned before we paid the entrance fee that it was very cloudy, so our chance of seeing the actual crater was small. That didn’t stop us!

View of the Poas Volcano crater
Look at that beautiful crater! Oh wait, nope… just clouds.
Poas Volcano Map
Here’s what we should have seen

Walking Trails And Lago Botos

There are some great paved walking trails throughout the Poas Volcano National Park. It made getting around really easy. Nothing was too difficult, so the park is really a great place to visit for all ages and its wheelchair accessible.

Poas Volcano National Park walking trail
Great walking trails

Along with checking out the crater (and I mean that in the broad sense of the term, since we didn’t actually see it), there’s also Lago Botos. This lake fills an inactive crater and it’s beautiful (or so I hear).

Lago Botos at Poas Volcano National Park
Here’s Lago Botos… No wait, it’s just clouds again.

Now it’s important to remember that Poas Volcano is one of the largest active craters in the world (it’s almost a mile wide). It was crazy hearing the rumbling as we walked, and we often got a good whiff of sulphur in the air.

Poas Volcano observation deck
Tyrone and I with the best people in Costa Rica – Ariela and Jose

The weather is crazy up there, so if you’re visiting don’t forget a light jacket. You’ll be walking through the clouds and we got pretty wet while we walked. We stayed for a few hours, and apparently the crater cleared for a couple of seconds. But we went back to check it out, it was still covered in cloud. A tour guide explained that the weather could clear in minutes, and then just as quickly the clouds roll in. So its pure luck if you get to check out the crater. Although we have been told that going in the early morning improves your chances.

It was a great visit! Our first volcano outing… Not too shabby!

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