Trip Planner: Central America / Costa Rica / Province of Alajuela / Poas Volcano National Park / Poas Volcano
Observe firsthand the geothermal forces that created much of Costa Rica at Poas Volcano. Located within a national park, this active stratovolcano in the central part of the country features a giant crater over 1 km (0.6 mi) in diameter. Although the last major eruption occurred back in the 1950s, on most days you can see mud and water shooting high up into the air. These minor blowouts are caused by deposits of liquid sulphur, which wreaks havoc on the surrounding ecosystem. Just south of there you can see an inactive crater filled by a lake and surrounded by lush cloud forest. Begin your visit at the wheelchair-accessible visitor center, which marks the starting point of one of the park's main trails. Wear shoes suitable for rugged terrain, and keep in mind that due to its location above the frost line, the park often experiences below-freezing temperatures. Using our custom trip planner, Poas Volcano National Park attractions like Poas Volcano can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Tours to Poas Volcano
$99 BOOK WITH VIATOR Poas Volcano National Park Half day tour from San Jose
Duration: 30 to 60 minutes
Poas Volcano reviews
We purchased tickets online through the somewhat cumbersome process. Entering the park was fine, and there was a brief orientation in Spanish. We were asked to wear hardhats. When we reached the... more »
Not often that you get to see a live volcano. Beautiful colors in the lagoon, shades of turquoise and yellow. We did not find the short walk up from the check in station taxing in the least, it is... more »
If you are fortunate enough to visit on a day when you can see the crater, it's a 5 star experience. If you arrive and find it covered in clouds, the experience is a disappointment because you can't see anything. All of the other trails in the park are closed, so you can only go to the main crater and you are limited to 20 minutes. That is enough time to see it, but I would have liked to hike around on the other trails. This is an active volcano and you can smell the sulfur at various times depending on the direction of the wind. The volcano had a small eruption a couple of weeks before I was there and had just opened up again. NOTE: you must purchase your tickets online OR buy them at the small shop a couple of miles prior to the entrance on the left side of the road. I recommend you buy them in person. They have a live webcam of the crater and you will know if it is covered in clouds or if it is visible. There are concrete shelters at the crater viewing area and air quality sensors too. They take safety seriously. There was no alarm or issue while I was there, but once the wind direction shifted and we were engulfed in sulfur gas, we understood the 20 minute time limit. Breathing was uncomfortable and unpleasant for any longer.
Beautiful. Bring a scarf or mask.
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