Central America Travel and Tourist Guide
Volcanoes in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located within the so-called "Pacific Fire Belt", which comprises most of the world's volcanoes
The volcanoes of Costa Rica are related to the shock or subduction of the plates of Cocos and Caribe, This is a list of active and extinct volcanoes in Costa Rica. There is a great volcanism due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is known for its seismic state.
Costa Rica has 112 volcanoes, five of which are active, whose origin is due to the subduction of the Cocos and Caribe plates.
The heat from magma that has risen close to the surface has resulted in hot springs whose mineral water is a draw for spa enthusiasts. The slight changes in altitude create a hotbed of biodiversity seen nowhere else in the world, drawing tourists and scientists alike.
Therefore Volcanoes are one of the main tourist attractions of Costa Rica. Among the most visited we can highlight:
The Arenal Volcano of Costa Rica is located in the district of La Fortuna, San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela. It has a height of 1,670 masl. It is a conical stratovolcano, located about 8 km from La Fortuna. It has an area of 33 km2.
The volcano is located within the Arenal Volcano National Park. It began its last and current period of activity in 1968, on July 29 at 7:30. From that date it emits steady gases and vapors of water, with some explosions with emission of pyroclastic materials and sometimes strong rumbles. Because of this and its frequent activity, they make this volcano the most active in Costa Rica.
The Arenal is distinguished from a considerable distance. It can be seen from different towns in the canton of San Carlos such as Aguas Zarcas, Pocosol, La Fortuna, La Palmera, Cutris, Venado, Florencia and even Ciudad Quesada, Guatuso and Los Chiles. Geologically it belongs to the Sierra de Tilarán and the nearby volcano Chato is considered as its brother.
The area of La Fortuna, known for its hot springs, owes its attractions to volcanic activity. In this small town you can relax in the warm waters of the Tabacón River and, at the same time, enjoy the wonderful view of the imposing and very active Arenal Volcano.
These waters are famous for their healing and cosmetic properties, since they possess a wide variety of minerals and trace elements. With a perfect conical form, the Arenal Volcano has a constant activity, and its small eruptions create an impressive spectacle, that can be appreciated mainly during the nights. The Arenal lagoon, with an area of 200 hectares and a depth of 66 meters, has been created for the production of electricity, but it is also the scene of windsurfing and boating tournaments. The wonderful rainforest included in the Arenal Volcano National Park, home to a rich wildlife, is another tourist attraction in the area.
Location Map Arenal Volcano Costa Rica
Poas Volcano - Poas Volcano National Park
The Poás Volcano is located within the conservation area of the Central Volcanic Range in the Poás Volcano National Park. The main crater is 300 m deep and approximately 1.7 km in diameter, being the largest geyser crater in the world and one of the largest volcanic craters in the world.
The Poás Volcano is still active today, with small gas emissions and an acidic lagoon. The last major eruptions were between 1952 and 1954.
The volcanic massif is composed by another crater older called Botos in reference to the original ones that lived in the zone, which is not active and owns a lake in its central part. The Botos is a lake with green water due to the amount of sulfuric acid in the water and has a diameter of 365 m.
In the park there are well marked trails to be able to visit these places, and you can observe great amount of birds that live in the rainforest.
The park has a great variety of wildlife such as squirrels, various kinds of birds, saffron and dozens of orchids. In the last decade the park has had to be closed on several occasions due to high emissions of sporadic gases that have been given. There are a number of indicators that show that the volcano is showing very slowly signs of activity that can become a new eruption.
Location Map Poás Volcano Costa Rica
Irazu Volcano - Irazú National Park
The Irazú Volcano is an active stratovolcano located in the Central Volcanic Range, inside the national park that takes its name inside the National Park Irazú, about 32 km north of the city of Cartago. Its summit, at an altitude of 3,432 msnm, is located in the district of Santa Rosa, in the Canton of Oreamuno, Province of Carthage.
The summit of the volcano has several craters, one of which contains a green lake of variable depth. It is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. It is easy to visit from San Jose, through a direct road to the summit craters and a daily bus service to the summit. It is a very popular tourist spot.
From its summit and during a clear day, it is possible to see both coasts, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific. However, the clear days at the summit are very rare, since most of the time it remains cloud cover.
On the way to the volcano Irazú, it is common to observe the great agricultural and cattle activity that occurs in this area, which capture the attention of tourists on the sides of the road, such is the case of Tierra Blanca de Cartago, To visit places of interest such as Durán Sanatorium, Prusia Park, among others.
Location Map Irazú Volcano Costa Rica
Orosí Volcano - Guanacaste National Park
The Orosí Volcano belongs to the Cordillera de Guanacaste and has an altitude of 1659 msnm, located in the Guanacaste National Park in the province of Guanacaste, near the city of La Cruz and near the northern border with Nicaragua, near Of the North Pacific coasts of Coata Rica.
The Orosi is a stratovolcano, a conical volcano of high altitude, composed of multiple layers of hardened lava, alternating pyroclasts (arising from an alternation of times of explosive activity and flowing lava flows) and volcanic ash.
The area near the volcano attracts many ecotourists, due to its biodiversity that includes Guanacaste National Park.
Within its Tourist Attractions we can highlight its wide landscapes of the Costa Rican Dry Forest. From the northern sector you can see the plains of the north and Lake Nicaragua.
At the base of the volcano is the biological station Maritza, which investigates aquatic biology, founded in conjunction with the Stroud Water Research Center, of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences (USA).
Location Map Orosí Volcano Costa Rica
Turrialba Volcano - Turrialba Volcano National Park
The Turrialba Volcano is a volcanic cone of Costa Rica located in the district of Santa Cruz, in the canton of Turrialba, province of Cartago. It is located in the Central Volcanic Range, giving name to the National Park that surrounds it, the Turrialba Volcano National Park.
Scenic Beauty of Turrialba Volcano
On the sides of the colossus there is a tropical cloud forest, transported in some places by dairy farms, and among them is the source of the Turrialba river, the main river of the area of the same name, which has a large waterfall of almost 100 Meters of visible height a little before the bridge of this river, from the center of the town, to the height of Santa Rosa and from La Gloria, in Juan Viñas in the place where the highway passes near a great depression stuffed with pastures and cows. In the south slope of the volcano is the Guayabo National Monument, the main pre-Columbian indigenous settlement of the country.
Sites of Interest of Turrialba Volcano
The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica has installed a camera that transmits images in real time about the activity of the volcano, which can be observed.
Location Map Turrialba Volcano Costa Rica
Barva is the largest volcano in Costa Rica in extent and volume. The visit to the Barva volcano can be done in just one day and enjoy the view of the forest or visit the viewpoint and contemplate the beauty of the landscape
The Barva is a volcano located in Costa Rica, in the Central Volcanic Cordillera, 22 km north of San José, in the province of Heredia, and at a height of 2,906 meters above sea level, which makes it the third volcano Highest in Costa Rica.
The Barva Volcano is accessed via the Heredia-Barva-San José-Porrosatí-road, which is paved, except for the last two kilometers, which are ballast and can only be crossed by four-wheel drive vehicles or by walking. Taking as reference the capital San José, are 35 km.
The ascent to the Barva volcano, located four kilometers from the town of Sacramento, in Barva de Heredia, offers visitors a route framed in deep panoramic views of the Central Valley, pastures, dairy and countryside air. By the way you can eat in various restaurants and sodas, as well as buy cheese from handmade manufactures.
From the small town of Sacramento must be walked on a ballast road to the entrance of the National Park Braulio Carrillo-Volcan Sector Barva. From the park ranger post, the path to the lagoon is embedded in a cloud forest of capricious forms and mosses with intense tones laden with moisture. This path to the lagoon of the Barva allows the traveler to detour in a bend of the road and also visit the lagoon Copey. From the entrance booth, it is 3 km on foot to Barva lagoon and another 2 km to Copey lagoon.