When I first traveled to Costa Rica, I had heard of the Poás Volcano simply because of its location to my accommodation and I was eager to put it at the top of my list. It was my first time ever seeing an active volcano!
The Poas Volcano National Park is located in the Alajuela Province just 65 km north of San Jose. I drove to the park from the Hotel Posada Canal Grande early to get my visit in before noon. Since the park is located near a cloud forest, the visibility can cloud over by then. I was visiting in April towards the end of the dry season so I was hoping for the best. Admission to the park is about $15 (depending on season) and you could pay in US dollars (like many other places in Costa Rica!) or colones.
I started at the visitor’s center and took the 15 minute trail (.5 km) to get to the viewing platform at the crater overlook. It is about 1.7 km wide and 300 km deep. What a sight to see! I had no idea, but I apparently lucked out weather wise and had a beautiful view of the active crater! Since this is such an affordable activity and doesn’t take too much planning, I would watch the weather before committing a half day here.
I then headed back on the trail a little bit to take the Lake Botos trail (1.4 km) which branches off from the crater overlook trail right before the viewing platform. The lake fills an inactive/extinct (I’m not up on my volcanic vocabulary!) crater and it was the most beautiful color of blue!
I really enjoyed being up in the cloud forest and exploring the trails throughout the park. It was a beautiful part of Costa Rica, and an EASY addition to anyone traveling near San Jose.
If you’re staying near the area, I highly recommend a hike through this beautiful national park to see the Poas Volcano. It was little effort for a big reward!
How about you? Have you ever been to Costa Rica? What region did you explore?! I’d love to go back.