Costa Rica, a part of the Pacific Ring Fire Circle, boasts over 200 volcanic formations that date back millions of years. While only a hundred of them show any signs of activity today, five are classified as active volcanoes. Located mostly in the northern part of the country and in the Central Highlands, these volcanoes are not just natural marvels but also major tourist attractions.
A Key Part of Costa Rica’s Spectacular Diversity
These volcanoes have played a vital role in shaping the lush landscape of Costa Rica. Over the centuries, numerous eruptions have enriched the soil with minerals, making it exceptionally fertile. As a result, this region is adorned with dense forests teeming with a variety of bird and wildlife species. The fertility of the land has also given rise to a multitude of tropical plants and trees.
The volcanoes of Costa Rica offer more than just beauty and fertility. They serve as recreational grounds for various activities such as hiking, white water rafting, sportfishing, surfing, boating, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, mountain biking, and exploration. Even though many of these volcanoes are relatively young, having formed within the last two million years, each one possesses unique characteristics that set it apart.
For instance, Volcan Irazú is famous for its mesmerizing green-blue lake nestled within one of its craters. On the other hand, the Poás Volcano boasts a boiling acid lake in one of its craters, offering a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Dividing the Volcanoes by Range
The volcanoes of Costa Rica can be classified into three volcanic range systems. The Guanacaste Range is home to the Ricon de la Vieja, Orosi Volcano, Miravalles Volcano, Tenorio Volcano, and Arenal Volcano. The Central Volcanic Range comprises the Poás Volcano, Barva Volcano, Irazú Volcano, and Turrialba Volcano. Finally, the Talamanca Range features only one volcano, the El Viejo. Among these, the Turrialba, Poás, Ricon de la Vieja, Arenal, Orosi, and Irazú volcanoes are considered active.
The Famous Active Volcanoes
The Arenal Volcano is perhaps the most renowned volcano in Costa Rica. Until recently, it was the country’s most active volcano, emitting hot gases and steam regularly. However, this volcanic activity ceased in December 2010. With its perfect volcanic cone, the Arenal Volcano is a sight to behold, dominating the surrounding landscape of the Arenal National Park.
Another accessible active volcano is the Poás Volcano, located within the national park of the same name. The Poás Volcano has one active crater, while the other two are dormant. The active crater is home to a boiling acid lake, while one of the dormant craters contains a stunning icy cold water lake. This lake flows down the volcano’s slopes, eventually becoming the Rio Sarapiqui. Regular tours to explore the majestic beauty of the Poás Volcano are available throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is from May to November, when the weather is favorable and allows visitors to witness the active crater.
For breathtaking panoramic views, head to the Irazú Volcano. This volcano erupted during the visit of US President John F. Kennedy to Costa Rica. On clear days, the summit offers a glimpse of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The fertile soil of the Irazú Volcano sustains lush green slopes covered in forests and pasturelands where cattle graze. The trails leading to the summit are also home to a variety of exotic birds such as tapirs and tanagers.
Costa Rica’s volcanoes are not just geological wonders; they are also gateways to adventure and natural beauty. Visitors can witness captivating landscapes, indulge in thrilling activities, and immerse themselves in the country’s rich biodiversity. For an extraordinary volcanic experience, there is no better destination than Costa Rica.
To plan your volcanic adventure in Costa Rica, visit DHPL Travels now!