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Central America’s Natural Wonders: Poás Volcano National Park

Poás Volcano National Park is the most visited national park in the country, also because of its close proximity to and easy access from the capital San José. You can almost walk up to the edge of the main crater which is almost a 1,000 feet deep and has frequent small lava eruptions, making for a spectacular sight. Here is everything you need to know about the Poás Volcano, a must-do during a tour to Costa Rica.


Active volcano

The volcano has erupted 39 times since 1828 and has two crater lakes. The Poás Volcano can be visited without having the hike all the way up, some may see this as an advantage. The enormous crater with a diameter of almost 1,3km makes it a perfect opportunity to watch an active volcano with its bubbles and steam.

Poas Volcano

Besides this enormous crater there’re two other craters. One lake is one of the world’s most acidic, very hot, covered with a layer of liquid sulphur and without any life in it, the other is cold and filled with very clear water. This last lake is surrounded by a high altitude cloud forest, not unlike the famous ones as Monteverde, though obviously a fair bit smaller.

Poas Volcano butterfly 

National Park closures

The park is at various times closed to the public because of sulphuric gas emissions being too high, your Class Adventure Travel Specialist will keep you updated about the latest news and opening times. There are indications that the volcano is slowly building towards a new eruption over the last decade, among them the fact that the water level of the crater lakes is dropping ever farther. Scientists are still monitoring this volcano closely.


Remind that the Poás Volcano is located in a very high area that makes the top of the volcano reaching almost 9,000 feet. Get to the National Park as early as possible to give yourself some time to make spectacular photos of the Poás Volcano before its top disappears in the clouds. Even so, the site of the crater spewing a mixture of mud and hot water high up into the air is an impressive experience that cannot be missed out on during a visit to Costa Rica