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Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park

Coyote
Coyote

Located on the Central Volcanic Range in Costa Rica, 37 km north of Alajuela, rises the Poas Volcano national park Visiting this national park is not just for the geological fanatic: it also provides the nature lover with several distinct habitats to explore, such as areas of scarce vegetation, rainforest, stunted forests (elfin or dwarf forest) and cloud forest. The stunted or dwarf forest is due to the acid rain generated by the Poas’ fumes, that allows only ferns and results in bonsai-style trees. From the visitor center, where you can see exhibitions and audiovisual presentations, hear lectures, use the bathrooms and warm up at the café you can head out to the crater lookouts. Due to the constant activity, there are no lodges or hotels within the park, but there are accommodations in the area. Visiting is simple, ask our knowledgeable Costa Rican travel agents about tours to this park. There are several trails within the Poas national park you can explore. The first is the paved path up to the peak (fully wheelchair accessible), then there’s a 20-30 minute trail that takes you to Botos Lake, a topaz blue water filled crater surrounded by dense tropical forest. A third trail is also available to hike through the forest. Some animals you may see in the area are coyotes, long tailed weasels, small felines and skunks. You could also spot the Poas Squirrel which has a tail as long as its body and an intriguing body color, endemic to the area. There are 79 different species of birds like hummingbirds, robins and even quetzals! Due to the altitude (1682.67 ml) and high humidity, it is recommended to wear closed shoes for the muddy paths, a sweater and a light rain jacket since the average temperature at the peak’s summit is 53 F, and it receives a yearly 12 ft. of rain.

Volcano Lake
Volcano Lake

The Poas is one of the most spectacular peaks in Costa Rica and possesses an incredible scenic beauty: dense stands of virgin forest, an electric blue rainwater lake cradled in a crater and geysers. It stands 8,659 ft. tall and the main crater is said to be the second largest in the world with a 0.9 mile diameter and a depth of 900 ft. There is also a lesser known claim to fame: It holds the title is of the largest geyser in the world since vents and the boiling sulfurous lagoon in the center of the crater are known to spew steam and muddy water more than 590 ft. into the air. Other than the sulfurous burps, the peak maintains a low profile. Besides the memorable 1910 eruption when the peak expelled 640 000 tons of ash and between 1952 and 1954 when neighboring areas were pelted with rocks and ashes, only gassy emissions have been reported, same emissions which caused the Poas national park to be closed when the chemical concentrations in the fumes were considered harmful and dangerous.

Crater
Crater

The Poas national park is a perfect destination when you are traveling from one stop to another, or as a part of a larger tour package that includes other points of interest such as the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and lodgecoffee tours or visit the artisan villages of Sarchi and Grecia. Generally the main crater and all surrounding areas are shrouded in fog and clouds so try and reach the summit before 10am each day and during the dry season. Guests are advised to stay on the trails, and not to cross the barriers or try to climb down to the crater: the acidity in the lake and steam has a PH level less than one and temperatures as high as 185 F have been measured at the crater lake as well. This lake has an interesting story: in 1989 it started to gradually drain away, and when the activity stabilized, researchers found a liquid sulfur pool 6 ft in diameter. Whereas the idea of liquid sulfur wasn’t new to the scientists, knowing that Jupiter’s moon Io has sulfur volcanoes active on its surface, it was the first time a liquid sulfur lake had been observed on Earth. If you are interested in checking this impressive peak out, we can help you by arranging tours and transportation from San Jose