9 Most Popular Volcanoes of Costa Rica: Arenal, Poas, Irazu & More
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9 Most Popular Volcanoes of Costa Rica

The 9 Most Popular Volcanoes of Costa Rica are the ones that still show some signs of activity, but they are also the ones that have been identified as the most emblematic mountains of the regios where they belong, in modern times and pre-columbian times. Costa Rica is a country in Central America that has being formed by powerful geological events, such as earthquakes and volcanic activity. This land is relatively new compared to other parts of the world, considering that it rised from the ocean about 5-8 million years ago. This country is known as a land of volcanoes, these geological formations are everywhere you look throuought the country. In Costa Rica, it has been identified over one hundred volcanoes with activity at some point in history, but nine of them are considered as the most important.

These are the most iconic Volcanoes of Costa Rica

Map

Below you will find a map of all these volcanoes, so you can have a better idea of how long it takes to get there from our capital City San Jose.

These Volcanoes of Costa Rica aren’t only visited by tourists from all over the world, but also scientists who keep studing them constantly. The following are some interesting facts and information about these amazing mountains, very important for the Costa Rican economy because of the many activities that take place in their boundaries:

Orosi Volcano

This is the most Northern of the Volcanoes of Costa Rica, located in the Guanacaste Province. The lands near the base of the Orosi volcano have been used for livestock and agriculture. From the magnificent Hacienda Los Inocentes, you can see get the best views of this volcano. Old lava flows are observed in many places adjacent to the rivers that have their springs on the hill. Further north is the Sucio or Mena River, where a population of farmers established long time ago. Due to the remoteness of the Orosi Volcano, tourism is not developed yet, but it has a great potential due to the beauty of the region.

Orosi Volcano

Some important touristic spots that surround this volcano are:

Santa Rosa National Park 

The Santa Rosa National Park is one of the most important historic site for Costa Rica, since it was the place where the 1,856 war started. This Santa Rosa National Park is also an important refuge for local species of flora and fauna.

Guanacaste National Park

The Guanacaste National Park is probably the most important Buological Corridor of the North Pacific Region of Costa Rica, that conects the Santa Rosa National park located close to the coast, with the Rainforest Jungles located on the volcanoes of the Guanacaste province. The results of the conservation efforts have been very positive, because there are many species that are able to cross now from the center of the province to the protected areas closed to the coats. The most important result of these efforts is the fact that there are now jaguars at Santa Rosa National park, these felines were absent in this part of the country before the creation of the Guanacaste Conservation area.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano was declared a National Park on October 23, 1973. Its extension is 14,300 hectares. It is divided into two sectors of tourist visitation: Las Pailas and Santa María. Both sectors have interesting attractions due to the variety of their ecosystems in which volcanic manifestations stand out.

The Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park protects very important hydrographic areas. The importance of protecting the volcanic activity characteristic of the area and its geological attractions is always of interest for tourists and researchers. The entrance’s prices ranges from $5 to $15 dollars per person, and there are many nature trails where the visitors can admire the big biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the area, as well as many spots where volcanic activity can be observed at a very close range.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Some important touristic spots that surround this volcano are:

Guachipelin Adventure Park

This is a place where the tourists can do a huge variety of nature and adventure activities, like rainforest hiking, waterfalls tours, zip lining, rappelling, horseback riding, whoite water tubing, relaxing in hot springs, etc. The best way to enjoy these activities is by taking the Guachipelin Adventure Combo, which includes transportation from most of the Hotels in the Guanacaste Beaches.

Buena Vista Adventure Park

This is also a place where nature and adventure activities can be done, such as zip lining, horseback riding, water slide, nature hikes, relaxing in natural hot springs, etc. Here is more information about the Buena Vista Adventure Tour.

Borinquen

This is a place where the visitors can relax in hot springs and do mud baths. The place also offers adventure stuff like zip lining, ATV tours and horseback riding. Feel free to watch a video of Borinquen.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin

This quiet rustic lodge, located on a 1,400-hectare property with conservation areas, is 5 km from the Rincon de la Vieja National Park and 6 km from the Rio Negro hotsprings.

Buena Vista Lodge

This rural eco-hotel, surrounded by lush vegetation, is 28 km from Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

Miravalles Volcano

This stunning and isolated mountain is a reserve for all nature lovers who enjoy the solitude that nature can offer. The Miravalles Volcano National Park  is the newest in Costa Rica, created on May 2019. Miravalles Volcano is not offering trails or other services to the general public at the moment, but the are some touristic attractions around the volcano where the tourists can enjoy.

Miravalles Volcano

Some important touristic spots that surround this volcano are:

Las Hornillas Volcanic Activity Center

It’s located on the volcano slopes of Miravalles; here you can observe hot water springs, bubbling mud holes, fumaroles and steam boilers that attracts national tourists as well as foreigners. This is the only place in Costa Rica where you can take a walk inside the crater, watch and feel steam coming out from the boiling mud. Visitors can enjoy the theraupeutic properties of the hot springs; as well as natural mud baths inside of a living volcanic crater. Las Hornillas also offers Rainforest trails for hiking and wildlife observation and horseback riding. This location is part of the Miravalles Volcano Tour Combo.

Yoko Hot Springs

This is a local place where the visitors can relax in the thermal mineral waters that flow from the Miravalles Volcano.  

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Colinas del Miravalles

Modest and quiet resort with wooden cabins, restaurant and outdoor thermal pools.

Tenorio Volcano

Located in the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range, its park houses a rainforest that protects species of flora and fauna of regional importance. Within the area, the Tenorio volcano National Park, with its four cones, offers natural panoramic views that allows visitors to appreciate the plains of the Pacific and the Caribbean sides of Costa Rica.

In addition to the beauty of the Tenorio Volcano, the blue color waters of Río Celeste, surrounded by a lush forest, offers an impressive landscape worth knowing and admiring. Rio Celeste (advertized as Blue River tour in the tourism industry) is a river of crystalline waters that turn to a beautiful blue color. It is not an act of magic: it is a natural spectacle that you can witness only on the site known as El Teñidero, where the volcanic activity changes the color of this river. The Tenorio Volcano National park offers a lot of nature trails for hiking in the rainforest, including trails that go to the place where the river turns blue, to the Blue Waterfall and to the Blue Lagoon, a large pond where the color of the river turrs to a deep blue when there is dry weather.

Tenorio Volcano

Some important touristic spots that surround this volcano are:

Heliconias Hanging Bridges

This is a private nature reserve with lush rainforest, where the visitors can hike on its trails and over hanging bridges. This location is one of the activities included in the Guanacaste Rainforest, Hanging Bridges & Sloths tour.

Bijagua Ranas

This is a local private garden where is possible to observe lots of species of frogs, as well as sloths in their natural habitat.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Tenorio Lodge

This tropical rustic resort is surrounded by jungle and fruit trees. It is located 35 kilometers away from Lake Arenal and 78 kilometers away from Miravalles Volcano.

Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

This luxury elegant hotel, consist of bungalows surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens, and is located next to the rainforest of the Tenorio Volcano National Park. The Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel is an excellent lodging option, since the famous blue river passes through its grounds, there are trails where the visitors can reach it on a short walk.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano is the most popular of all the Volcanoes of Costa Rica. It is located near the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos, inside the National Park of the same name, within the larger Arenal Conservation Area, which protects some 16 reserves between the Tilarán and Guanacaste mountain ranges. This area contains a great wealth of geologic and biological complexity, as evidenced by the active and incredible Arenal Volcano. Arenal was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, its lava flows were consistent from July 29, 1068 until February 2011.

The Arenal Volcano National Park offers nature trails where the visitors can get close to the mountain, but it is important to know that this volcano doesn’t have trails or roads to go up to its summit, it is still a restricted area and the access is prohibited.

The surrounding of this volcano are the most developed for tourism, not only on this region itself, but in all of Costa Rica. There is an endless array of activities that can be done here and there is also a huge offer of hotels of all types and costs.

Arenal Volcano

Some important touristic spots and activities that surround this volcano are:

Arenal Hanging Bridges at Mistico park

This is the best place for rainforest hiking in the entire area, where the visitors can also observe the forest canopy at eye level. The Arenal Hanging Bridges is also a good spot to observe wildlife.

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is the most representative waterfall of Costa Rica. The place offers a short hiking trail in the jungle, an amazing look-out point and swimming in the waterfalls’ refreshing waters. Here you can find more information about La Fortuna Waterfall tour.

Zip lining tour

There are many zip lining parks in the whole Arenal area where this adventure activity can be done. There are extreme zip lining tours for the most adveturous and easy zip lining tours for families.

Hiking

There are many private parks with trails for hiking, some of them to observe jungles and wildlife others to observe old lava flows of the volcano.

Hot Springs

The Arenal Volcano area is well known to have the best hot springs of Costa Rica. The best hot springs places in this area are Paradise Hot Springs, Ecotermales Hot Springs and Tabacon Hot Springs.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Lomas Del Volcan Hotel

This hotel offers nice wooden bungalows surrounded by exuberant nature and great views of Arenal Volcano. The hotel features ample gardens, nature trails for hiking, restaurant and swimming pool.

Secreto La Fortuna Hotel

This is a small nice modest hotel located in Downtown La Fortuna. The hotel offers comfortable accommodations and great location, at walking distance from everything that the town has to offer.

Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa

Surrounded by 860 private acres of tropical rainforest and featuring an on-site lake, a swimming pool, a sun terrace and games room, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is located within the Arenal Conservation Area, only 2.7 km from the Arenal Volcano. The on-site restaurant serves international and local food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there is also a bar. A guided morning walk and the breakfast buffet is included for all guests.

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

This is one of the most unique places to stay in all Costa Rica. Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa is 15 minutes’ drive from the Arenal Volcano National Park. This resort features hot spring baths, sauna, massages services, luxury spa treatments and 5 swimming pools. Guests can enjoy a swim up bar, lobby bar and restaurants, serving local dishes and international gourmet cuisine.

Poas Volcano

The Poas Volcano National Park is located in the Province of Alajuela and was established in 1955 with an approximate territorial extension of 1200 hectares. The term Poas can be derived from the Latin name “púas” due to the presence of some plants with spikes in the area.  

The Poas Volcano has a history of eruptions where the one in 1910 stands out, which consisted of an immense ash cloud that rose to about 8000 meters. This National Park is one of the most important natural attractions for national and international tourism, featuring nature trails to observe its craters and to hike to Botos Lagoon, an ancient extinct crater that has a beautiful green lagoon for the visitors to admire.

People can enter this park from 7:00 a.m. to 1:20 p.m., including holidays, only through reservation system

Poas Volcano

Some important touristic spots and activities that surround this volcano are:

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Park

This is a good place for nature hiking and waterfalls observation. La Paz Waterfall Gardens also features a large animal rescue center, sort of like a zoo where many native species of Costa Rica can be observed.

Corso Dairy Farm

This is a good place to learn about the farming culture of the area.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

El Churrasco Hotel Restaurante

It accounts six non-smoking rooms, restaurant and bar, daily cleaning service, dry cleaning/laundry service, free Wi-Fi, and free parking.

Poas Lodge

It accounts five non-smoking rooms, a restaurant, air conditioning, gardens, a multilingual staff, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking.

Peace Lodge

This is a luxury accommodation for those looking for relaxation. The lodge offers unlimited access to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens Park. 

Barva Volcano

The Barva Volcano is located north of the Central Valley, in the Central Volcanic Mountain Range; between the massifs of the Poas and Irazu volcanoes. This wonderful natural treasure includes the Barva and Cacho Negro volcanoes, which extend from the Alto de la Palma north of Moravia, to the La Selva Protection Zone in Puerto Viejo, Sarapiqui.

This volcano is part of the Braulio Carrillo National Park, which is one of the largest protected areas in Costa Rica with 50,000 hectares. The landscape consists of high mountains densely covered with forests and a large number of canyons through which rivers and streams of great importance in the production of hydroelectric energy.

The Braulio Carrillo National Park has two sectors of public use: Quebrada Gonzalez and Volcán Barva, which provides facilities for visitors. The Ceibo Sector is dedicated to protection and research only.

The Barva Volcano offers extensive nature trails where the interesting Cloud Forest Vegetation can be observed. These trails lead the visitors to 2 extinct craters that feature beautiful lagoons surrounded by lush jungles. It is recommended to bring warm clothes when hiking this volcano, since the temperatures are low all year long. Tourism is not well developed yet around this big volcano, but the area has a lot of potential if good infrastructure is built around it.

Barva Volcano

Some important touristic spots and activities that surround this volcano are:

Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge

This is a great place for extreme Cloud Forest hiking, the trails at Cerro Danta are challenging, ideal for those travelers looking for rough adventures.

Canopy Adventure Volcan Barva

This place offers adventure activities, such as zip lining, mountain biking, rappelling, etc.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Hotel Monte Campana

This is a hotel that offers rustic accommodations.

Hotel Chalet El Tirol

This is a mountain hotel that offers rustic accommodations and excellent nature views.

Irazu Volcano

Observing the craters of the volcano is the main purpose of those who visit the Irazu Volcano National Park, located 19.2 miles (31 km) from Cartago city. Here you can discover the wonders of the highest volcano in Costa Rica. It features accessibility and closeness to the city, it has five craters, and breathtaking views. This site presents fog most of the time, and on clear days you can see from its top both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

 Prusia is the perfect destination for "runners" who want to experience contact with the force of nature while exercising. It has 9.9 miles (16 km) of roads to travel and spend leisure time in the middle of nature. Irazu is a strato-volcano (distinct layers of volcanic material), with irregular sub conical shape and five distinct craters. Irazu Volcano is a strategic point for telecommunications in the country due to its height and position in the Central Volcanic Range. The largest eruptions of this volcano took place in 1,963, when huge columns of ash covered the Capital City of San Jose for a long period of 2 years.

In general terms, tourism is not developed yet in the surroundings of this volcano, but some hotels and restaurants are starting to open due to the large amounts of people who visit the Irazu Volcano National Park.

Irazu Volcano

Some important touristic spots and activities that surround this volcano are:

Prussia Park

This park is ideal for running, hiking, and nature observation.

Sanatorio Duran

This is an old historic building that used to be a hospital. Urban legends of ghosts appering in the building have atracted lots of local and international tourists.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Grandpas Hotel

Good location in general for tourism, fun and transportation

Hotel Las Brumas

It is located next to the Mi Tierra restaurant, on route to Irazu Volcano.

Turrialba Volcano

The Turrialba Volcano is an active complex stratovolcano of Costa Rica, located in the district of Santa Cruz, in the canton of Turrialba, province of Cartago, 24 km from the city of the same name. It is the easternmost of the volcanoes of the Central Volcanic mountain range, and gives its name to the National Park that surrounds it, the Turrialba Volcano National Park.

Nowadays, Turrialba Volcano is the most active of Costa Rica. Its last eruptive cycle began in October 2014, presenting the greatest activity between May and June 2016. On September 22, 2016, it was recorded the most powerful eruption this volcano has experienced in the last 20 years. This national park features trails for the visitors, but are currently closed due to the latest activity.

Up to now, the Turrialba area is of great importance for agricultural activity in Costa Rica, due to the richness of the soils, which makes it suitable for the cultivation of all types of vegetables, as well as for  dairy production due to the abundant grasslands. It is also one of the outstanding natural conservation areas of the country, due to the beauty of the landscape and the abundance of natural resources.

Turrialba Volcano

Some important touristic spots and activities that surround this volcano are:

Guayabo National Monument

The Guayabo National Monument is the most important archaeological site in the country, and an important ceremonial site during the precolumbian era, located on the slopes of Turrialba Volcano. The presence of people in the Turrialba region seems to date back at least 10,000 years.

Some of the hotels that surround the area are the following:

Hotel Guayabo Lodge

Charming, friendly, and set in a beautiful garden. Unique in Costa Rica.

Hotel Green Mountain and Lodge

Informal and rural hotel with simple bedrooms, volcano view, restaurant and free Wi-Fi.

Casa Turire Hotel

This place is located in the Turrialba Valley, it is a very good accommodation option with beautiful garden and lake views.

Some of these volcanos of Costa Rica can be easily visited if you have a rental vehicle, or in the other hand, if you wish to go stress free, you can experience those places by taking some day tours from San Jose, or tours from Guanacaste, wich have the ideal logistics, in order to take advantage of time the best possible way.

Most popular Volcanoes of Costa Rica

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