Turrialba Volcano is Costa Rica’s most active volcano, located in the Central Volcanic Mountain Range. Its altitude is 3,340 meters above the sea level (10,958 feet), and it has a total of 3 craters at the summit. It was dormant from 1,866 until 2,010, but just a couple of weeks ago Turrialba Volcano started an important activity, doing stronger phreatic eruptions, throwing ash, rocks, and small amounts of lava. The Turrialba Volcano National Park remains closed due to the latest heavy ash activity, but all tourism businesses are still operating normally (except for Volcan Turrialba Lodge, located at only 1 kilometer from the crater) since the eruptions don’t represent a dangerous threat at the moment, mainly because the wind blows all the ash towards the west, while the touristic activities are towards the east flank of the volcano.
Here is a map so you can have a better idea where the Turrialba Volcano is located:
The ash eruptions have reached as far as some of San Jose’s counties, like Moravia, Mora, Coronado, Tibas, and even the town of Puriscal, covering gardens, roofs, and other types of buildings. In a way these ash eruptions are good because they are going to make the soil very rich for the different agricultural products of the area, especially our delicious Costa Rican coffee! (most of the country’s vegetables are produced in the foothills of the Turrialba and Irazu’s volcanoes too).
On the other hand, I’m kind of sad because the surroundings of the Turrialba Volcano used to be my favorite “green area of the country”, a very peaceful place that I used to visit with my family since I was a child because we had the tradition of going to Turrialba Volcano every time we went to Irazu Volcano since the distance between the 2 is only 10 kilometers (6 miles), but it normally took us no less than 2 hours to do that drive because the road was horrible and because we always made many stops to take pictures of the surroundings. To us, it was easy to do this journey because we were originally from Cartago City, my home town which is very close to these volcanoes, but nowadays I still travel a little longer to go there with my wife and kids, because like I said earlier, it was the greenest place of all Costa Rica to my opinion, I guess this family tours will have to wait for a little while until the volcano becomes calm again, but now the tour is going to look a little different because it’s not so green anymore, now is all brown and kind of gray looking, due to all the ash thrown by the Volcano.
These types of events are very common for Costa Ricans, because our country is part of the Pacific ring of fire, and volcanoes show activity all the time. For instance, right at this moment we have another volcano starting minor activity as well: the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano on the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range. During your trip to Costa Rica, don’t forget to visit and admire a couple of our volcanoes, because they are some of our main attractions.
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