Volcan Poas National Park
The 5,600-hectare national park, with its 2,704-meter-high Volcan Poas, is one of the most popular places for excursions in Costa Rica. Some 200,000 people visit the dormant volcano each year.
The road to the 2,300-meter-high crater rim passes the ranger station and proceeds through dense cloud forest, filled with moss, vines, bromeliads and many other sorts of epiphytes.
The forest is home to at least 80 bird species, including the magnificent quetzal and a variety of toucan.
Destinations in Volcan Poas National Park
Laguna Fraijanes, Rio La Paz Waterfall
A trip to Poas is best undertaken (the same is true of all of Costa Rica’s volcanoes) in the early morning hours, when the summit is still free of clouds. Later in the day heavy clouds often obscure the sun and it becomes bitterly cold.
The 1.5-meter-wide crater rim descends steeply to a lake with a hill made up of volcanic rubble that constantly emits foul-smelling steam. Until 1968 it was known to spray jets of hot water 100 meters into the air. The volcano is part of the continental divide, marking the point at which water descends to the Caribbean lowlands. The volcano was formerly very active. Its most powerful eruption on record was in 1910. Numerous other eruptions occurred between 1952 and 1954. Poas’ last eruption of any consequence was in 1989.
A recently constructed path, the Sendero Boto, leads from the rim of the crater to a small crater lake, Laguna Boto, which is in the ancient crater formed by the Poas volcano approximately 7,500 years ago.