Irazu Volcano National Park

Irazu Volcano National Park

Irazu Volcano National park is home to Irazu Volcano, which is the highest Costa Rica volcano at 11,260 feet. All of the national park (5705 acres) is above the frost line and most of the summit area is above the tree line with temperatures around freezing, constant winds, and saturating humidity. There is very little wildlife in this harsh environment. Still, the views from the summit on a clear day will take your breath away! You can see a chartreuse green crater lake, both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, magnificent views of mountains in every direction, and the gases and steam from the fumaroles . The landscape at the Irazu Volcano summit is very much like a moonscape due to volcanic activity and constant wind. A paved road goes all the way to the top where you can purchase beverages.

Irazu Volcano’s most recent eruption period was from 1963 – 1965. Currently the only activity is the fumaroles which release toxic steam and pressure from inside the volcano. Camping is not allowed in the park, but it is an easy day trip from anywhere in the Central Valley and can be combined with a visit at nearby coffee plantations and botanical gardens.

There are hiking trails in Irazu Volcano National Park through oak and pine forest with nice picnic areas. Admission is $10 and the park is open from 8 – 3:30pm Tuesday – Sunday.

The GPS coordinates for Irazu Volcano National Park are Lat – 9.9852, Long – 83.8616. You will find the park entrance about 1 mile from the village of Potrero Cerrado. Visit early in the morning for the best viewing, and wear warm, water -resistant clothing.

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