Costa Rica's Volcanoes

Costa Rica is rich in volcanic activity, possessing several living, steaming volcanoes you can explore. Volcanoes provide ample resources for human diversion and recreation as well - lakes and rivers for fishing, swimming and boating; rushing rapids for exciting world-class rafting and kayaking; and an abundance of clean air for horseback riding, hiking, camping and mountain biking. Costa Rica's young (formed within the last 2 million years) active volcanoes with their variety of characteristics capture the interest of many travelers.

Majestic Volcano Arenal in Costa RicaVolcano Arenal stands alone on the plain, a classic cone against the horizon. The area around the volcano offers a multitude of activities for adventure and nature lovers. The Lake of Arenal Lake is a popular spot for wind surfers and boaters. Wind surfing tournaments are annual events on this man-made lake created to provide hydroelectric energy.

The main crater of Volcano Poas is more than a mile across and 1000 feet deep with an acid lake and a lava dome within. Poas Volcano's mile-wide crater attracts scientists and tourists from around the world. The zone immediately around the crater is barren due to continuing sulphur emissions and periodic acid rain generated by the volcano's activity; the rest of the park exhibits areas of thick vegetation.

Volcano Irazu's summit reminds one of photos of the moon - barren, rocky and cold; the area surrounding its four craters is a result of its last eruptive cycle 35 years ago.

Volcano Turrialba, twin to Irazu, is a wilderness waiting to be explored. Unlike other volcanoes in Costa Rica the craters of Volcano Turrialba are accessible. It is possible to climb down to the floor of the central crater where sulfurous fumaroles and geothermic heating of the crater floor are evident.