Costa Rica’s Poas Volcano National Park

Apart from the Arenal and Irazu volcanoes, the Poas Volcano National Park is home to another popular and active one called the Poas Volcano. Famous for the forests surrounding it and the craters which put on a magnificent natural show, the Poas Volcano National Park is yet another park that you should visit when you’re in Costa Rica.

This national park is located in the province of Alajuela near the Pacific Coast of the country. It covers about 16,000 acres (16 times the size of NYC Central Park) and the volcano stands at about 8,900 feet. It’s widely known to have cultivated rich soils and have great potential to be a source of hydrological and geothermal energy.

Apart from the volcano being its center of attraction, there are other things to do and see in Poas Volcano National Park. You need to have a lot of energy though because there’s a lot in store for you there.

What to See & Do

The Poas Volcano National Park is probably most famous for its craters but a bit of wildlife can also be sighted here along with other amenities and facilities visitors can take part in while they’re there. There isn’t much vegetation here considering the effect of acid rain in the park.

The Craters of Poas Volcano
Botos Lagoon
The Botos Lagoon is a cold water-filled crater that connects to the Rio Angel. Its surroundings are home to a number of hummingbirds, toucanets, flycatchers, quetzal- the most famous bird in all of Costa Rica to name a few. This cold and clear crater last erupted about 7,500 years ago.

There is another crater is about 900 feet deep and is about 0.9 miles in diameter. It looks very much like a pre-historic crater and at the bottom of it, there’s a small lagoon that boils out sulphurous gases. Different from the Botos, it is warm and acidic and has been the more active crater.

Habitats in the Park
There are four habitats evident in the park. A stunted forest, areas with little or no vegetation, an area of arrayans and a cloud forest.  In these habitats, you can see some coyotes, deer, marsupials, bats, felines, skunks, Poas green-yellow squirrel and about 79 bird species.

There’s a coffee farm to warm your bodies after a cold tour around the Poas Volcano National Park.  The lower slopes of the volcano are filled with fruit farms and ornamental flower farms. Some of these flowers are commercialized already but they still have a different look when you get to see them in their natural habitat.

It’s highly suggested that visitors come early in the dry season from January to April. This is to maximize their time in touring the park and to have less people with you.

Costa Rica is world-renowned for its volcanoes and the national parks and reserves built around them. The Poas Volcano National Park is definitely one of the places you should visit if you’re up for unique crater-sightings.


Getting There
Buses depart from San Jose and take you all the way to the Poas Volcano National Park. Bus fares may vary depending on what is inclusive in the tour packages. 

The park is open from 8AM to 3:30PM. Camping and accommodations don’t exist in the park so you better be staying somewhere else once your tour there is over.


Places to Stay Near Poas Volcano National Park 

Poas Volcano Lodge

Poas Lodge and Restaurant

Vista Linda Montana


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