Costa Rica is home to many grand volcanoes offering plentiful adventures. Poás Volcano is among the most popular volcanoes for visitors, because of its proximity to San José. Poás Volcano National Park offers picturesque views of the immense lake-filled crater and the surrounding cloud forest.
Poás Volcano Facts
The dramatic Poás Volcano rises above the heavily populated Central Valley of Costa Rica. At 2,708 meters (8,885 feet) above sea level, Poás’ massive crater measures nearly a mile across (1.6 kilometers) and 320 meters (1,050 feet) deep. The crater is a rain filled lake bubbling green with smoke and steam continually rising from the barren walls. This water continually seeps through the cracks creating pressure pockets of steam that often breakthrough in 250-meter (820 feet) geysers.
Poás Volcano has erupted several times over the past 200 years. The 1910 eruption deposited 640,000 tons of ash over the valley via an eight-kilometer (5 miles) ash cloud. In 1953, the eruption created the current crater configuration and produced a seven-kilometer (4.3 miles) ash cloud. In 2009, a minor eruption on Christmas Day launched ash and water 550 meters in the air.
Eruptions in April 2017 propelled rocks as large as two meters around the park causing damage to the infrastructure and destroying part of the crater dome. The violent eruption on April 22, 2017 closed the park. Another large eruption occurred on June 6, 2017, keeping the park closed. Poás quieted for the remainder of 2017, but the park has remained close so far in 2018 with a possible reopening some time in 2019.
The Sights, Sounds, and Adventures of Poás
When Poás Volcano National Park reopens, visitors are in a for a treat as the nearly 15,000 acres offers glimpses into four varied habitats displaying Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity. As a visitor you can drive to the top of Poás and view the incredible color-changing crater lake bubbling with gas and steam. Trails throughout the park lead to breathtaking lookouts and through the surrounding cloud forest. In the park you can explore the stunted forest with dwarf trees whose growth has been affected by acid rain.
The park features eighty unique species of birds including the dazzling green and red Quetzal along with toucans and hummingbirds. Though the crater lake’s acidity prohibits most marine life, the park bustles with numerous animals including the Poás green-yellow squirrel. While the Poás crater is barren with the exception of its windswept shrubbery, the park features moss covered trees and umbrella plants, while the lower slopes are filled with coffee plantations and tropical plants farms.
Accommodations at Poás Volcano National Park
When the National Park reopens, you can enjoy all the sights and sounds as well as the visitor center and museum with its restaurant and comfort facilities. The park is wheelchair friendly offering accessibility for every age and physical ability. The park offers a well-maintained system of trails, each promising glimpses into Costa Rica’s diverse environments. While there are no accommodations in the park, when you are ready to visit Costa Rica and Poás Volcano National Park, we are ready to help you plan your next vacation.