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Review: Volcanoes of Costa Rica

Escorted Tour - Coach

Costa Rica

Volcanoes of Costa Rica

  • By SilverTraveller granh

    60 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • August 2016
  • Family including children under 16

120 people found this review helpful

There are a great number of volcanoes in Costa Rica, six of which have been active in the last 75 years, others are dormant or extinct.

The first expedition on our Costa Rica wildlife adventure was to see the most popular and accessible of the volcanoes in the Volcan Poes National Park, near to San Jose. It last erupted in 2013, and is a popular tourist destination, so has an excellent visitors centre with information and gifts to buy.

The volcano rises from a beautiful tropical forest, which we walked uphill through following a trail. I was thrilled to see our first humming birds flitting through the trees. We came to a viewing platform and we peered over the top of a barrier. What a sight! The main crater is one of the largest in the world, at almost a mile across. We looked down on the centre which had steep rocky sides encircling a watery centre from which plumes of steam rose. It looked strangely surreal, as if it had materialised from an alien planet!

Our next volcano was later in the trip. We drove along twisting roads round the great central volcanic massif, passing through fertile farmlands, rich with tropical crops. We soon could see the Arenal volcano. The cone rises to 1,600 metres and is covered by tangled vegetation on one side while the other is starkly barren. Having remained dormant for hundreds of years, it erupted in 1968 destroying a small town to the west. It has had regular explosions since then, the last one being in 2010.
Understandably, we viewed this volcano from a distance! We walked round a small nature reserve at the foot of the volcano, brimming with tall trees, and strange plants, with spectacular views of the volcano when we reached a clear, high point.

The Arenal volcano area is famous for hot springs, so a visit to one was on our itinerary. Hector, our guide, recommended one which was popular with locals, and had a special low price offer for late afternoon/ early evening sessions. The Kalambu Hot Springs water park was a real hit with everyone, especially the children. A huge red pail filled with water, then tilted to drench everyone beneath – squeals of delight, and surprise! There were tall water slides, one of which was called the mammoth slide, which you came down on inflatable boats. When time for a rest, there was the bar pool, where drinks were ordered from the pool and there were stone blocks rising from the water to put drinks on. My grandchildren insisted on a drink mainly for the novelty of using these tables!

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • travellingcat
    almost 5 years ago
    This sounds amazing! I have always been fascinated by volcanoes and didn't realise there were so many in Costa Rica. Costa Rica and volcanoes combined would be amazing!
  • ESW
    almost 5 years ago
    This sounds great fun - its not often you get this close to a volcano.