Poas Volcano National Park
Poas Volcano makes for a thrilling day-trip destination from San Jose, as tours regularly depart from the city for the volcano and often combine a visit with other popular Costa Rica activities such as white-water rafting, coffee plantation tours, or a stop at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
There, admire the mile-long (1.6-kilometer-long) crater home to the deep, rain-fed Botos Lagoon and dotted with smoking fumaroles—a view most will find accessible via the paved trail. Two slightly longer hikes offer incredible opportunities to spot wildlife like hummingbirds, wildflowers, and the elusive quetzal.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Dress in layers and prepare for rain, as it can be cold and wet near the crater.
Visiting time is limited to 10 minutes at the crater.
The visitor center is wheelchair accessible.
On-site facilities include parking, picnic tables, restrooms, and a café with some food options.
How to Get There
The easiest way to visit Poas Volcano is as part of a guided day tour. The park is also accessible via private transportation, but bus services to Alajuela are sparse.
When to Get There
Get the best views when you visit early in the day during the dry season (December through April). Clouds typically roll in around noon, and many of the park’s facilities close by 3pm.
Other Costa Rican Volcanoes
The Poas Volcano is far from Costa Rica's only volcanic attraction, and geothermically inclined visitors should make a note to visit the Irazú Volcano, also home to a crater lake, or the popular Arenal Volcano. Guided hiking, adventure, or sightseeing tours depart for Costa Rica's volcanic hotspots daily.
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