One of the natural attractions that define the beauty of Costa Rica are its volcanoes, which have generated fertile valleys and diverse ecosystems. The country is home to more than 200 volcanic systems located throughout the territory, of which 20 are still considered active.
Due to this there is a great variety of activities in close contact with nature. One of them originated by the heat of the magma that has raised near the surface resulting in hot springs whose mineral water is a tourist attraction par excellence. You can also hike on challenging trails. Where slight changes in altitude create a hotbed of biodiversity not seen anywhere else in the world, attracting tourists and scientists alike.
Why does Costa Rica have so many volcanoes?
Costa Rica has high volcanic activity as it is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, a 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) chain of volcanoes that stretches from Guatemala to Panama. One of the most impressive data is that the arch has the highest density of volcanoes in the world: approximately one volcano every 35 kilometers (22 miles). Highlighting, as well as the most volcanically active region in the western hemisphere.
The origin of the volcanic arc is due to plate tectonics. Specifically, the Cocos Plate, which underlies the Pacific Ocean west of Central America, which slowly slides under the Caribbean Plate. This process, called subduction is responsible for the region’s frequent earthquakes and regular volcanic activity. As the edge of the Cocos Plate sinks deep, it melts, sending giant columns of magma rising under Central America. When these magma plumes break the surface, they form volcanoes.
Therefore, if you are planning a trip to Costa Rica and you need to see a volcano, do not miss our list of the best volcanoes to visit and enjoy the maximum excitement:
1968-2010: Most active period.
Most famous volcano in Costa Rica.
Responsible for geothermal activity in La Fortuna.
3rd Volcano in the world with a geographically perfect cone.
Only one of its three craters is active.
It has the largest volcanic lagoon in the world.
It has the second widest crater in the world.
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
It contains 9 eruptive craters.
Over 40km (25 miles) of hiking trails.
It has diverse habitats: Cloud forest, tropical rain forest.
Highest volcano in Costa Rica: 11,260 feet high
Its name comes from the indigenous word “I ara” where the “I” comes from tremor and “ara” from thunder.
It has main characteristics; one contains a lake dyed green.
Temperatures towards the top drop below freezing.
Stratovolcano with a complex of 3 summit craters.
Last volcanic activity was in 2017 with strombolian eruptions.
The slopes surrounded by cool cloud forests and dairy farms.
Visit all these incredible volcanoes on your next adventure to the Land of Pure Life!