Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Country with Lots of Volcanoes

  • Poas Volcano generated more than $1 million in visits until April this year.
  • Most of the tourist sites and tours are around the slopes of the volcanoes.

There are approximately 290 volcanoes in Costa Rica. Some of them are already extinct, and others dormant. Only 5 volcanoes remain active in the country. They are Arenal, Poás, Rincon de la Vieja, Turrialba and Irazú.

The volcanoes have given a boost to tourism. But, it’s important to remember that going on a volcano tour is always too risky, actually, in the past, some people got harmed by rocks and others died during these expeditions.

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Arenal Volcano, one of the most visited tourist sites in Costa Rica

Advantages of living in a country full of volcanoes

  1. Volcanoes are of great interest for the scientific community and people in general. Poas, Irazu, Arenal, Torrealba and Rincon de la Vieja are some attractions that draw in thousand adventurers every year.
  2. According to the National System of Conservation Areas, Poas Volcano generated an income of $1,000.000 in 2015.
  3. Poas, Irazú, and Arenal are some of the protected areas in the country.
  4. Central Valley (Valle Central), Northern Plains (Arenal and thermal waters), and Guanacaste (Rincon de la Vieja and beaches) are three of the most visited destinations, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
  5. Up to now, Costa Rica’s best tourist site is La Fortuna, with a score of 77.9 (Arenal Volcano)
Poas Volcano’s dome because of the explosions


  1. In 1968, the Arenal volcano killed 87 people. The explosion destroyed towns such as Tabacon and Pueblo Nuevo. The blast also originated three more craters that didn’t exist.
  2. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock lost more than 850 million colones due to the constant eruptions and ash emissions of Turrilaba Volcano in 2016. Potato industry reduced productivity and net profits were very low last year.
  3. The eruption of a volcano also generates losses in the tourism sector. For example, Poas Volcano National Park remained closed during the warning period, leading to a loss of 20 million colones. The volcanic activity can also impact the economy of the inhabitants living in the proximity of an active volcano.
  4. Gas and ash emissions can produce lung problems.
  5. A viewpoint was open near Poas Volcanos but the rocks ejected by the crater have damaged the facility.

What the experts say

Eliecer Duarte, one of the experts working for the Vulcanological and Seismologic Observatory, claims that Poas Volcano will remain active because there’s a lot of lava flowing in the crater.

“We thought we had everything under control but we were wrong. Pressure and high temperatures inside the volcano are extremely high. We firmly believe the volcanic activity will go on. There’s no reason to think otherwise.” – says the volcanologist.

For better or worse, volcanoes are part of this wonderful land we belong to, our homeland Costa Rica.

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