Poás Volcano is one of the best attractions of Costa Rica and is a highly visited national park. On August 31, 2018 the national park was reopened partially to the public.
Poás volcano has its significance as its geothermal forces are the reasons for the formation of Costa Rica. Poás Volcano National Park, in Spanish Parque Nacional Volcán Poás, covers an area of approximately 65 square kilometers (16,000 acres). It was established on 25 January 1971.
It is still active and therefore draws the attention of the tourists worldwide. Mostly it is covered with mist and clouds; when it clears one can see the sulfuric, bubbling, green rain fed lake at the bottom covered with smoke and steam.
Though active, Poás doesn’t show any full-fledged eruption or even lava flow. The violent eruption was last seen in 1910 which resulted into ejection of nearly a million tons of ashes and immense column of smoke and steam, and thereafter no such related activity was ever seen after 1954.
Recent event of gas, ash and rocks eruption happened in April, 2017 which damaged few buildings and trails that led the government to close the park. Afterward government worked on safety infrastructure, such as poison gas monitors, concrete bunkers, and emergency filters. Almost after a year the park was partially re-opened to the public.
Hiking and Walking Trails
The volcanic emissions and the cold windy high altitude habitat made the trails to the cloud forest stunted and twisted which makes hiking a little challenging and exciting too. The Lake Botos in the forest is a habitat of many birds, such as hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, toucanets, the clay-colored robin (Costa Rica’s national bird), and the very famous quetzal. The tourists are escorted by the guides who keep updating about the fauna and the area.
Right Time to Visit
Poás is open every day including holidays from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., entrance closes at 1:20 p.m. Before noon, clouds lie over the well all year round and it may not clear off at all in the rainy season. Early in the morning is always the best time to visit. When planning visit in particular month, weather forecast can be checked in advance online.
The park might be closed at any time unexpectedly because of volcanic activity. In the month of Feb 2019, the park was closed for two days due to ash and emission and then was reopened to visitors with reservations. There are two “official” Facebook pages of Poás Volcano National Park that at times provide closures information. In such cases, re-scheduling or refunds are also available.
Facts about Poás Volcano National Park
Before getting there advance reservations are absolutely required. It is available online by the park service. Guests without reservation are not entertained at all.
Tours and Trips
Many tour operators provide Costa Rica Day Trips to Poás along with other attractions, such as waterfalls, coffee tours, oxcart artisans, ziplines etc. depending on guests’ choices. Accommodations are not available in the Park. The tour packages help save time by skipping registration and reservation procedure at SINAC.
The place is reachable by personal vehicle. The Pan American Highway west can be followed from San José to get to the park. There are also other alternatives – Highway 3 or 5 to Heredia from San José.
Buses are the other way to visit the place. Regular buses depart every day from Avenida2, Calles 12/14 in San José at 8:30 a.m. and ends after two hour journey. For returning, there is only one return bus in a day at 2:30 p.m.
There are many companies for Costa Rica Adventures who can guide and fulfill all your needs and let you enjoy the tour to make it worth remembering. Don’t forget to visit.