Volcanoes of Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s volcanoes are part of the Pacific Ring Fire Circle and include more than 200 volcanic formations, some of which are more than 65 million years old. The majority of Costa Rica’s most visited volcanoes are caldera volcanoes, which have large, water-filled craters, fumaroles and rising steam.
Today, about 100 of those once-molten mountains show minor volcanic activity, but only six of Costa Rica’s volcanoes are considered active: Arenal, Irazú, Poás, Rincón de La Vieja, Miravalles, and Turrialba. Arenal is the country’s most famous volcano, once known for daily eruptions and lava flow. In 2010, it entered a period of inactivity.
Let's review some of the most famous volcanos in Costa Rica:
Located north of San José, in the province of Alajuela, Poas Volcano is one of Costa Rica’s most famous active volcanoes to visit. Because it is only an hour and a half from the capital, visiting this volcano and the national park makes for a great day trip. Standing at almost 8,900 ft above sea level, Volcan Poas National Park is home to three craters.
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
Rincon de la Vieja is the largest and most active volcano in Guanacaste. It stands 6,286 feet above sea level, and its summit is the highest point in Rincón de la Vieja National Park. It erupted most recently in June 2021, with no significant damage or injuries.
Tenorio Volcano National Park houses Tenorio Volcano and its more famous Rio Celeste. The smooth cinder cone of Tenorio rises from its surrounding forest, achieving a maximum height of 6,286 feet. The area surrounding Tenorio Volcano is characterized by an enchanting blend of cloud forest, tropical rainforest, thermal hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, lagoons, and scenic viewpoints.
Arenal is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in Central America. Known for its imposing height, lush flora, great weather and plethora of activities and tours for visitors. The volcano began erupting in 1968, when it exploded and buried over 15 km² in rocks, lava, and ash. That eruptive cycle took pause in 2010 when the volcano entered an indefinite resting phrase.
Located close to San Jose in the Cartago Province, Turrialba Volcano is active and has shown a lot of signs of an imminent eruption over the last couple years. The volcano has been blowing out clouds of ashes and a new crater formed, leading volcanologists to speculate about future eruptions. Due to that, access to the crater of Turrialba Volcano has been limited since 2010.
The Irazú Volcano is located in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica. It is the tallest volcano in the country, reaching upwards of 11,260 feet and has several active craters. This is one of most visited National Park in Costa Rica. Many people come up on day trips from San Jose.
Feel more familiar with the volcanoes of Costa Rica now? Well, let's say it's a start, since Costa Rica is actually home to a great number of volcanoes! There are six active volcanoes and another 61 dormant or extinct ones. You can check our map of Costa Rica volcanoes and learn more.
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