Part of the Pacific Ring Fire Circle, Costa Rica has over 200 identifiable volcanic formations dating back over 65 million years. Today, however, only 100 or so show any signs of volcanic activity, while just five are classified as active volcanoes.
Costa rica has many Volcanos to visit, both active and inactive. Some of those include : Poas, Arenal, Turrialba, Irazu, Barva, Rincon de La Vieja, and Chirripo. Dormant ones have settlements along the ridges and can be climbed either by foot or car. The most active ones can be viewed from a distance and often put on quite a show if the weather is clear.
Volcanoes create amazing ecosystems in tropical forests.
Making up many mountains along the spine of Costa Rica, they push passing air upwards where it is colder, which collides with the rock and heat of the volcanos, creating clouds. Those clouds eventually fill up and drop the water back down on the volcanoes and the surrounding areas in the form of mist and rain creating incredibly lush forests. Neighboring forests often become cloud forests because of the heavy amount of clouds passing through creating a truly magical ecosystem. All the rain results in almost steroidal growth of flora and fauna in those areas.
Poas volcano is the closest and most accessible one to our villa. It is one of a two volcanos that can be viewed from the rim and visitors can look directly into the crater. The drive will take you thru a variety of ecosystems as you climb the mountain, coffee farms, agricultural properties and small villages. The viewing platform of Poas was temporarily closed in April 2017 because of seismic activity which you can view here. The ride up the mountain is still a beautiful drive and safe. It will take you through coffee farms and cloud forests. Click here to see our day trip suggestions for visiting that area.
Please check to see if they have reopened the park. The rule for most things in CR is to go as early as possible, the clouds roll in and visibility is poor in the afternoon.
Arenal volcano, with it’s iconic conical shape, is perhaps the most famous volcano in all of Costa Rica. It is definitely worth a visit, but at 2.5 hours from our house, we recommend that visitors consider an overnight in the area of La Fortuna to really experience the ecosystem fully. There are hot springs to enjoy and lots of adventure activities in the area. If you plan to stay at our home for an extended stay, consider taking an overnight trip to the area, but if you are at our home for a shorter time period, perhaps plan a night to two either there before or after your stay at our home. Check out this link for more info.