Volcano Venture: Poás + La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Not far outside Costa Rica’s capital of San José sits one of the country’s most-frequented volcanoes, Volcán Poás. This active volcano boasts nearly 40 eruptions within just the past two centuries – that’s an average of one eruption every 5 years! Knowing that 2011 was the most recent explosion, will you still ride shotgun on today’s excursion? We’ll do a little coffee tasting, light hiking, animal watching, and my favorite part: strolling through a forest riddled with waterfalls.

The road to Parque Nacional Volcán Poás is lined with coffee plantations. Let’s pop into one briefly. This is Doka Estate.



We’re off to Poás Volcano National Park. Although this is a live volcano, it has both active and inactive craters. Let’s take a look at the active crater first. Just a short visit! Breathing in an excess of sulfur can mess with your digestive system. Afterwards, let’s take the trail toward the inactive crater of Lake Botos along a path lined with miniature trees (they’re not exactly bite-sized, but their growth has definitely been stunted). Thank you, geology, for pygmy forests. Because of the high altitude, you’ll exert a bit of extra effort, but the scenery is worth it.



Alas, being awarded a view of the lake depends on the fog. Today, it’s quite foggy, and we’ll have to come back for the lake another time. But since we’re talking about it, here’s what you might have seen. (Thank goodness for Wikipedia and one Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz!)


Lake Botos

“Panorama 2 Botos Lake (Crater), Poas Volcano Ntl Park CRI 08 2009” by Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons


Ready for the highlight of this trip? We can’t skip La Paz Waterfall Gardens. True to its name, La Paz (Peace) is peaceful indeed. This series of waterfalls is situated farther into the mountains, so we’ll have to do a bit of walking. Have no fear – it’s a very pleasant walk! On the way, we’ll pass an aviary, wildcats, and various other wildlife.



Pura vida and happy rambling, wherever you may be.