There are more than 200 volcanoes in Costa Rica, all being part of the Pacific Ring Fire Circle out of which only 5 of them are considered to be active volcanoes from Costa Rica.
Most of Costa Rica volcanoes are located in the Central Highlands and in the northern part of the country and about 100 of them show any signs of activity.
There are many activities grouped around these volcanoes, so they are considered top attractions among tourists from all over the world.
Around the volcanoes, there are many hot springs with mineral water, perfect places to chill and relax in the middle of nature.
Rafting, surfing, sportfishing as well as kayaking, camping and mountain explorations are just some of the activities you can try around these volcanoes.
If you plan a trip to Costa Rica you definitely have to visit at least one volcano, to get close to it to see with your own eyes how powerful nature’s force is.
These volcanoes are the perfect destination for a day trip but if you want to see the peaks rising on the horizon, you’d better visit these places early in the morning before the afternoon clouds surround the peaks.
Let’s discover together the 5 most amazing volcanoes you should consider visiting when planning your trip to this beautiful country from Central America.
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Best Volcanoes in Costa Rica
Poás Volcano in Costa Rica
Located in the Central Valley, close to Alajuela and San José, Poas Volcano is one of the most popular attractions from Costa Rica and one of the largest active volcanoes in the world.
A few years ago, in 2017 the national park was closed due to intense volcanic activity, but now it is open to the public.
The living proofs that the volcano is still active are the sulfuric emissions and the active fumaroles, things that give to the volcanic formations from the area a mystic air.
The two crater lakes that can be found on the volcano national park are extremely different:
- The Laguna Caliente or Hot Lagoon is the most acidic lake in the world
- while the other lake known as Lake Botos contains clear waters and is surrounded by a beautiful cloud forest.
Poas Volcano Lodge is located right near the cloud forest from Poas Volcano National Park and is an interesting mixture between modern architecture and rustic elements like stone and wood.
The rooms are spacious and clean and the on-site restaurant serves traditional and European cuisine.
Read here our complete guide about Poas Volcano from Costa Rica.
The most famous volcano in the country, Arenal is located in the northern area of Costa Rica and is surrounded by many coffee plantations as the land is one of the most fertile lands in the whole country.
The last signs of activity from the volcanoes date from December 2010 so visiting the park around it is not just a safe experience but also one of the best things you can do when visiting Costa Rica.
The national park is packed with green rainforests, beautiful valleys, dozens of hot springs and many beautiful waterfalls, out of which La Fortuna waterfall is the most popular.
Nayara Springs is a beautiful boutique hotel nestled in the middle of the Costa Rica rainforest, 7 kilometers from La Fortuna, the main city near the Volcano.
The hotel features luxurious suites, a thermal pool, and amazing views of the volcano.
Discover here our complete guide about Arenal Volcano from Costa Rica.
Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica
One of the most accessible volcanoes in Costa Rica, Irazú Volcano is one of the very few volcanoes in the world on which you can drive almost all the way to the volcanic formations.
This thing and the fact that it is located close to San Jose, make Irazu volcano an extremely popular destination for tourists and locals, as well.
With its 3.432 metres tall, Irazu is the highest volcano in Costa Rica map and on a clear day, you may see both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans from the summit.
On your way to the top, you will pass a wide range of fantastic sceneries, some of them reminded me about James Cameron’s Avatar movie: sulphuric lakes, desertic area and in the end the crater itself that is covered in dense vegetation.
The last massive eruption dates from 1963- 1965 and since then no notable events had been noted regarding the eruption of this volcano.
Paraiso Orocay Lodge offers amazing views of the Irazu Volcano and features clean and large rooms with a balcony or patio and views of the mountains.
Read here our full guide about Irazu Volcano from Costa Rica.
Rincón de la Vieja Volcano
Part of Guanacaste mountains that is home to 9 volcanoes, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is definitely a popular destination for mountain lovers.
The name of the volcano translates into English as” The old woman’s corner” and refers to the woman that lives on the slopes of the volcano and has healing powers, according to the legend.
The most popular craters from the park are Santa Maria Volcano and Von Seeback, craters that are usually open to the public, but you’d better check this information before you go as things are quite dynamic when speaking about active volcanoes.
The park is home to several interesting and unique ecosystems like tropical Costa Rica rainforest could forest and is one of the best places in the country for observing wildlife in their natural environment.
Rincon de la Vieja is one of the best active volcanoes in Costa Rica for spotting boiling natural pools, waterfalls with crystal clear waters, natural hot springs and smoking craters.
The hike to the summit of this Costa Rica volcano might be tiring and time-consuming but once you reach the top your effort is rewarded.
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Hacienda Guachipelin Volcano Ranch Hotel and Hot Springs is located right at the foot of the volcano national park and features an outdoor pool, a beautiful garden and clean rooms with ceiling fans and private bathrooms.
Horse riding, tubing and canoeing can be arranged at the reception of the hotel as well as different tours across the national park.
Discover here our complete guide about Rincon de la Vieja from Costa Rica.
Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica
My last volcano in Costa Rica list is Turrialba Volcano, an active volcano that in the last couple of years shows many signs of an imminent major eruption: clouds of ashes, the appearance of a new crater and the smoke coming out from the craters.
Conveniently located near the capital city of San Jose, the crater of this volcano Costa Rica is quite hard to reach, as you need to climb for about 3 hours on rustic trails.
After more than 8 years, the park was reopened to tourists in 2020 and now experts consider that it is safe to explore the park and its unique ecosystem.
On a sunny day with no cloud from the summit, you might spot the Caribbean Sea as well as the Poas volcano or the Irazu volcano.
You cannot get too close to the crater, as it is too dangerous but based on experts findings, inside the crater there is a lava lake that most probably grows constantly, until the next eruption.
Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa is nestled in the heart of the rainforest and features high-end services and elegant rooms with amazing views of the surroundings.
The resort is located in Guacimo and has its own restaurant, garden and bar where guests can relax and enjoy their holiday.
Although Costa Rica is home to more than 200 volcanoes, not all of them are open to the public and safe enough to explore.
These 5 volcanoes in Costa Rica are among the most spectacular ones and you definitely have to pay a visit to at least one of them.
Pack with you warm clothes, bottles of water and sun cream and prepare for a memorable day trip in these stunning landforms.
Plan your trip to this beautiful place: Logistical tips and tricks
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Rentalcars. com as they have free cancellation 24 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.