The Poás Volcano of Costa Rica is one of those places that is really worth visiting. However, for a while the national park was closed to the public because it wasn’t safe. Now it is open again and with all the necessary precautions, nature lovers are delighted.
The Poás Volcano is a Costa Rican volcano that lies in the national park of the same name. Every year it receives thousands of visitors, and if you are reading this article now you are in luck, because it is open to the public again and you can come and see this natural wonder with your own eyes. Undoubtedly a real spectacle, this is a place worth visiting.
It is of course important to find out about the place, learn about the security measures you have to follow closely to be able to see it, as well as monitoring the weather and choosing your clothing to get the most out of your visit. But we will give you all these details below, to save you coming across any problems and leaving you to enjoy your visit to the Poás Volcano.
How to visit the Poás Volcano
It is likely that if you have chosen to visit the San José area in Costa Rica on your next trip, you will have done some research on where to visit and the Poás Volcano would have been on that list. You may also have chosen this famously beautiful area to visit the Poás Volcano in person.
This volcano closed more than two years ago because of the amount of potentially dangerous emissions it was releasing, which could have been harmful to the large number of visitors who visited every day without any safety or precautionary measures.
Now, after a period of being closed, the necessary precautions have been put in place so that there is no risk for people who come to see this wonder. It is now a really beautiful place that is worth visiting, and there’s no risk to visitors.
Firstly, visits are time-limited, so when you arrive, you have ten minutes to enter, twenty minutes to take in the crater and ten more minutes to make your way back to the exit. You will also have to wear a safety helmet for the entire visit.
This time is measured by the level of caution that should be taken in around a volcano. This means they can control how many people visit and prevent the potential problems caused by an excessive amount of people in an area with a certain level of risk, like near a volcano.
It is also important to think about the possible dangers that this space may carry for people with movement difficulties, respiratory problems, children, the elderly and pregnant women.
This is why when adults visit with minors they must take responsibility for them. Those who come with children must sign a form taking responsibility for them.
Regulating visits and the protection measures now used around the Poás Volcano National Park were put in place so that visitors can enjoy a space that had been closed to the public since April 2017.
Where does the Poás Volcano get its name from?
It is very possible that the name is taken from the word “púas” (bristles) because the area is home to a type of plant, with beautiful yellow flowers, which has transformed its leaves into thorns to adapt to the region’s climatic conditions. Another theory is that it is an indigenous word and one that refers to a type of grass that existed in the area.
No one is completely sure whether these theories are true, but different studies have found that these are the most likely stories.
The beauty of the Poás Volcano
People who love protected natural areas filled with flora and fauna cannot miss a visit to this volcano. While it is true that the entrance to the Poás Volcano in Costa Rica has been restricted for security reasons, it is very pleasant and has a very easy trail to reach the viewpoint of the impressive main craters.
Thanks to the fact that it is 2,574 metres high, the view from the observation deck reaches across the Caribbean plains and the Arenal volcano. That is, of course, on days when the steam isn’t rising too high and the clouds aren’t too low.
It is important to choose a good weather day to visit, because there is a risk that the dense fog in the area will mean you miss out on seeing this natural spectacle and the visit will be disappointing.
So if you have several days to visit the volcano, make sure you check the weather because the clouds and sometimes a light rain can stop visitors from enjoying the full experience.
There is a webcam that is active all day. Checking it before leaving will give you the best idea of your chances of seeing the crater during your visit.
Getting to Poás early is a good idea, because in the morning there is a much higher chance of seeing it clearly. As the day progresses, clouds appear and affect the view.
Seeing the views on a clear day is a spectacle that will make you glad you went to the effort of getting here.
Remember that you are going to a mountain, so wearing closed and comfortable shoes and comfortable clothes is essential. Remember that to get to the viewpoint you have to walk a little, so sandals are not recommended. Even if it’s hot.
And even it is forecast to be hot, take something a bit warmer, remember, remember that this is the tropics and things can change very quickly.
If you take a pet on your trip, you should leave it where you are staying, because pets are not allowed into the park, with the exception of guide dogs.
If you want to learn more about the place, you can hire a guide to tell you all about the area and most importantly, the volcano, all in your own language.
There is also a visitor centre with a museum, which has all the necessary information. These points of interest are the best way of getting to know the places you visit.
How to get to the Poás Volcano National Park
Getting to the Poás Volcano National Park is easy if you know the options.
The most convenient and cheapest option is to contact Asuaire Travel and take an organised package tour that will take you and bring you back in comfort, with a guide that will tell you all the stories and be on hand to help at all times.
You can also take a private version of this tour, so that your guide and driver can take you where you want to go, but it is organised and you still get to benefit from all their knowledge.
– Another option if you are more independent and want to travel at your leisure, is to rent a car. That way you can stop to observe the scenery and attractions that are on the way to the volcano. Whether you are looking for a cup of gourmet coffee or to buy typical regional cheeses, or try the delicious fresh strawberries on the roadside.
It is important to remember that tickets to the park are sold online only and that, depending on the day, they might sell out quickly. In addition to that there is also a parking fee.
– You could also arrange with a taxi driver or Uber to take you and bring you back. If you do this, it is important that you check the normal local rates (so that you are not overcharged) and that the driver is certified as such.
We know that the visit cannot last more than forty minutes, the time stipulated for security. So we would recommend getting a fixed price for the entire trip, because your driver will have to wait for you to bring you back.
Do you have to pay to get into the National Park?
Entry to the Poas Volcano National Park costs $15, the same as all other parks in Costa Rica. However, with this park you have to buy tickets online days before.
The buying process can be a bit cumbersome, so we suggest getting in touch with Asuaire Travel, then you can just relax and forget about procedures and logistics.
It is important to remember that if you are in a rented car, parking in the national park is paid separately.
Attractions near the Poás Volcano
As we have said before, the Poás Volcano region is full of things to do while you are in the area. Some options include:
The coffee tour: The areas around Poás are perfect for making the best coffee in the country. And there are various options for visiting and enjoying this interesting activity on the way to or from the volcano.
Waterfall Garden: An impressive cloud forest that is a spectacular place where you can enjoy hummingbird and butterfly gardens, aviaries, frogs and a full rescue centre. And of course there is the magnificent trail alongside the river and its many natural waterfalls, which you can see from all angles.
Cheese and strawberry farms: In the area you will see several places where you can visit dairies, cheese factories and juicy strawberry farms.
The local gastronomy
As well as everything you can visit near this volcano, we must mention the cuisine and the typical local dishes and produce. You can’t leave without having tried the palmito cheese or the delicious local fresh cheese. You can even take a piece to enjoy during the rest of the trip.
Also, as we have already said, this is a coffee area, and there are opportunities to try the region’s coffee in several places along the road (if you don’t want to take the coffee tour).
Along the road there are also many traditional stalls where they sell the strawberries they collect, their homemade natillas, cakes that are unlike anything you will ever have had before, and blackberry and strawberry jams. Without a doubt, a full gastronomic experience that you cannot miss while you’re there.