Poas Volcano National Park, located in the province of Alajuela, in the north of San Jose, is considered the oldest one in Costa Rica. In order to visit this enigmatic place, we stayed in a simple but cozy cabin at Hotel Cabinas Las Fresas, in Sabana Redonda, just 10 kilometers from the park. In hindsight, we can say it was a wise decision, as the owners of the place (a young Italian couple) were really kind and offer a perfect location and setting for the desired objective.
We started the visit early, as we were warned that after 11 in the morning the volcano could be fully covered with mist, preventing our visibility and enjoyment. Therefore, we got up at 7 am, as the park opened its doors at 8 am and feared the possible lines of tourists to enter.
We were lucky and found only a couple of cars waiting by the entrance. The park was still closed, but the waiting time was short and well invested in eating the breakfast we carried, formed by a sandwich and a milkshake. We paid the entrance ($ 10 per person), parked the car in the private parking and, once inside, found two optional and easy routes to take.
On one side, the Sendero Laguna Botos, a route of about 800 meters and around half an hour walk. It is a nice path that goes into a cloud forest, where a wide variety of plants live together, ending at the Laguna Botos, a former crater about 14 meters deep and 400 meters in diameter, whose waters are clear and supply the rest of the park.
On the other hand we had Sendero Escalonia, a shorter route (just over 500 meters) of about 20 minutes walking. We decided to take first the second option, as we thought the weather to observe both the main crater and lagoon was not the most favorable. We entered the heart of the cloud forest and had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of birds and nice flora, as well as fresh air, so coveted by residents of large cities.
Finally, we ended our visit on the viewpoint to the main crater of this active volcano and primary attraction of the place. With a deepness of 300 meters and 1.32 kms in diameter, it is the largest geyser crater in the world and, in general, one of the largest craters on Earth.
An extraordinarily beautiful scenery, and one of the most popular natural attractions for both domestic and international tourism. As I mentioned earlier, we were very lucky to find it totally clear and to be able to enjoy such a wonderful view. It was the perfect start for our long trip, before heading to our next destination, the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
Text © Alicia Jiménez +
Photos © Nano Calvo
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