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Irazu Volcano National Park

The Irazu Volcano is one of the seven active volcanos in Costa Rica. The Irazu Volcano National Park is located in the Cordillera Central close to the city of Cartago, specifically in the Central Volcanic Conservation Area and encompasses the Prusia Forest Reserve. Although it has erupted frequently, at least 23 times since 1723, its most famous eruption began in 1963 and continued until 1965.

The US President John F. Kennedy was visiting Costa Rica when the volcano erupted showering with an immense cloud of ash the capital San Jose and much of the central highlands of Costa Rica. However, since then the volcano has remained dormant, with the exception of a small phreatic eruption that happened on 1994, and that killed vegetation and some small animals with acid rain.

Irazu Volcano has several craters. The main crater is usually greenish and yellow, caused by the rainfall and dissolve minerals. Sometimes it turns to a rust-red color because of the presence of certain minerals. The inactive crater has a green Crater Lake called Diego de la Haya, and it is sometimes filled with volcanic ash. It is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. In very clear days, it is possible to see both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans; however, this is a very rare phenomenon due to the normal weather conditions of the country. The last Crater called Playa Hermosa, was a great asset crater at the beginning, right now the border of the crater is having its natural regeneration of flora.

How to get here

By car, from San Jose to the National Park the trip may take 1 hour and 30 minutes, and there are numerous sings to follow the correct road to the National Park. There are also tours that include visiting the National Park alone, or with other touristic places of the area, such as Lankaster Botanical Garden and Orosi Valley. If visitors want to arrive by public bus, there is a way they can do it. The Irazu Volcano National Park bus stop is located in Street 1-3, Ave. 2, in San Jose Downtown. It leaves daily at 8:00 a.m. and returns at 1:00 p.m. The distance is 54 km and the trip lasts 2 hours approximately. There is also a public bus that leaves from Cartago city. The bus station in Cartago is located 75 mts North of the latest SACSA bus station. The phone numbers for that public bus station are (506) 2536-7003 or (506) 2530-1064.

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