Poas Volcano National Park
Poas Volcano is an active stratovolcano with frequent small geyser and lava eruptions, and with some of the most beautiful scenery in Costa Rica. It is located in the Alajuela Province, at about 2,708 meters above sea level and lies within two vast calderas. The last major eruptions at Poas Volcano were around 1954. The southernmost of two summit crater lakes, Botos, is about 2 km in diameter and over 1000 meters deep, it is cold and clear, and its last eruption was about 7,500 years ago. The other is warm and acidic crater that has a beautiful blue-green crater lake, and has been the site of frequent eruptions since the first was reported in 1828.
Poas Volcano National Park, founded on 1971, is the most develop of all national parks in Costa Rica and it has the most visitors of every other National Park in Costa Rica. It is a popular attraction located only 37 km from San Jose. This park may become crowded and cloudy so it is always better to visit the park early in the morning. Also the best time to view the crater is early in the morning before the clouds cover the crater and the lake. This National Park is a great place for a one day tour because of its location, just an hour and a half from Downtonw San Jose. After arriving to the park, visitor can check out the Visitors Center, where is a coffee and volcanoes exhibition. There are very well developed trails that go to the main crater lookout point. The main crater is around 1.5 km wide and 300 meters deep, and is one of the biggest of the world. Another trail, around a 20 minute hike, goes to a second crater now a lake called Laguna Botos. The park is also an important power plant of the hydroelectric and geothermal generation.
There are many options to get to the park; the road is in good condition. There are many tours that visit the park, as well as other touristic sites in the surrounding area, such as the coffee plantations, coffee tours, and beautiful landscapes, among others. There are also public buses that go close to the Poas Volcano. The Poas Volcano bus station, Tuasa Co., is located in the Street 12-13, Ave. 2. The public bus leaves daily at 8:00 a.m. in the morning and returns around 2:00 p.m. The distance from San Jose to the National park is 55 km and the trip takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. To communicate with Tuasa Co., the phone numbers are (506) 2222-5325 and (506) 2442-6900.