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boiling mud pot rincon de la vieja
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Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

Quick Facts

  • Location : Rincon de la Vieja National Park
  • Altitude : 6,217 feet above sea level

Rincon de la Vieja, meaning "The Old Woman's Corner," is named after the legend of a local woman whose father threw her lover into the volcano's crater. Mourning her lost love, she became a recluse on the mountaintop, developing healing and restorative powers. Today, the one million-year old volcano continues to heal and restore; its hot springs are said to alleviate aches and pains that stump even the most modern medicinal cures.

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Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is the third most active of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes, which include Arenal, Miravalles, Orosi, Poas, Irazu and Turrialba. Despite this fact, the volcano is considered only gently active, spewing ash and steam infrequently. The first recorded eruption occurred in 1785, and the most recent activity was in 1998. No one was seriously injured. 

Nine contiguous craters, the most active of which measures 1641 feet wide and 328 feet deep, top the volcano. Within its depths, the Von Seebach crater holds bubbling lava and molten rock that shiver in anticipation, occasionally spitting up ash and steam. Lying south of the crater, the volcano exhibits more benign activity. Rincon de la Vieja National Park hosts boiling mud pots, sulfurous fumaroles, and a small volcano that bubbles mud and steam. Trails lead through the park and up to the volcano’s summit.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Pictures