Costa RicaCosta Rica

       crater poas volcano 
  - Costa Rica

Most Popular Volcanoes

Most Popular Volcanoes

If you’ve never seen a mountain erupt red-hot against an inky black night sky, bubbling mud pots, or a massive blue crater lagoon, then visiting Costa Rica’s active volcanoes is a must. Take a journey through nature, legend and pure relaxation– hike along a fertile volcanic slope, seek healing from an ancient princess, and luxuriate in volcano-fed hot springs.

read more close


Arenal Volcano is one of Costa Rica's most popular attractions, renowned for its lava flows, which are spectacular on clear nights. The volcano’s fiery displays are best viewed during a night hike or, even better, from one of the area’s naturally heated hot springs. Arenal is the youngest and most active volcano in Costa Rica, and one of the ten most active in the world. The volcano was believed dormant until 1968 when it awoke with a roar, shooting volcanic rock and lava and scoring a path of destruction through neighboring towns. Today, the volcano erupts on a daily basis – and you’ll enjoy the impressive lava show from a safe distance. The volcano sits within Arenal Volcano National Park, a 30,000-acre wilderness home to both cloud forest and rainforest habitats. During the day, the national park is a popular destination for nature hikes and wildlife watching. Depending on cloud cover, visibility is hit or miss year-round, but September and October are two of the best months to see Arenal Volcano and its red lava flows.


Located east of San Jose, Irazu Volcano is the country’s tallest at 11,260 feet. The word Irazu, meaning thunder or earthquake peak, was borrowed from local indigenous tribes who lived on the slopes the volcano. The main crater spans 3,345 feet and is known for its iridescent blue-green or red (depending on mineral concentration) lake. Experts speculate that Irazu has been active for over 500 years, though its last major eruption was on March 19, 1963 – the day that President John F. Kennedy visited Costa Rica. The area around the five volcanic craters resembles an ash-covered moonscape, and Irazu National Park is the only place in the Central Volcanic Range system where you’ll find both rainforest and sub-alpine paramo. On a perfectly sunny day, you can see both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean from atop the volcano. Irazu is a popular daytrip from the Central Valley; spectacular views are most common early in the morning during the dry season (December-April).


Accessibility, impressive views, and otherworldly craters make Poas Volcano the main attraction at one of the country’s most popular national parks. Poas has erupted several times over the past century, sending huge ash clouds into the air, though its activity is usually limited to puffing fumaroles and snorts of steam. The volcano is accessed through Poas Volcano National Park, which is wheelchair accessible, has paved roads and a sensational view of the second-widest crater (9/10th of a mile) in the world. The crater’s bright blue, 1000-foot deep lake is the largest volcanic lagoon in the world. North of the active crater is the long-extinct Von Frantzius composite cone, the oldest crater in the Central Volcanic Range, and dormant for more than 7,500 years. The extinct crater has transformed into a 1,641-foot wide coldwater lake, named Laguna Botas, and is the second stop on your hike through the park. The best time to visit Poas Volcano is from May to November, as early as possible.

Rincon de la Vieja

Nestled in Guanacaste’s cowboy country northeast of Liberia, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is composed of nine contiguous craters, the most active of which measures 1641 feet wide and 328 feet deep. Though it’s Costa Rica third-most active volcano, it is considered only gently active, releasing ash and steam infrequently. The first recorded eruption occurred in 1785, and the most recent activity was in 1998. The still-steaming volcano gives its name to the 35,000-acre Rincon de la Vieja National Park that surrounds it, where you’ll enjoy hiking trails, boiling mud pots, and a small volcano that bubbles mud and steam. The volcano’s name means “The Old Woman’s Corner,” named for the legend of a local princess whose father threw her lover into the volcano’s crater. Today, the one million-year old volcano continues its legacy of healing and restoration: its hot springs are said to alleviate aches and pains that stump even the most modern medicinal cures.  The best time to visit is during the dry season, between December and April, when trails are dry and wildlife gathers at water sources.

Get a vacation package inspired on these trip ideas!

Please provide us with the following information and we will create a vacation package taylored to your needs and interests.
(*) denotes required information.

Trip Budget

Total funds available for hotels, activities and transportation (airfare not included)

When will you come?

Who are you traveling with?

What do you want to see?

What do you want to do?