Poas Volcano, Poas Volcano National Park

#5 of 59 in Parks in Province of Alajuela
Must see · Volcano · National Park
Observe firsthand the geothermal forces that created much of Costa Rica at Poas Volcano. Located within a national park, this active stratovolcano in the central part of the country features a giant crater over 1 km (0.6 mi) in diameter. Although the last major eruption occurred back in the 1950s, on most days you can see mud and water shooting high up into the air. These minor blowouts are caused by deposits of liquid sulphur, which wreaks havoc on the surrounding ecosystem. Just south of there you can see an inactive crater filled by a lake and surrounded by lush cloud forest. Begin your visit at the wheelchair-accessible visitor center, which marks the starting point of one of the park's main trails. Wear shoes suitable for rugged terrain, and keep in mind that due to its location above the frost line, the park often experiences below-freezing temperatures. Using our custom trip planner, Poas Volcano National Park attractions like Poas Volcano can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create an itinerary including Poas Volcano
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Poas Volcano reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,386 reviews
  • I’m getting quite a lot questions under my blog post about Poas volcano, it is pretty straightforward to get there, I can see some people are having difficulties getting in, sometimes it may be to...  more »
  • This is not a review of the volcano but of the thieves who operate the park. Took our money two days before we were due to visit and when we drove there (1 hour each way) it was closed, and clearly.....  more »
  • If you are fortunate enough to visit on a day when you can see the crater, it's a 5 star experience. If you arrive and find it covered in clouds, the experience is a disappointment because you can't see anything. All of the other trails in the park are closed, so you can only go to the main crater and you are limited to 20 minutes. That is enough time to see it, but I would have liked to hike around on the other trails. This is an active volcano and you can smell the sulfur at various times depending on the direction of the wind. The volcano had a small eruption a couple of weeks before I was there and had just opened up again. NOTE: you must purchase your tickets online OR buy them at the small shop a couple of miles prior to the entrance on the left side of the road. I recommend you buy them in person. They have a live webcam of the crater and you will know if it is covered in clouds or if it is visible. There are concrete shelters at the crater viewing area and air quality sensors too. They take safety seriously. There was no alarm or issue while I was there, but once the wind direction shifted and we were engulfed in sulfur gas, we understood the 20 minute time limit. Breathing was uncomfortable and unpleasant for any longer.
  • Beautiful. Bring a scarf or mask.

Plan your trip to Poas Volcano National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Duration: 2h 30 min
Duration: 2h 30 min

Side trips from Poas Volcano National Park