Volcan Irazu in Costa Rica
Visiting Volcan Irazu in Costa Rica was one of my favorite places when I visited this beautiful tropical country during my trip through Central America. This is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world and also one of the most famous mountains in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for a fun and affordable day trip outside San Jose then this should be at the top of your list!
On the way up to the volcano, you’ll go through beautiful winding hillside farms and plantations. There is even a popular Starbucks coffee plantation you can take tours daily. Starbucks Hacienda has produced only the highest quality Arabica beans which were first introduced to Costa Rica in the 1700s. Today coffee is an important part of the country’s economy. This is a convenient place to add to your travel plans if you have the time either before or after exploring Irazu.
How to get to Volcan Irazu from San Jose?
To get to Irazu volcano from San Jose, just go to downtown’s Central Avenue: and the pickup location is right in front of the National Theather. From here, you’ll see a bus stop called Volcan Irazu which will be waiting on the side of the street. The first bus leaves at 8 AM every day and costs around $1 USD. The ride takes about two hours and actually makes for quite a scenic view on the way.
The fastest route to Irazu is driving or taking a cab/shuttle/tour service which won’t have to make all the stops for the locals getting on and off to work or visit different places on this particular route.
Once you reach Irazu Volcano national park, the viewpoints are not too far from where the bus drops you off. This is a very accessible park with nice sidewalks and pathways for everyone including disabled and handicapped individuals.
About Volcan Irazu
Also known as “thunder and earthquake” mountain, as derived from the local indigenous word “Irazu”, its last eruption was back in 1994 but still remains active.
Irazu is an awe-inspiring sight to be seen and is Costa Rica’s tallest volcano. As you can see below, the main crater looks like it was struck by a gigantic meteorite and get these amazing turquoise and green colors from the sediments which have eroded into the center over time.
How much does Irazu Cost to Visit?
The entrance fee when I went as well as reflected online is still $10, but this could be subject to change.*
Tel. : 2551-9398
Hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily
Forest Type: Rainforest and sub-alpine
Entrance Fee: $10.00
Location: 19 miles northeast of Cartago
Altitude: 11,260 above sea level
Map: Courtesy of https://www.govisitcostarica.com/
Is Volcan Irazu or Poas Better?
After visiting Irazu, I was really excited to visit Poas, but ended p disappointed. I actually preferred Irazu over the equally famous Poas Volcano National Park in Alajuela due to the significant differences and accessibility. The Poas lagoon and forest walk are now closed due to the recent volcanic activity in recent years as well as the cafe and tourist center.
Also, you pay the same or more to visit this park and they only allow you 20 minutes per group! They literally have a park ranger parked in a truck timing people. It was also cloudy that day so I didn’t even end up seeing anything! It was kind of a waste of 4 hours and a day trip I probably could have spent better elsewhere.
When I first arrive at Volcan Irazu around 11 am, I was pretty worried about getting any pics or footage because the sky was cloudy and grey. I ended up lucking out and was super relieved when the sun broke through around noon, giving me some of my favorite memories from my entire trip through Central America.
Irazu Volcano Video
Volcan Irazu in Costa Rica
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