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Poas Volcano National Park

Located 37 km north-west of Alajuela City, in the central volcanic cordillera, not far from the national capital, it is the third of the three national parks of the province in terms of surface.

Initially, it measured only 1200 hectares, but by a decree in 1994, it has enlarged to reach 6506 hectares while extending around the Poas volcano.

Like many other parks, it is an ideal place to observe an exceptional fauna that has elected for its home a rich, bushy and green flora. However, it is mainly the giant standing at 2708 meters above sea level that attracts much more visitors: Poas volcano. Containing three craters, the main one has a diameter of 1.3 kilometer and a depth of 304 meters. Still active, this volcano impresses thousands of visitors from the country and around the world.

One of the craters, Laguna Botos, is occupied by a 400 meters diameter and 4 feet deep cold lake with blue-green water. The bottom is half-flat and is filled with sediments from the interior walls of the crater itself.

Poas sometimes spits steam up to several meters high and can be seen from anywhere in the park; at times, the vapor have a toxic odor.

During your visit, besides the volcano, Poas Volcano National Park will present you its fauna which, just like the Arenal Volcano National Park’s one, is composed of birds and mammals.

As for birds, among many others, you’ll see: monte tangara, troglodyte, fiery-throated hummingbird, quetzal, unicolored Penelope. The mammals are: coyote, weasel, rabbit, smelly skunk, poas squirrel and armadillo.

Compared to the fauna, the flora is sparsely varied, but contains very rare species that are found nowhere else in the world, like the Sombrilla de Pobre (Poor umbrella), a giant herbaceous with giant leaves. There’s also the encinos oak (Quercus sp), a widespread species in the northern hemisphere. This tree has fruits that are called acorns, and they are highly appreciated by some animals in the forest, including: wild boar, deer and squirrel.

The park has toilets and relaxation and picnic areas, in case you would want to stop for a moment of rest and/or eat a little something. Otherwise, you can take the time to visit the small volcanology museum or the shop to buy souvenirs.

The park welcomes visitors from 8am to 3:30pm. On average, visitors spend half a day there; we advise you to go early in the morning to be among the first ones to enjoy.

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