The Top Five Volcanoes to Visit in Costa Rica

by James Eder on January 28, 2012

Costa Rica Volcano Tours -

By James Eder

Situated within the heart of Latin America, Costa Rica is a small, fertile, and welcoming country. It’s also one of the most exciting places to visit, featuring literally dozens of volcanoes for the intrepid explorer to visit. Here are five of the top volcanoes to visit on a trip to Costa Rica.

1) Perhaps the most popular volcano in all of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano stands nearly 5,500 feet tall and absolutely dominates the landscape around it. While technically an active volcano, Arenal has been in a resting phase since 2010, and while sleeping is largely safe to approach. This fantastic mountain offers both beautiful scenery and access to a wide number of activities, making it an excellent choice for a day’s excursion in Costa Rica. In fact, there’s enough to do here that visiting the volcano could ultimately be your entire trip!

2) A pleasant, easy hour-and-a-half drive from San José, the capital city of Costa Rica, Poás Volcano isn’t quite as popular as Arenal, but it does have something very important that sets it apart. Specifically, Poás is currently active, and the lake in its caldera often emits steam while the geysers erupt as high as 820 feet, almost a tenth the height of the entire mountain. Widely accessible to visitors, Poás Volcano is perhaps the top choice in the country for watching one of nature’s most incredible creations from up close.

3) Enjoying the status of the tallest volcano in the country, Irazú Volcano reaches more than eleven thousand feet into the sky and has several craters going from as little as 300 feet to more than 900 feet below the surface of the volcano. Even more attractive, however, may be the color-changing mineral lake on this volcano. Access to this volcano is relatively easy, with reasonable roads and signs pointing the way to it.

4) The next volcano, however, is for people who seriously love these mountains. Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is part of a series of volcanoes in the Guanacaste mountains, and is accessed primarily through a six mile hike that takes visitors through a rainforest and more than five thousand feet up. It’s not the best choice for a casual family outing, but the trail on this volcano is quite possibly one of the best in the entire world for hikers looking to truly experience their journey.

5) Tenorio Volcano isn’t as popular as Arenal, nor as tall as Irazú, but it remains a top choice for any visit due to the surrounding area. Tenorio is surrounded by some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful forest, a variety of hot springs (some safe to take a dip in!), and a number of geysers. The crater itself has become a lake, and the summit is easily accessible by a trail that winds its way in from the park’s entrance. Arguably one of the most scenic volcano trips in the country, Tenorio is a must for any travel plans featuring volcanoes in Costa Rica.

From towering peaks that dominate the landscape around them to beautiful cones offering breathtaking views of the land below, volcanoes in Costa Rica are as diverse as they are beautiful. Costa Rica’s tourism industry is well aware of the significance of their resources, and combining natural splendor with man-made fun makes these exciting peaks a great set of destinations for anybody looking to experience nature to the fullest.

Note from Latin Discover tours:  We provide Costa Rica tours that will take you to see the amazing natural beauty of many Costa Rica volcanoes.  To hear more about our Costa Rica volcano tours please contact us at 1-800-791-6520. You can also reach us by filling out a short request form at


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James Eder February 16, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Personally, I’m most interested in Poás Volcano; geysers are particularly fun (such as in Yellowstone National Park, USA), and I can barely even imagine what one going a tenth the height of a mountain looks like.


Nicole July 22, 2013 at 1:47 am

Excellent list, visiting a volcano is at the top of my list and I didn’t realize there were so many to choose from! Thanks for sharing.


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