Sunday, June 12, 2011

Volcan Poas Costa Rica on a Cloudy Day

I wasn't going to talk about my visit to Volcan Poas, because on the day that my sister and I visited, it was so cloudy that we were unable to see the volcano's crater.  However, since this is probably the experience many visitors to Volcan Poas will have, I decided to add a post about it to explain how the day was still quite an enjoyable experience for us.

At the entrance to the Volcan Poas park, the attendant will let you know if the volcano is visible or not. Then you have a hard decision to make, go in anyhow (since you've probably driven 2 or 3 hours to get there), or just turn around and come back another day when the crater is more likely to be visible.  My sister and I decided to enter the park, even though we were told there was no visibility, since she was only here for a week and we had so many other places we wanted to see.  We were not disappointed by our decision.  After passing the attendant booth, we drove a little further to the parking lot and then walked the remaining distance to the edge of the Volcan Poas crater, one of the largest active craters in the world (at about 1.5 km wide).

If you are lucky enough to come to the park on a day where there is visibility, you will be able to stare straight down into the bowels of the volcano.  As we had been warned, we were only able to see white cloud cover where Volcan Poas' crater would have otherwise been visible (see pics below).  Although this was the case for us, we still enjoyed hiking the park's forested trails, including the Botos trail which led to an extinct crater filled with lake water. 

I recommend combining an early morning visit to Volcan Poas National Park (visibility is always best in the early morning), with a visit to La Paz Waterfall Gardens (since the two attractions are in close vicinity).

Walking Path to Volcan Poas Crater Area

Sign at Volcan Poas Crater

Me at Volcan Poas Crater viewing area. Unfortunately the crater was covered by thick white cloud cover.
Me starting on the walking path to the Botos Lagoon.

My sister on the trail to the Laguna Botos.

Beautiful Botos Lagoon (Laguna Botos) inside Volcan Poas National Park.

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