Distance from San José: about 52 km (32 miles) / about 1,5 hours
Opening hours: 08:00 a.m. – 03.30 p.m.
Date of foundation: January 25, 1971
Size: 6.506 hectares
- Hiking trail from the parking area to the main crater – 600 m (15 minutes)
- Hiking trail from the main crater to the subcrater with the Botos Laguna – 1400 m (30 minutes)
- Round trip from the lagoon crossing the adjacent stunted-growth forest – 1800 m (45 minutes)
The Poas Volcano rises about 2.708 meters above sea level and is one of the most spectacular volcanoes of Costa Rica with breathtaking scenery. It is a sub conical volcano with several calderic depressions near the summit. The main crater is a huge depression that measures almost 2 kilometers in diameter and 300 meters deep. There is a little lake at the bottom of the crater, with a diameter of 350 meters and temperatures that range from 65-95°C. The high content of sulfur and acid reduces the pH value almost to zero, which makes it possibly the most acid natural water body of the world. To the southeast, there is another cone known as Botos, which was the center of volcanic activity until approximately 7500 years ago. Today it contains a spectacular cold water lake that measures about 400 meters in diameter. The eruptions of the Poás volcano have been recorded at least since 1747. This long history of eruptions includes almost 60 episodes. The most violent one took place on January 25th, 1910, when an immense cloud of ashes rose 8,000 meters into the air. The most recent period of eruptions lasted from 1952 to 1954. Poás is known to have the largest geyser in the world. A paved road leads to the main crater which is easily accessible even for wheelchairs and therefore is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica.
It is recommendable to visit the crater in the early morning as the chances are higher to enjoy the volcano without clouds that hide it.
Amenities: Information center, souvenir shop, cafeteria, bathroom facilities, picnic area, parking area