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Costa Rica National Parks / Central Region / Turrialba Volcano

Turrialba Volcano

Costa Rica - Turrialba Volcano National ParkTurrialba Volcano National Park
Distance from San José: 71 km (45 miles) / about 2.5 hours
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Date of foundation: July 30, 1955
Size: 1.256 hectares
Hiking trails: The hiking trail leading to the crater is momentarily closed.

Turrialba (3,349 m) is the second highest of Costa Rica's volcanoes. It is a large vegetation-covered strato-volcano located to the northeast of the Irazu volcano. Three well-defined craters are located at the upper end of a broad summit depression that is breached to the northeast. Turrialba has been dormant since 1866 until a series of explosive eruptions in the 19th century that sometimes were accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Finally, in 2006 it started erupting vapor and ashes again. Strong fumarolic activity continues at the summit craters. Due to the strong volcanic activity currently it is not possible to visit the Turrialba volcano.
Amenities: Picnic area, view points, bathroom facilities

Distance from San José: 53 km (33 miles) / 2 hours
The town of Turrialba, located at the foot of the volcano of the same name, is the gate to some of the best white water rafting on the planet. The rivers of Reventazón and Pacuare are famous for thrilling rafting adventures.
In the past, Turrialba was a blooming coffee-cultivating town, until the 1991 Earthquake destroyed the vital railway line. Today, it is known for its cheese production - most of the cheeses produced in Costa Rica are made in Turrialba. Also fruit and vegetables are grown here, a high quality product growing on fertile volcano soil.
Only about 5 km (3 miles) south-east you find the research station CATIE, here research on tropical agriculture is done. In about 19 km (12 miles) visitors find the national monument and archeological site of Guayabo.

As for accommodation, the Casa Turire is an elegant hotel resembling a historic manor house, located only about 15 minutes from the town of Turrialba and offering a pleasant option for overnight stays in the region. Also recommendable is the Pacuare Lodge located amidst the rainforest. An interesting note: the lodge operates almost without common electricity.

The town of Turrialba, located at the bottom of the volcano is a good starting point for White-Water Rafting on the Reventazón and Pacuare Rivers. Tour Packages from/to San José are available, please refer to our White-Water Rafting section.

CATIE’s history begins in May 1940, during the VIII American Scientific Congress, in Washington, D.C. During that decade, visionary men such as Henry Wallace, United States Secretary of Agriculture, proposed the creation of an institute dedicated to tropical agriculture. The institute would lend its support to American countries in agricultural research and help train their national personnel.shim

On July 1st, 1973, the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is created through an agreement between IICA and the Costa Rican government. The Center would focus on research and higher education. CATIE’s headquarters were established at IICA’s field office, in Turrialba.

During its 30 years of existence, in alliance with local, national and international organizations, CATIE has become a Center for academic excellence, technical cooperation and research. Throughout its history, by means of its programs and projects in every Member Country, the Center has dedicated its efforts to improve the standard of living of rural families in the American tropics, while embracing a holistic vision of human activity and its environment.
Today, CATIE has become a leading regional center that is both dynamic and committed to rural development. These qualities have allowed it to expand its geographic scope and have earned it regional and international recognition.
Visitors are welcome, guided and self-guided tours can be organized.


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