Poas Volcano National Park

In Costa Rica you can find many national parks and protected areas; being these, the main tourist highlights of each area. The most visited tourist destinations in the country are very close or into a national park area, for example Manuel Antonio with its national park, Monteverde with the cloud forest reserve and Fortuna with the Arenal Volcano National park. As you can see, one of the main reasons for visiting Costa Rica is the contact with nature and biodiversity offered all over the country.

Among the list of national parks in Costa Rica; you can find Poas Volcano National Park in spanish Parque Nacional Volcán Poás. The volcano is part of the Central Volcanic Conservation Area having three craters and one lagoon named Botos, which is an inactive crater. The park is located in the province of Alajuela, into the Central Valley area, around one hour and thirty minutes from San Jose downtown.

This national park is one of the most visited protected areas in the country; its location weather and biodiversity make it one of the favorites among visitors. You can find a big number of animal and plant species, including 79 species of birds such as the robin, the hummingbird and quetzal. Some other animals that can be found here are: coyotes, small felines and green-yellow squirrel, which is unique of this park, nowhere else in the world can be spotted.

One of the main features of the park is that you can get all the way to the edge of the crater; people can be really close to the crater and take pictures. There are also some interesting ecosystems such as scarce vegetation, a stunted forest and cloud forest. In the park you can find short trails guiding to the craters and lake, for example the ¨Crater overlook trail¨ is a paved road with 750 meters long, going straight to the main crater; the other trail leads to the Botos Lake and takes around 20 or 30 minutes. On the ¨Escalonia trail¨ you can go through the forest.

The best time to visit the park is in the morning, especially during the months of January thru April, which is the dry season. Inside the park you can find a visitors center and a small museum explaining and giving information about the attractions in the park, there is also a café offering coffee, drinks, snacks and sandwiches. All the facilities are wheelchair accessible.

If you have one day at either the beginning or the end of your trip, you can spend the night in San Jose and enjoy a day trip to this interesting national park. Check on Hotel Ritzli, for a clean, comfortable and affordable accommodation, they can also help you to book the tour and discounted airport transportation.

By Maricel/Ritzli

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