A Great Day Outing, Irazu Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

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Irazu Volcano and Crater Lake

Irazu Volcano and Crater Lake

Location of the Irazu Volcano in the Central Valley

Location of the Irazu Volcano in the Central Valley

A Great Day Outing, Irazu Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

If you have a free day while vacationing in Costa Rica and you are in the central valley of San Jose, be sure to see Irazu Volcano National Park, located about one hour out side San Jose. You can purchase a day trip from one of the local tour operators in the San Jose Area.  There are many, just check with your hotel and they will recommend one.

The ride up to the Irazu Volcano is beautiful.   On a January morning, we  left very early,  around 7 a.m.  We could hopefully get to the volcano summit before the clouds covered the top.  We got to Cartago and stopped for coffee and asked for directions to the volcano summit.   As we ascended,  beauty unfolded before our eyes.  The rich fertile soil of the volcano grows may vegetable and most of the farms are small ones, not big corporate farms like in America.  There were potatoes, cabbage,  carrots,  all those cool weather vegetables because at 4,000 feet the air is cool and crisp.  Perfect for the dairy farms, the cows love the cool air and thick green grass.

After around one and one half hours  we reached the summit, and it looks so much like the surface of the moon.  The day was completely clear with lots of sunshine.   The view to the central valley was perfect, we could see the sky line of San Jose and the out lying smaller cities.  The Irazu Volcano has several craters and one is filled with blue green water, captured from the heavy rainfalls.  A few scrubby scorched trees dot the landscape.  Not much life here, except an occasional hummingbird.

Presently Irazu Volcano is a dormant volcano but in 1964 it violently erupted throwing ash over  Cartago, San Jose, and the central valley.  And continued off and on for  two years.  I lived in Alajuela in an old wooden house and remember when the small earth trimmers came the ash from the Irazu would fall from between the cracks in the ceiling.

Today, it is a quiet picture perfect monster hovering over the central valley.

If you have a rental car, its an easy drive to the Irazu Valley from the areas of San Jose and Alajuela.  Go to Cartago and stop and ask anyone how to get to the summit.

To see more beautiful photos such as the one above go to  anywhereincostarica.com

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