Yes, it is true my friends, there are active Costa Rica volcanoes. That’s what makes living here and vacationing here exciting. But no need to be scared unless you try to get too close when they erupt. Always take precautions. I decided to write this blog because of the recent eruption of Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala.
Volcanoes are one of the great features of Costa Rica, along with nature, great beaches, and #1 in my book, the loving Ticos. Ticos are incredible people and once you get to experience being part of this culture you will never want to leave.
When thinking of moving to Costa Rica, it is important to know that there are active volcanoes in the country. If you happen to find an area that is just right for you but close to a volcano (I am talking within a twenty-mile range) it is advisable to monitor one of the many Governmental volcano alert systems, such as: https://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/ OBSERVATORIO VULCANOLÓGICO Y SISMOLÓGICO DE COSTA RICA
Here is a list of the top Volcanoes in Costa Rica not necessarily in any specific order.
#1 Arenal Volcano
This is the most visited national park and Volcano in the entire country. The last major eruption was Fifty years ago. Arenal is dormant now but I remember when it was still active and I stayed in a hotel with a view of the crown, at night I would sit on the veranda of my room and watch the red embers flowing down, was more like a trickle but you could still see them. Located sixty-six “direct” miles from Playa Hermosa, I have no worries if it was to blow again.
Located in the Province of Alajuela and only 14 miles from my second home in Costa Rica experienced some eruptions just last year in 2017. The eruptions cause the closure of the national park but no real damage was reported, tourist lookout spots were demolished and some close vegetation was burned but mostly just a lot of steam and ash. Poas is considered an active volcano that has had forty events since the early 1800’s.
Located just 22 direct miles from the capital City of San Jose and in the province of San Jose, and even closer to the city of Cartago, Irazu had some strong eruptions in the 1960’s. When visiting the park and while hiking to observation points, deposits are still visible from past pyroclastic flows. Listed as the highest active volcano in Costa Rica, it measures over 11,200 feet tall.
Located as well in the in the province of San Jose it is very close to Irazú, just over 6 miles apart. The last eruption was in 2016. This volcano as well is one of the tallest reaching peaks of over 10,900 feet. It is estimated that there have been five large explosions over the last 3500 years. It is said that from the peak of Irazú you can see both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. I don’t know about that as I will never hike that far up.
Now for the three in Guanacaste, my home province.
#5 Rincon De La Vieja Volcano
This is the closest volcano to Playa Hermosa, where I live and the area and the Gulf of Papagayo. Just over 29 miles away, I am sure if it blows I would be safe from a pyroclastic flow but not necessarily ash debris. Rincon De La Vieja (The Old Woman’s Corner) has been active since early 2017 with small eruptions and rumbling. Measuring just over 6,200 feet high it is one of the lowest volcanos in Costa Rica. The National Electric Company, ICE, opened a geothermal processing facility there a few years ago and generating electricity for a good part of Guanacaste. This is a great national park to visit, I have been there many times and always enjoy the waterfalls, the Toucans and tons of other natural sites.
Just on the line of the provinces of Guanacaste and Alajuela, this volcano is being utilized just like Rincon De La Vieja with a geothermal processing plant to generate electricity. Miravalles has great hiking and waterfalls to visit along with eco-adventure tour operators – well worth the visit. The is the tallest of all of Guanacaste’s volcanoes, measuring just over 6, 600 feet high. There has been only one recorded explosion in 1946 and it was just letting off steam. Miravalles is just over 37.5 miles from my home.
The last and furthest south of the Guanacaste Volcanoes, measure 6,200 feet high and over 44 miles away from My home. Tenorio volcano includes four volcanic peaks as well as two craters. This national park is a must see with the Rio Celeste “The Blue River” as a highlight. Easy to hike and well worth the trip. An Active volcano with Fumarolic activity, a legend that exists of an eruption in 1816, but the volcano was densely forested at the time of an 1864 visit and is not considered to have erupted in historical time.
When you considering a trip to Costa Rica, it is well worth visiting one of the many active Costa Rica volcanoes, you won’t be sorry. Of course if thinking of moving here, just remember to keep your investment a safe distance away.
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