Costa Rica Top Experiences

Costa Rica in Eruption. The Volcanoes

Another experience you can' t miss in Costa Rica is to visit at least one of its VOLCANOes. Because Costa Rica is part of the volcanoic chain of Central America, a 1,500 km chain of VOLCANOes that stretches from Guatemala to Panama.

VOLCANO arenal


Among the most popular VOLCANOes although it is not accessible, we find the Arenal VOLCANO. Between 1968 and 2010 was throwing out lava and hot rocks and was the top destination for visits in Costa Rica. During those years, nocturnal fireworks and relaxing hot springs caused the tourism increase so badly. In the mid-2000s, dozens of hotels surrounded the Arenal VOLCANO.

Then, in 2010, the eruptions suddenly stopped. Arenal has become inactive, and is still inactive ever since. But the Arenal VOLCANO could come back to life at any time. Meanwhile, however, it remains an excellent destination. The huge VOLCANO, which rises above the nearby town of La Fortuna, still offers breathtaking views. And the area around the Arenal is full of outdoor adventures. There are waterfalls, swimming pools, hiking trails, whitewater rafting excursions, zip lines, and of course the popular hot springs. Arenal VOLCANO National Park is a good option to see the blackened remains of historic lava flows.

volcano poas


About an hour's drive from San Jose, we have the opportunity to see up close the Poas VOLCANO that rises above the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It has been almost a year closed to visitors from the last eruption in April 2017. Due to its proximity to San Jose, it is a much visited National Park and a morning excursion to admire the VOLCANO and its surroundings is a worthwhile activity.

The top of the VOLCANO is surrounded by cloud forest, but the main attraction is the giant crater of the VOLCANO, which measures 1,320 meters wide and 300 meters deep. The crater's arid lunar landscape contrasts with the exuberant vegetation that surrounds it.

It is often falsely claimed that Poas is one of the world's biggest volcanoic craters. What is certain is that Poás contains one of the most acidic crater lakes in the world. The lake rests on a column of magma cooled to about 500 meters deep. This, at the same time, rests on a camera of fused magma. Both the depth of the lake and its color vary due to rain and volcanoic conditions.

volcano irazu


Irazú is the highest VOLCANO in Costa Rica, with a height of 3,432 meters above mean sea level. Although the origin of the name Irazú is unknown, it is most likely derived from indigenous words meaning "earthquake" and "thunder".

Irazú National Park is located 14 km northeast of Cartago. About 27Km from the center of Cartago climbs 2,000 meters until the border of the VOLCANO. From the center of Cartago the journey takes about 45 minutes. On clear days, while driving through the Irazú VOLCANO, you will enjoy spectacular views of the valley below.

From the entrance to the park, a path leads to a viewpoint from where you can observe the depths of the water-filled crater, which measures 1,050 meters wide and 300 meters deep. On clear days it is possible to see both the Caribbean and the Pacific from the top of Irazú, but on most days the dense clouds begin to cover the VOLCANO at mid-morning, so it is recommended to visit this place early.

volcano turrialba


Turrialba is one of the least visited VOLCANOes in Costa Rica, despite its location only 10 kilometers from the Irazú VOLCANO. Turrialba rises to 3,340 meters (above mean sea level). Its slopes are surrounded by cool cloud forests and dairy farms, which produce the famous Turrialba cheese. If you are looking for a rustic mountain destination, with beautiful landscapes and no crowds, Turrialba is hard to overcome. From Cartago is a trip of approximately 1.5 hours.

The Turrialba Lodge is a working cattle farm with stunning views of the VOLCANO. This is the only hotel near the park that offers a variety of guided tours.

volcano rincon de la vieja


Rincón de la Vieja is another destination with bubbling mud pots, sulfurous hot springs and steam-filled wells with more than 40 km of trails that cross the southern half of the park, providing access to geological rarities, beautiful waterfalls and the crater of the Rincon de la Vieja VOLCANO that rises to 1,916 meters above mean sea level.

The most challenging trail in the park is the one that reaches the crater of the VOLCANO. It is 8 km of length, and it takes approximately eight hours round trip.

You can ask for this amazing experience for your Costa Rica trip. Just Contact us!

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Travel to Costa Rica with RUTAS

At Rutas Costa Rica, we try to include the best quality-price ratio to accommodate your trip and budget. Not only do we appreciate the proximity of the hotel as well as the flexibility and kindness of their staff, but also that the establishment can be a part of the total trip experience, either by the privileged location or by the particularity of your hosts.

On the other hand, private trips allow us to personalize our tours and choose our own routes. Because of this, we are not bound to fixed schedules so we can adjust them according to the preferences of each traveler.

Traveling in Costa Rica usually takes time as not all roads are asphalted and their maximum allowed speed is usually 80 km/h. From San Jose to Tortuguero, the trip can take about 5-6 hours between car and boat and the same amount of time is needed to go from Tortuguero to La Fortuna. The same is the case with traveling from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Limon in the Caribbean area of Costa Rica. It usually takes 4-5 hours if we are lucky and don’t find any accident or other problem on the road. We keep such factors in mind in order to make the most of the days and reduce the traveling time as much as possible. Sometimes, we use domestic flights as well as other private transport that allow us to organize the trip and stops just the way we want it.

When there is no choice than to spend a few more hours on the road, we try to make that time pass in the utmost comfort and privacy we can provide. For such journeys, we recommend that you be patient and don’t stop looking through the window as the magnificent green views of the Tico’s landscape might surprise you.

The relationship created with the guide in a private trip is much stronger and enriching than the guide in a group tour. In most of our trips, you will cross national parks, volcanoes, and rivers together with your guide, an expert eco-guide who will tell you many stories about the country.

Our trips include tickets to national parks as well as domestic flights with allowed luggage and international travel insurance.

We are absolutely sure that there is always a possibility to explore a country in another way, even if it is as popular and well-known as Costa Rica. To plan yours, you will need to tell us about your preferences, ideas, and your budget. We will adapt to these factors and design a personalized trip to Costa Rica that you will never forget. You will return home with the unforgettable memories of traveling the beautiful land of the Ticos and your stay there.

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