Poas Volcano National Park is one of the most visited national parks in Costa Rica for several reasons: it has one of the biggest geyser craters in the world, a well designed infrastructure that has everything a tourist needs and a great administration that works to keep everything and everyone safe.
One of the reasons visitors love this national park is that it’s an easy hike to the crater and lake, it’s not very far from San Jose (it’s one of the best day trips from the city) and people like to see if they’re able to get a full view of the crater since it is up in the cloud forest.
This was the first national park I went to in Costa Rica and even though it is a bit small, I was enthralled by the view, the nature and the scenery.
Thinking about visiting Poas Volcano National Park? Here’s all you need to know about visiting!
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Poas Volcano National Park
Around the Park
In order to visit the crater, there is a paved road you can walk on to get to the lookout spot. We went at the end of last August and all the times I have been there before, it has always been very cloudy and hard to see the crater.
So when I took Sammi there, I wasn’t expecting to see much more but we were given a nice surprise. It was actually not that cloudy that day and the crater was as clear as it could be.
If you want to hike a little more you can walk to the Botos Lake which takes around 1 hour for the whole loop but it is worth it. You will see the flora and fauna from the park (the park shelters 79 different kind of birds) and the lake is equally as beautiful.
The weather in park is colder since you are high up in elevation. It doesn’t get very hot even in dry season so the air always feels fresh.
Although we went in rainy season, it was perfect weather – cool, and not rainy/cloudy. Most people visit during dry season (Nov/Dec-April) but it is not always guaranteed that you will get a clear view of the crater.
How to Get to Poas Volcano National Park
If you rent a car, it’s fairly easy once you are in Alajuela because you will see signs that will guide you to the park. The drive to the park is very nice, you will have a great view from the central valley, pastures, local stores that sell strawberries and souvenirs. (For car renters, we have a 10% and more discount off car rental for you!)
We really enjoy driving there because the views up to the national park are just stunning.
Don’t forget to try some of the strawberries the locals sell along the way! They are some of the juiciest strawberries we’ve ever had and that region is famous for them.
If you’re on a budget, you can take the public bus. There is just 1 bus that departs daily from “Parque de la Merced” in San José at 8 am and the same bus passes by Alajuela around 9 am.
The same bus will leave the park at 2:30 pm. Park hours are from 8 AM to 3:30 PM so make sure you plan accordingly if you are taking the bus.
What to bring to the park
We recommend you to bring a sweater or a jacket as it is a little chilly, comfortable closed shoes, and food if you like. There are some picnic areas you can rest and have lunch at as well as a restaurant.
If you are coming in rainy season, make sure to bring a waterproof backpack or protection for your electronics. Also make sure to bring a waterproof rain jacket like this one since it is likely to rain or at least sprinkle during those months.
The walk around the volcano and the lake are really lovely and it’s a great way to get introduced to the nature of Costa Rica!
Read about other national parks here!
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