Poas Volcano in Alajuela – Costa Rica

Although an active stratovolcano, the Poas Volcano in Alajuela is a favored tourist destination in Costa Rica. Aside from the volcano, there are other attractions in the area.

Location and How to Get to This Specific Site

The volcano is at the national park named after it. It is 30 km (18 mi) northwest of San Jose. The journey may take an hour or more. From San Jose, go to the American Highway to Alajuela’s west. When you get to Calle 2, keep driving until you get to route 130. You will see the National Park sign.

What to See There

It is possible to take a look into the crater. From your location, the smell of sulfur will be apparent. You can also have guided tours around the volcano. If you took the TUASA bus, it will send you to the volcano’s top. The crater is a mile wide.

Besides the Poas Volcano in Alajuela, there are other attractions in the park. The Escalonia cloud forest trail stretches for 1 km. It is one of the best ways to see birds around the park. There is also a museum nearby which explains some basic facts about the volcano.


Since 1828, the volcano has exploded 39 times. The volcano was close to the epicenter of the 2008 earthquake that afflicted Cinchona, Vara Blanca and Fraijanes. In 2009, the volcano has shown frequent minor phreatic eruptions.

The northern active center is subject to some landslides. The explosion in the volcano results in the ejection of crater water. These resemble geysers.


The admission fee is $7. For students with IDs, it is $3. Some tours cost $70. The park opens at 8:00 am and closes at 3:30 pm.

Other Info

The park’s highest point is 8,900 feet (2,708 meters) close to Lake Botos. The crater’s main rim is lower by 160 feet (50 meters). The park’s visitor center has accommodations for the handicapped.

Nearby is a café where you can drink coffee and have some sandwiches. The hot drinks help keep you warm as temperatures can get very low. When you go to the volcano slopes, you will see that there are flower farms all around it.

The best time to visit the Poas Volcano in Alajuela is the morning. The ideal season is January to April. If you arrive late, the clouds will gather and make it hard to see the crater.