Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Arenal, Monteverde, and the Northern Lowlands Sights

Poás Volcano

  • From Alajuela, drive north through town and follow signs Map It
  • Volcán Poás National Park
  • Volcano
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 04/09/2014

Fodor's Review

The Northern Lowlands' Arenal Volcano gets all the press, but we nominate Poás, in the far northern Central Valley, as Costa Rica's coolest volcano experience. Arenal requires you to view it from afar, while Poás lets you peer right inside what is thought to be the largest active volcanic crater in the world. The ride up here is disarming: pleasant farms and lush green cloud forest line the volcano's slopes. Friendly fruit and jam vendors along the road beckon you to stop and sample their wares. Only when you get to the bubbling, gurgling, smoking summit do you leave that pastoral scene behind and stare into the crater.

The park is nearly always open, but officials monitor activity closely and close access to Poás's 2,708-meter (8,885-foot) summit at the slightest hint of anything irregular. Volcanic activity has increased, but remained at a steady level here since a series of eruptions in 2006. For your own health and well-being, step away for fresh air at least once every 10 minutes, lest you be overcome by the sulfur fumes. A good place to take that break is the park's bustling visitor center. With complete park information, a cafeteria, and a gift shop, it is one of the country's best.

Sight Information


From Alajuela, drive north through town and follow signs, Volcán Poás National Park, Costa Rica

Map It


/2482–2424; /192-national parks hotline in Costa Rica

Sight Details:

  • $10
  • Daily 8:30–3:30

Updated 04/09/2014


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Arenal, Monteverde, and the Northern Lowlands

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.