Poás Volcano National Park
Poas, Costa Rica
Poás Volcano National Park Poas Reviews
Expediciones Tropicales, Poas Volcano, Costa Rica Sep 20, 2016
Me and Sylvia are retired to low income. We are doing well, but have to travel economy and limit our international travel. Sylvia found reasonably priced airfare with a good downtown San Jose Hotel included In Costa Rica. We couldn't pass on this great once in a lifetime visit to a great place with good people. So we booked that deal four months in advance. We did some internet homework and found two weeks worth of great places to visit easy to see from San Jose; so our seven days in our once in a lifetime visit were valuable to us. I found the seven active steaming volcanoes in Costa Rica most interesting cuz the crater rims were accessible in at least two volcanoes, with the Poas having a large emerald toxic sulfur lake as my favorite.
After arriving in San Jose we booked immediately a few days in advance with Expediciones Tropicales for a four hour tour of Porque Nacional Volcan Poas. Poas Volcano was my main destination.
We had two good days in San Jose as I watched the rain forest mountains for rain or heavy fog. The days started out clear in the mountains in mornings, with clouds building up in the early afternoon and often mountains were socked in with clouds and rain. Poas was an hour drive NW of San Jose and our four hour 0800 tour would get us back to our hotel by 1200; what could go wrong?
Our day for the Poas Volcano arrived and we were ready. We had our continental breakfast and had a bag with water bottles and trail mix. We met our guide outside and got into the van buckled up and ready to go. The sky was clear. What luck!
After twenty minutes sitting in the van I got out and walked into the Hotel Dunn Inn and my guide was shooting BS with the employees. I asked him about our excursion and he lost all hospitality. He told me to get back into van (motor running with AC) and we will leave in just a few minutes. After almost twenty minutes back in van he arrived and we were leaving with clear sky above us. What could go wrong?
Then we stopped at another hotel in San Jose. Driver said just two more to pick up for full day tour (ours half day) and we leave. That turned into another thirty minute wait. Then the two riders and Driver returned and we were off on a nice clear day. Well, a number of BS stops and it was about 11:30 when we left San Jose with some clouds starting to form. (tic, tic, tic)
The ride up Poas was maybe ten miles or more with tourist shops and places to stop and shoot BS. It was past 14:00 when we got to the Poas parking lot with store, with heavy clouds rolling in. We went as fast as our old legs would take us and got to Crater Principal overlook in heavy fog. I put camera on zoom and pointed camera at crator and burned about thirty shots and only hit a few low quality shots. The clouds thickened and within a minute there was no more overlook. I talked to a man from USA and he told me the view fifteen minutes ago were magnificent.
Nothing to do but to follow the good paved (wheelchair accessible) walkway and return to the shop with good benches to sit on. The buses arrived and unloaded child groups with their supervisors to check out the volcano overlook. They were excited and making a lot of noise and having a good time. I approve cuz kids need to run and learn about nature.
Still waiting for Driver and the kids started to return. A young boy and a supervisor sat beside us on our bench. The boy fell and got two lacerations in his knee from a fall...and he had dirt in his wound. I asked the supervisor if I could clean his wounds with my bottled water. She declined so I took the shot of the wound that she did not like. What the heck, I am having a bad day. Time passed as we waited for Driver.
Finally Driver and other two riders returned and without talking we got in the van and left Poas Park. About halfway down the Poas Mountain we stopped at a tourist shop. On the side of the mountain they waited for a second van to separate us half day tours from the whole day tours. The second van arrived and they drove the whole day two on their tour. Driver told me that after changing vans on a tour, they were required by law to wait an hour before he can drive on to return us. I told him he was full of poop as he went into the tourist shop to shoot BS.
Finally after 16:00 we got back to our hotel in San Jose on our four hour tour. No only I lost my only shot at the Poas Volcano, but lost a valuable day in Costa Rica. Me and Sylvia got out on separate sides of the van. Driver walked over to me to get his tip and he got it! (LOL) Sorry TBs, but Texans don't cotton to people that take my money then jack me around. In the middle of downtown San Jose I told Driver loud and rude what I didn't like about him and his tour company.
TravBuddys, Our Costa Rica visit has a happy ending, in spite of that experience. Thanks to the good employees of the Hotel Dunn Inn giving us custom tours and good advise we had a wonderful five days in Costa Rica including the Irazu Volcano. I strongly recommend Costa Rica as a great friendly place to vacation.
Travbuddys this is May 2016 and for days the Turrialba Volcano has been erupting for days now in Costa Rica closing an international airport for a while.
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
A great learning experience! Apr 09, 2013
This is the second part of the Combo Tour we took in Costa Rica. After the visit to the Doka Coffee Estate our party of 13 with our guide and driver, continued to the Poas Volcano National Park. Again, the journey was mostly uphill along winding roads. I thought to myself at that time that I wouldn't want to do this on foot!
On the way we stopped at a store where we were offered free samples of the local wine and fresh strawberries. Although I am not much of a wine drinker I opted for it. It was quite good but didn't really slake my thirst as they were served in tiny cups! Anyhow, after the usual restroom visits we got back into our van and reached our next destination, the Poas National Park in less than an hour.
There were a lot of tour buses in the parking lot. Hernan our tour guide told us that we were free to explore the park by ourselves and told us to be back at the parking area by 12 noon. It was only around 10:30 then, so we figured that we had a lot of time to discover and explore. We headed straight for the trail that led to the volcano. It was a good ten minute walk but there were signs and directions everywhere so it was impossible for anybody to get lost.
Hernan had informed us earlier that we might not be able to see the crater of the volcano as a mist was already forming in the vicinity, but he half jokingly said he was praying for a "miracle" to let the clouds clear.
For your information, the Poas volcano is an active composite volcano with a height of 2708 meters or around 8885 feet. It emits a lot of sulfur gas, sometimes so much that we heard the park has to be closed to visitors from time to time. The volcano's last known eruption was in 2009 when it killed about 40 people in the Central Valley.
Whe we arrived at the viewing terrace there were already a lot of people with cameras and video recorders ready, looking down at the huge crater. The view point gave us a bird's eye view of the crater but unfortunately the miracles that our guide was praying for didn't happen, at least for the next 10 minutes or so. But lo and behold, the clouds lifted suddenly with the shift of the winds, and there were whoops of delight from the crowd combined with the clicking of cameras! Then, we could actually see almost all the edges and parts of the vast active crater.
We hung around there to take more pictures until it was time to leave. Some of the people in our group wanted to take the long way down via the Botos Trail where there is a cold water lake, naturally called Lake Botos which is actually in an inactive crater.
Near the parking lot (with ample parking space) there is an exhibit hall with a small musuem, and an auditorium where audio visual presentations are given on weekends. Upstairs is the Heliconia Nature Store run by a non-profit foundation, plus the pleasant Café Botos, serving hot/cold drinks and snacks. To sum it, this park is well maintained, but here again, the trip there was part of the Combo Tour we took which combined three tours in one.
Our next and final stop: Lunch and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
My first Volcano Trekk Aug 08, 2012
While the Volcano has a elevation of around 9,000 the actual climb is very easy. It is paved and pretty straight forward. One thing I noticed was that I was short of breath and quite dehydrated here. I noticed it on my way to the Poas Lodge but I really didn't think of it. Now though, it was more pronounced. Becuase of our adjustment through driving and staying a night the effects were not too bad though.
At the top of the path the view opened up to the crater. The actual crater surronds the opening at the top of the volcano where a thermo bath sits on top. I'm not sure I should call it a thermo bath because that sounds inviting. With temperatures anywhere from 160-210 degrees F I am pretty sure you would boil to death.
After some pictures and relaxing we head up the 2nd path to a large lagoon. Even with this path being shaded it was a bit more difficult. The climb was steeper and their were plenty of steps to hop. it also did not help that I was out of breath from the altitutde. When we finally reached the lagoon we were exhausted and had to take a break. The lagoon itself is very pretty but is above 120 degrees celcuis..not to mention it is acidic.
Thankfully the climb down is much easier and only takes about 20 minutes.
Part of the Costa Rica Summer 2012 travel blog