Paos Volcano and Waterfall

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
1
8
22
Trip End ??? ??, 2009


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Alajuela,
Saturday, August 23, 2008

On Saturday at 8am Naomi and myself were picked up at the house by one of Naomi's colleagues from work, Jose and his wife Marie. Jose and Marie invited us to join them on their day trip to Poas National Reserve which is 22 miles north of San Jose.

Heading out of San Jose we started to ascend the mountainous terrain of the park itself. On most of the ascents in Costa Rica you will find coffee plantations (what with being Costa Rica's biggest export) and on our journey up to the park this was no exception. We stopped for a delightful cup of cappuccino (for which I have taken many of the past couple of weeks since arriving) and took in the sights of the valley below and the distant metropolis hat is San Jose.

The park itself stands at 2,708 meters with its main focus being the vast crater of Poas Volcano (1,320 metres) with its wide sloping sides descending for 300 metres. The world's largest geyser-type crater, it has a rim measuring 1 mile in circumference. Currently filled with a simmering turquoise lake, the crater drys out in more active periods sprinkling the landscape with sulphur, which is staggering but unfortunately gives off an odour of rotten egg as those of you that have been to Roturua in New Zealand or any other active volcanic area can confer.
It was a beautiful sunny morning so we hoped that we would be able to have some good views at the top and as you can see from the photos we were very lucky.

After leaving the main crater we then ascended up a 1km trail which left us all quite breathless to the the National Park's second crater (see photos) which as you can see was less active but again very beautiful. 

From leaving the park our intention was to head to La Paz Waterfall Gardens however as we neared the entrance the heavens opened. As we were not suitability dressed for the occasion we all decided that we could live without the 2 mile grueling trek through the forests.....well this plus the $30 per person price tag. On the drive down to our lunch we did stumble across one of the waterfalls (as you can see on one of the photos) and for me this was a far dryer, cheaper and better option than the aforementioned. 

We stopped off for dinner at Jose and Marie's favourite restaurant in the close vicinity of the park. It was a beautiful restaurant set in stunning gardens and great views. The food was plentiful and very received - especially in light of a slightly dodgy tum first thing in the morning. 


  
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