Irazu Volcano National Park, Province of Cartago

3.9
#1 of 21 in Parks in Province of Cartago
Visit Irazu Volcano National Park and drive to the top of Costa Rica’s tallest active volcano. The summit allows views of the volcano’s main crater, with views of the surrounding mountainous landscape. Visit the secondary crater, Diego de la Haya, to view its mineral-rich lake. The areas around the crater are barren, giving visitors the feeling of being in an alien landscape. With more than 2,023 hectares (5,000 acres) in the national park, it is home to montane forests and animal life including armadillos, owls, foxes, and a variety of birds. Using our custom trip planner, Cartago attractions like Irazu Volcano National Park can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Irazu Volcano National Park Reviews
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615 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Irazu's most recent crater has a turquoise-blue lake at the bottom with tortured looking rock all around. It's stark and very beautiful. It's so high that on a good day you can see both oceans, but th...  more »
  • The site is amazing to see on a clear day but be sure to bring a jacket since it gets very windy, and it can get very cold up there. I was only up there for about an hour, and I could not feel my ears...  more »
  • Weather is almost always wet at the top so we were not put off the visit. Drove ourselves from Alajuela in rented car - very easy with google maps. Reputed bad traffic in San Jose was not an issue as ...  more »
Google
  • Stunning landscape and beautiful drive. There's a principal crater at Irazu, as well as a desert-like area where vegetation is just now starting to take hold, after the last eruption in the early 1960s. If you appreciate geology at all, it is a must-see. Yes, it is "just a crater" as one reviewer noted, but how often do you get to see something like that? You cannot control the weather, so expect some clouds and hope for the best. Note that due to the sharp change in elevation, it is COLD up there, so dress accordingly. A fascinating part of a beautiful country.
  • We went on a rainy day. When we got there the attendant told us It May not be worth It because of the clouds. But maybe if we came back in one - two hours we may see It. So we went for an early lunch. It was a beautiful drive anyways. And sure enough the sun came out. But when we got back to the top the attendant again warned us there was not much to see. We went anyway. We were here! So we hung out in the gift shop for a few. There are bathrooms up here. And donned our ponchos and away we went. After beating the wind and hiding against a small ruin of a wall. The sun did give in and we got a glimpse. It was amazing. So glad we waited.
  • If you enjoy standing in a freezing cold cloud and not being able to see more than 10m in front of you then it's worth it... I took the earliest public bus at 8am, gets there at 10.15, $15 to get it in the park (a rip off), and the whole place is literally inside a cloud, could not see a thing. Spent about 15 mins wandering aimlessly, there's nothing else to see, and then forced to wait two hours in the ghastly little gift shop for the return bus to San Jose. The bus driver won't let you wait on the bus (for no obvious reason). I realise this review is more of a reflection on the weather and transport but I'm led to believe this is the situation people will experience for six months of the year if you go by public bus...
  • The road is well paved though windy, and the views are stunning. There is a cost of $15 which is well worth it, especially if this is going to the roads. They do not take credit card, so be ready with colons or dollars. After you enter, the road splits left to a higher elevation above the clouds. Go here first to get an overview. You might feel winded climbing the 1 flight of stairs of the structure with the overlook. My daughter had to use her inhaler. With too many clouds you won't be able to see much, but it is really quite an experience to be that high up. As the clouds cleared for us we were able to see the craters. Next, drive back and take the other road to the parking lot. We had a clear day around noon and saw the most breath-taking view in my life. You can walk along and in the "smaller" crater, which was a lot of fun for us. The gift shop is really nice with coffee for a small cost. Had we planned we would have brought a picnic. The bathrooms are super clean. And remember it gets cold up there, it was 51 degrees the day we went, plus some wind (while it was 80 in San Jose). Check the weather and try to plan to go on a less cloudy day so you can really enjoy the stunning views.
  • It's really easy to go to this National Park. There's a bus that leaves from San Jose everyday at 8:00 am and goes all the way to the top. Dry season is the best time to visit and enjoy the views of this amazing place.
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