This is a great, 1.5 hour morning activity to start your day. The national park is located about 1 hour north of San Jose.

Poás Volcano was last active briefly in 2014, but most notably in 2009. It's one of the most active volcanos in Costa Rica. The main crater, Laguna Caliente, supports almost no aquatic life due to the incredibly high acidity.

There's a $10 entry fee into the park per person. About a quarter mile away from the parking lot lies the active Poás Volcano at 8800 feet above sea level. If you arrive before 9:30 am, you're almost guaranteed a beautiful view.

The morning we went was a wonderful mid-70 degree, clear day. We arrived at the park around 9:00 am and were pleased to see only a few other cars in the lot. The hike to the crater is 10-15 minutes of slight uphill walking; you can feel the oxygen depleting slowly, but it shouldn't be too difficult for anyone in decent shape.

We stayed at the crater outlook for about 15 minutes. It is windy, but we went in December, and it was very bearable in leggings and a light sweatshirt. The path through the forest continues to the next stop, a 20 minute hike to the very blue lagoon. The paths in the forest are cleared out well, but the footing can be a little tricky at times. Sneakers will suffice as far as footwear goes.

After 10 minutes at the lagoon, we headed back down to the parking lot, perhaps another 30 minute hike or so. There are steep inclines and declines on this portion of the path! It loops back around to the parking lot.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Layers
  • Water
Show More
RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic

Reviews

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Check Park Closure Status Before Planning!!

This is a nice hike, especially if you happen to go in a clear day (clear in the Central Valley doesn’t mean clear at top of Poas). However, CHECK THE PARK CLOSURE STATUS BEFORE GOING!! Recent volcanic activity and chemical gas emissions has recently caused the government to close the park for safety reasons—barring entrance to all visitors. So, hiking Poas has been banned since April 13, 2017.

Try to get in with Ticos

This a a great hike and scenic view if the clouds aren't blocking the crater. The entrance fee for anyone who is not Tico (Costa Rican) is about $15 but if you could go with some costa rican friends and have them drive up to the pay window while you sit in the back not looking suspicious they will charge you as a local (about $3). I know from experience, give it a try.

Awesome!

Saw the volcano just in time when we arrived, the clouds quickly came covering the opening as we left


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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