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Costa Rica

Explore Irazú Volcano National Park

0.4 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Caleb Adcock

Being on top of the tallest volcano in Costa Rica is about the same as being on top of the world

This place is a must see if you're spending time in Costa Rica. The easy access from different towns via public transportation is very affordable and worth your time and money! 

There are several different ways to reach this park, the main one being taking a bus from San Jose (the city of Cartago sits at the base of the volcano in the valley so if you are closer to there than San Jose, you can probably find a cheaper bus ticket). You can purchase a ticket for around $5 one-way, with the bus taking you all the way up to the parking lot on top of the volcano. On the way up, you are required to pay an entrance fee at the National Parks entrance that runs anywhere from $2 - $15 USD, depending on when you go (I was studying there so I was able to get a student discount by showing them my student ID). This price also varies on the time of year you go due to the influx of tourism in certain seasons (bring cash, I do not believe you could use a card to pay the park entrance fee). 

Once on top there is a small souvenir shop that sells snacks and small gifts, as well as a restroom facility. The main viewpoint is only about .2 mile walk on a very well maintained trail. There is lots of space at the lookout area so even if there are a lot of people, it won't feel too crowded. There are a few different side trails that you are able to take if you are looking for additional views but if you took the bus, there is usually around a 3-hour time slot before the bus heads back down the mountain (I found this was more than enough time to snap a few pics, sit down and have lunch and enjoy the view). If you drive yourself, you are able to stay as long as the park is open! 

This trip is something that can easily be done on your own, but there are guided tours available if you are wanting to pay a little more to experience a little more. These tours are offered by private companies and not provided by the National Park.

NOTES:

Bring a jacket!! I know this sounds weird - wearing a jacket in Costa Rica. But, being up at over 11,000ft. can get pretty chilly and there is usually some wind.

Pack a lunch! You can't beat making a PB&J on top of a volcano!

Talk to locals! They know anything and everything about this place and will probably be able to provide you with some solid information! 

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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