On my way to San Jose, after a wonderful experience in Turrialba, I made a stop in Cartago, 12 miles southeast from San Jose, to visit the Irazu Volcano. A well-known spot for Costa Rica travel adventure tourists, it is a majestic volcano with over 11,000 feet high. My pals have told me about the best volcano tours in Costa Rica, and after the adventure in the Turrialba volcano I definitely couldn’t miss what the Irazu had to offer. I called my Costa Rica travel agency to get the information I needed.
The Irazu, as is known by the locals, is 20 miles north from the city of Cartago. Access is easy due to the paved, wavy street that goes up thru the volcano slopes. On the way to the top, there’s an amazing view of the valley, complete with rivers and other natural landmarks. There are multiple Costa Rica hotels and restaurants along the road, and the landscape is pintoresque as well, with dairy farms and crops on every side.
I finally made it to the volcano entrance. It is a national park, open since early in the morning till mid-afternoon. It is cold, with temperatures going down to 2 degrees C, around 34F. Fortunately, there’s a restaurant with very good and hot costarican coffee.
There are several craters on the top, and the most remarkable are the main crater, with over half a mile of diameter and 980 feet high; and the Diego de la Haya crater, with a green lake, the one that you will probably see in the postcards. This spot is perfect for a Costa Rica photography tour. If you are lucky enough to hike to the top in a clear day -as I was this time-, you can see both the Pacific ocean and the Atlantic Sea from there. Another awesome moment in my Costa Rica travel trip, given that the volcano is usually covered in clouds.
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