Irazu Volcano National Park

Irazu Volcano National Park 

Thirty miles east of San Jose and 11,000 feet above sea level you may have seen the bright greenish yellow waters of Diego de la Haya crater lake as you flew into the International Airport.  The crater lake is a part of Irazu Volcano National Park and Irazu is the highest in Costa Rica perching itself 3,432 meters above sea level.  Considered the most active volcano in the country, Irazu last erupted in 1963-1965 which left the vegetation on the east side of the volcano devastated.

There was a reforestation project going on in that area which has made immense progress over the last few years, but remains a slow at bringing back the trees that once covered the ridge.  The lake keeps the same greenish yellow color all year long as the rainfall flows over the mineral rich walls and into the lake. You get a view of the depth of the crater from a viewing platform well above the perimeter.  To the southwest of the volcano the Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno Recreation Area is a great stop close to the park as hiking trails and camping is available.  There is a visitor center with a small cafe at the viewing platform inside the park, but no camping or accommodations are currently offered.

Area       Approx. 6,000 acres
Max. Elevation       11,260' above sea level
Temperature       40ºF annual average
Precipitation       80 inches annual average
Location       Central Valley Region - Cartago Province
Created       9 August, 1955

National Reserves and Refuges around Irazu National Park include Central Volcanic Forest Reserve, Guayabo and Guayabo National Monument.

Photo: By Ejimenezs (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons