Turrialba Volcano National Park

Turrialaba Volcano National Park is located not far outside of San Jose in the Central Highlands of Costa Rica, on the eastern coast. Although it’s still an active volcano, the last major eruptions occurred in the 1860s. The park sprawls over nearly 4,000 acres of beautiful natural landscapes, excellent for viewing tropical flora and fauna.

Turrialaba is the second highest volcano in Costa Rica. From the summit, you can see the Carribean and the Atlantic Ocean as well as surrounding volcanoes, including Poas, Irazu and Barva. The main crater is still active and emits dangerous gases, but visitors can walk along the inactive craters to see the yiguirro, or clay-colored thrush, Costa Rica’s national bird. At the summit, the Rio Turrialba begins and flows towards a beautiful 100-meter waterfall.

Turrialba Volcano National Park, Costa RicaThe Turrialaba Volcano National Park is not as frequently visited as some of Costa Rica’s other parks, so there are fewer amenities. Visitors will find lots of walking trails with restrooms and picnic areas, but otherwise, organized activities are limited. Driving tours can be arranged, but you can also go alone if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Visitors should be careful if they leave the park’s main trails, as there are coyotes.

Visiting Turrialaba Volcano National Park is a chance to get away from the crowded cities and enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica. It’s a chance to bask in the sights and sounds of nature, to relax and breathe some fresh air. The best time to visit is during the dry season, in February and March, despite the cold. Bring a warm jacket, hat and gloves along with a good camera and a pair of binoculars so you can fully enjoy everything the park has to offer.

If you do visit during the rainy season, be sure to bring a waterproof jacket and/or an umbrella. A flash light isn’t a bad idea, either, particularly if you’re in the park later in the day. Before you make a trip to the park, check ahead to be sure it hasn’t been closed due to dangerous weather or volcanic activity.

From San Jose, you can take a bus directly to the park. Driving is also possible, and there are buses from Santa Cruz as well. There is an admission fee to enter the park.

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