VOLCAN IRAZU NATIONAL PARK
The Volcán Irazú National Park is located in the Central Volcanic Range, 31 km northeast of the Cartago city. It was created as a Park by the Article No. 6 of the Organic Law No. 1917 of the ICT on July 30, 1955. The National Park Service manages the park since 1970. Its area is 2.309 hectares.
The Irazú is an active volcano with a long history of violent eruptions and eruptive cycles. It is an area of great hydrological importance. It arise several rivers that feed the river basins of the Chirripo River, Reventazon River, Sarapiquí River y Grande de Tárcoles River.
The origin of its name from an indian village that existed in the slopes of the volcano called Iztarú, word which for them meant the tremor and thunder hill. However, through the years, as product of oral communication, its name was change to Irazú. It is one of the most visited areas, both domestic and international tourism.
The Irazú is a stratovolcan (distinct layers of volcanic material) of 3.432 meters high, subconical irregular shape, strombolian characteristics (with violent eruptions) and five distinct craters. The most important by its recent activities is the Main cráter, almost circular and very steep walls. It measures 1050 meters in diameter and 300 meters deep. The Diego de La Haya crater measures 600 meters in diameter and 100 meters deep. Other craters are Playa Hermosa, la Laguna y el Piroclástico.
The flora in the highest part is characteristic of the subalpine rain paramo, area of life that takes place at altitudes above 3.300 meters to 4.000 meters over the sea level, typical of the Andean regions. Note that this is the only place in the Central Volcanic Range, which has this type of life zone, with species such as the myrtle and the arracachillo.
There are also, almost pure forests of oak, hard bark tree, abundant in the atlantic sector of the volcano. There are patches of primary vegetation, including the montane rainforest in on the borders of the rivers, northeast sector of the main cráter, with species such as black oak, alder, sage, matagente, parrot, shallot, candelillo, lengua de vaca y sombrilla de pobre. Among the birds highlight species such as junco volcanero, the acorn woodpecker, the yigüirro, the goldfinch, the brown owl, the red climber, the zacatera, the pitorreal and several species of hummingbirds. Some mammals can be seen such as the wild rabbit, the coyote, the armadillo, the porcupine, weasel, caucel and red squirrel.
Park facilities and hours
There is a ranger station 2 km (1.25 miles) below the summit, which has a restaurant with restrooms, gift shop at the top of the parking lot, a picnic area iwth tables and a mobile cafeteria, and a visitor center. Two roads lead from the parking lot to the summit.
The parks hour are 8am to 4pm
Our reception desk will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about these or other tours. Tours can be booked through our receptionists prior to or during your trip.
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