POAS VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK
Poas Volcano National Park is on the Central Volcanic Range, 37 miles north of the city of Alajuela. It was established on January 25, 1971 by Law No. 4714. Its area is 5.600 hectares. The Poas Volcano is one of the most spectacular volcanoes in the country and has an extraordinary beauty. It has several types of habitats such as scrub forest, areas without vegetation and the cloud forest. In the latter type of forest, abundant epiphytes such as mosses, ferns, bromeliads and orchids that grow on the tree trunks. The Poas Volcano has a history of eruptions which highlights that of 1910, that consisted of a huge cloud of ash that rose to about 8.000 meters.
The Poas Volcano is one of the most important natural attractions for national and international tourism. It is one of the areas of the system that receives more visitors. The Poas Volcano is a basaltic composite that rises to 2.708 meters high. Since 1989 has greatly increased the gas emissions, causing acid rain phenomena that have damaged the flora in some areas of the park and plantations surrounding the area.
At the top there are two crates. The main of 1.5Km of diameter and 300 deep, that presents in its bottom a circular hot lake of about 350 meter of diameter and a cinder cone or domic structure that rises about 40 meters over the lake and has very active fumaroles. The second crater is home to Lake Botos, which is compound of cold water and clearly of rain origin, which empties to the Caribbean by the river Angel, a tributary of the River Sarapiquí. Currently the volcano emits a lot of gases and water vapor from the different fumaroles located in its inner cone of the crater.
In the cloud forest that is very moist and dense, most of the trees, such as the oak, the cedrillo, orange blossom bush, el papayillo and the white cypress reach a height of 20 meters and are covered with moss, epiphytes and other plants. On the slopes of the Caribbean, the forests are higher, have high humidity, rich in palms, tree ferns and epiphytes. In other areas of the park where the gas emissions and the ancient eruptions destroyed the primary vegetation, grows species that have adapted such as the helecho de lengua, myrtle, orange blossom bush, the papayillo, the cipresillo and the tucuico. They have identified 79 bird species, including the escarchero, quetzal, the reinita garganta de fuego, the black kettle, the tucancillo verde and several species of hummingbirds. The mammals are not abundant in the highlands of the park, even though there are coyotes, weasels, rabbits, skunks and some cats.
Park facilities and hours
The visitor center is open from 8am to 4 pm. It has a cafeteria, souvenir shop, and auditorium. An auto guided trail system winds through the cloud forest to Botos Lake.
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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