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Poas Volcano and National Park: Costa Rica’s Poas Volcano

Today was a great day in Costa Rica.
We spent some money to do it, but we got to the top of Poas Volcano (our second day attempting to see Poas).
On the way up the volcano, we got some very good advice from the driver of a tour minibus who had stopped his bus so tourists could take pictures of a natural sloth he spotted.
We stopped and took pictures of the sloth as well.
A wild sloth hanging from a tree
This Poas guide’s advice: if it’s rainy in the morning on the top of Volcano Poas (regardless of what the weather is doing elsewhere in the country), go to La Paz waterfall gardens or do zip lines first, and then go to the top of the volcano.
So we took his advice. (More on La Paz Waterfall Gardens in a bit.)
We got to the first crater of Poas at the right time for the sky to be clear and to see the whole crater ($10/person +$2/car for non-nationals).
Carrie and Jonathan and Poas Volcano
We learned some interesting factoids about Poas that I would like to share, just in case you want to come to Volcano Poas as well.

The water in the lake of Poas’ lower crater changes colors based on air temperatures, but water temperature stays somewhere around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the steam coming out of the vents is over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pretty crazy, huh?
And it doesn’t seem like it when you’re on top of the lookout, but the crater of Poas is almost a mile across (not around, but ACROSS).
Poas Volcano Crater
We also hiked further up Volcan Poas to see the lake at the top (in the second crater). It was beautiful and a really nice hike.
Very near the top, we saw the Poas green squirrel… Apparently the only place in the world that this squirrel exists is on Poas.
The Poas Green Squirrel
He doesn’t look as green in the picture as he did in real-life – part of this could be the camera we used.
We actually arrived at the second crater (at the top of the mountain) when it was foggy, so we were unable to see much at all.
The lagoon at the top of Volcano Poas
However, about a minute after we got there, Carrie suggested that we wait for a few minutes to see if it would clear.
The lagoon at the top of Volcano Poas
The fog began to lift, and we got a clear view of the entire lake for about 2 minutes, before the fog came back in and blocked the view.
The experience definitely gave the lagoon at the top of Poas a mystical air… like it heard Carrie’s willingness to wait, and because of this, it was willing to show the secret that it contained.
Carrie and Jonathan at the lagoon at the top of Volcano Poas
It was a bit like something out of a fairy tale that beckons you to come closer and explore its secrets (in a Fairy Godmother way, not in an Ursula-the-sea-witch kind of way).
Volcano Poas was actually our second stop of the day… Our first stop (because we were waiting out the morning rain and fog) was La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is close to Poas.

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