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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

Want to peer into the crater of an active volcano? The easiest place to do it is Poas – in ash-spewing distance of the international airport and with a car park practically on its rim.

Though framed by trail-cut, fern-filled forest, the crater itself is moonlike – shallow, broad and desolate, but for brilliant-green and milky-grey lakes which occasionally steam or belch gas. The lookout platform hovers over the rim of the crater: there’s no lava – but with visits this close to the edge, most visitors are relieved rather than disappointed.


Price from: £10
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

You can drive most of the way up the mountain. A trail runs from the car park the final few hundred metres to the look-out spot.

Tours are easy to organise through San José or the hacienda hotels like Finca Rosa Blanca or Xandari which sit nearby in the Central Valley.

When to do it

The trail is accessible all year round. Come in the early morning – misty cloud covers usually covers the mountain before mid-day; and bring a jacket, as it can get cold when the cloud descends.

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