Rainforests, powdery beaches, white-water rivers and towering volcanoes: this relaxed Central American country offers exceptional wilderness adventures in stunning landscapes.
Travel bucket list idea:
Poas Volcano National Park, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
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.
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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