The most accessible volcano in Costa Rica is Poas Volcano, which can be planned as a day trip from San Jose or a stop on the way to another destination. Visitors can drive up to the station and walk 5 minutes to the observation platform. You should plan to arrive prior to 9 AM as the crater usually clouds over after that.
Irazu Volcano is also easily accessible. Visitors can drive up to the crater and walk 2 – 3 minutes to the crater observation point. This volcano usually clouds over by 10 AM, so you should prepare to arrive early.
Turrialba Volcano used to be easily accessible with a 4x4. In the past, you could drive up to the top and walk a few minutes to the observation point overlooking the crater. However, this has recently been closed to visitors due to unpredictable volcanic activity.
While you cannot drive or hike up to the crater of Arenal Volcano, you can view the volcano from the entire surrounding area when it is not cloudy. There are several trails at the base of the volcano which allow you to hike to the closest safe observation point.
Visitors can hike the extinct volcano, Cerro Chato, which is located next to Arenal Volcano. This is a steep and muddy hike, which is best done with a guide. This hike can be done in a half day.
Visitors used to be able to hike to the crater of Rincon de la Vieja. However, this has recently been closed due to the unpredictable activity of the volcano. Visitors to Rincon de la Volcano National Park can still enter the Las Pailas section of the park which shows plenty of volcanic activity including has hot springs, fumaroles and boiling mud pits.
Miravalles Volcano is another option to see volcanic activity such as hot springs, volcanic mud pits and fumaroles.
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