Irazu National Park – Home of the Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica

Irazu National park is one of 4 volcano parks located near Alajuela, Costa Rica. It is unique from the others because:

1) It is the highest of the 4.

2) It is the only place in Central America that you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean at one time.

As you can tell by the first picture, the view of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans was not going to occur this day!

irazu12

Clouds were rolling in and out all day

cell tower

The picture was taken here at the cell tower - the highest point at Irazu National Park

The area of Irazu is interesting. Looking straight at the main crater of the volcano, there are 3 lava areas that are in the process of being reclaimed with vegetation and animals.

There is one-off to the left, the highest of the 3.

Then there is the one to the right, and that is the lowest of the 3.

The 3rd, is off the path that the visitor takes to view the main crater, and the visitor may walk around in this area.

high lave

This ridge is made up of the lava that Irazu spewed the last eruption - I believe, 1963

second highest

This is the second highest, and you can see the vegetation growing and taking back the land

This is a panorama picture of the 3rd area, and you can see the trees and vegetation slowly taking back the land that was lost to it, the last time Irazu erupted.

lave area 3

This is a panoramic view - I'd say the area covers about a mile along the volcano rim

After hiking around the rim and up to the highest point at the Irazu National Park, I posed for a few photos of myself. I needed to just be still for a bit! (I know, lucky the camera didn’t break!)

photo sitting

The guy taking the picture wanted to include the craters lake, so I squeezed between the two railings - I look so comfortable, don't I?

standing pic

A much more comfortable pose - all the things I take on a hike - walking stick, camera, tripod and knapsack

So, now that you’ve seen me, lets look at the main crater at Irazu National Park!

irazu crater

This is the main crater at Irazu - alkaline, and the lake is uninhabited

irazu crater

A closer view of the lake and bottom of Irazu

The view of the crater area from atop the cell phone tower site.

Irazu full crater view

This is the full view of the Irazu crater

There is a whole ecological process in the volcano areas. What plants come in first, along with different types of birds and animals. It is Mother Nature’s way of keeping things turning in the world.

Depending on the area of the world the volcano is in, will decide the process that nature goes through to reclaim the land.

There was a sign in the tourist shop that stated there were wood carving birds in the area, but I never laid eyes on one. A very unique animal, if spotted!

Then there was the pinote, the unofficial greeter at the parking area. If you had something to feed it, he/she was your best friend!

wood carving birds

Saw a few birds, but never located one of these wood craving birds

pinote

I think he/she was the unofficial greeter at the parking area!

In all, a good park to visit. Ample hiking area, good views of the surrounding valley and mountains.

You must get up there in the early hours, as clouds usually move in during the latter morning/early afternoon hours!

If you’re interested in volcanos, just want to see one of the top 10 active volcanos in the world, or want a chance to see both the Atlantic Ocean and the pacific Ocean at one place – this is your place.

The last picture is the view of the valley one has to drive through to reach Irazu National Park.

cartago valley

The view of the valley that leads to Irazu National Park.

Cheers for now!

About John Wilson

Traveler, writer and photographer. No home now, just traveling the world in search of the lost chord.
This entry was posted in Costa Rica, the country, the people and pictures, Irazu National Park - Home of the Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Irazu National Park – Home of the Irazu Volcano, Costa Rica

  1. Looks amazing! Some great photos as well. The colour of that water is unreal!

  2. Interesting. Haven’t been to Irazu and didn’t know these things about it. I’d love to be able to see the Pacific and Atlantic at the same time!

  3. John Wilson says:

    Thanks for your comment Cathy,
    It means a lot to this ol’ traveler!
    Yeah, there are a lot of things in the world to learn, and this is just one of those little things that I picked up.
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
    Hope to see you again.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka The Big Mozey

  4. John Wilson says:

    Well, thanks you two!
    From experienced travelers like yourselves, the comment means a lot.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment, I do appreciate it.
    Hope to see you again!
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka The Big Mozey

  5. Hello John, looks like you have a fab time over there. The place looks really lovely and the ‘pinote’ looks quite adorable.

  6. John Wilson says:

    Thanks for stopping by David,
    I do appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment, too.
    Costa Rica is nice – lots to see and do.
    5% of the world’s bio-diversity here with only .03% of the earths land mass.
    Hope to see you again, soon.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka The Big Mozey

  7. Gorgeous photo of the lake!

  8. The lake reminded me of the Kimberly Hole in South Africa.

  9. Your photos are beautiful and the lake, what a lively green!

  10. John Wilson says:

    Thanks for visiting Ben,
    I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!
    Maybe next year I’ll get a chance to see Kimberly Hole and compare!
    Don’t be a stranger, hope to see you again soon.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka – The Big Mozey

  11. John Wilson says:

    Thanks inside Journeys for stopping by.
    I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.
    Yes, the green of the lake is pretty amazing. It is caused by the gasses leaking out of Irazu.
    Don’t be a stranger, hope to see you again soon!
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka The Big Mozey

  12. Wow – nice photos! We especially love the first picture of the clouds rolling in! What an amazing sight!

  13. John Wilson says:

    Thanks Jeremy and Shirlene,
    I appreciate the compliment from experienced travelers like your selves.
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and take a look.
    Don’t be strangers – hope to see you again soon!
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka – The Big Mozey

  14. Beautiful views, I’d like to go there sometime.

  15. I am so jealous. When I went to Irazu, the clouds were really low and I wasn’t able to see the crater. Not the greatest feeling. Thanks for sharing you pictures. It makes me want to go back to see if this time I can see something.

  16. John Wilson says:

    Thanks Scott,
    What the mind can believe, the person can achieve!
    All depends on the priorities, Scott.
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I do appreciate you taking the time to post a comment.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka The Big Mozey

  17. John Wilson says:

    Hi Ruth,
    I can relate. I went to see Paos, which is supposed to be more active, but all I could see were white clouds – no view of the bottom of the crater.
    Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at my post, I do appreciate it.
    It is terrific that you took the time to leave a comment.
    Hope to see you again soon.
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson
    aka The Big Mozey

  18. eva hamori says:

    Those pictures are very cool! I love the green of the lake. Stunning.

  19. John Wilson says:

    Hi Eva,
    Thanks for taking a look and leaving a comment.
    I know from reading your blog, you are one busy lady!
    Thanks for the compliment on my pictures, I really do appreciate it.
    Hope to see you again soon!
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson

  20. Look at you in shorts! Whenever Julio and I visit Irazu we have to wear long pants, hiking boots, winter socks, long sleeve shirts, winter coats, scarves, gloves, and winter hats! I have a Russian fur hat that does the trick. Living in Costa Rica has ruined me, I’m never going to be able to tolerate the cold again!!!!

    Nice post about Irazu. Excellent tip about going early – it’s true – get there b4 the clouds do!

  21. John Wilson says:

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Erin.
    Yupper, it was a bit on the cool side, but with hiking, was ideal weather for the shorts – if I would have had long pants on, would have sweated a lot!
    Hope to see you again soon!
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson aka The Big Mozey

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