Irazu Volcano National Park - Must visit place around San Jose & Cartago cities of Costa Rica

If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica.

If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica. 


So let's start with ways to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago cities of Costa Rica. There are multiple ways you can do it.   1 -  The best way to commute in Costa Rica can be renting a car and driving around. Be cautious about knowing all terms and conditions along with kind of insurances you need to buy while renting a car. There are many horror stories on web and I have heard them first hand, so be watchful. It's important to ask all right questions before closing car-rent option in Costa Rica. Along with that, it also depends how much you want to commute in the country. So it's all about what kind of travel you like. I know lot of travellers what to have control on where to stop, how much to drive a stretch etc. Renting a car is certainly first option for those guys.

So let's start with ways to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago cities of Costa Rica. There are multiple ways you can do it. 

1 -  The best way to commute in Costa Rica can be renting a car and driving around. Be cautious about knowing all terms and conditions along with kind of insurances you need to buy while renting a car. There are many horror stories on web and I have heard them first hand, so be watchful. It's important to ask all right questions before closing car-rent option in Costa Rica. Along with that, it also depends how much you want to commute in the country. So it's all about what kind of travel you like. I know lot of travellers what to have control on where to stop, how much to drive a stretch etc. Renting a car is certainly first option for those guys. 

2 -  Going to Irazu Volcano by bus : It's little challenging to figure out right information about buses in Costa Rica, especially if you don't know Spanish. More details about bus can be checked here which is provided by people who took the bus - https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g309230-d309752-r362898133-Irazu_Volcano_National_Park-Province_of_Cartago.html . Going through this it sounds like a decent option and much cheaper than other options. Let me add few details to make it a solid case for opting this bus over half-day or full-day tours. Most of the times this region has half-day without rain as rains start after 2pm. That makes it hard to roam around. And looking at other options around these cities, it should be ok to only explore Irazu Volcano in one day.

2 -  Going to Irazu Volcano by bus : It's little challenging to figure out right information about buses in Costa Rica, especially if you don't know Spanish. More details about bus can be checked here which is provided by people who took the bus - https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g309230-d309752-r362898133-Irazu_Volcano_National_Park-Province_of_Cartago.html . Going through this it sounds like a decent option and much cheaper than other options. Let me add few details to make it a solid case for opting this bus over half-day or full-day tours. Most of the times this region has half-day without rain as rains start after 2pm. That makes it hard to roam around. And looking at other options around these cities, it should be ok to only explore Irazu Volcano in one day. 

3 - Take Half-day or full-day tour : There are lot tours available online and they also offer pick-up/drop from/to your hotel. These tour are combined by other places like Cartago Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, Lankester Botanical Garden, Hacienda Orosi etc. At times, due to seasonality some of these places are not covered as part of the tour. We recommend visiting some shop for booking such tour, because they would give you all details about what's covered and what not. Accordingly you can negotiate the price and you certainly get discounts. We opted for this one and we could get a deal for $95 per person instead of $130. Another person who had booked online was paying 130 Euros and had no clue that some of the mentioned places will not be covered as they were closed. So be aware what you are choosing and I always recommend using Incogneto mode of Chrome browser to do research for your travel & bookings.

3 - Take Half-day or full-day tour : There are lot tours available online and they also offer pick-up/drop from/to your hotel. These tour are combined by other places like Cartago Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, Lankester Botanical Garden, Hacienda Orosi etc. At times, due to seasonality some of these places are not covered as part of the tour. We recommend visiting some shop for booking such tour, because they would give you all details about what's covered and what not. Accordingly you can negotiate the price and you certainly get discounts. We opted for this one and we could get a deal for $95 per person instead of $130. Another person who had booked online was paying 130 Euros and had no clue that some of the mentioned places will not be covered as they were closed. So be aware what you are choosing and I always recommend using Incogneto mode of Chrome browser to do research for your travel & bookings. 

4 -  Booking a Taxi : This may also be a viable option instead of tour if you are a big group. During one of the days in Costa Rica, we shared a guided taxi with a German traveler. 3 of us paid 45 each for a guided drive from San Jose to Jaco Beach and nearby areas. It was completely worth looking at the pricing model of Costa Rican transportation system. (On side note - there is direct public bus available from San Jose to Jaco for $5, so that's certainly much cheaper)

4 -  Booking a Taxi : This may also be a viable option instead of tour if you are a big group. During one of the days in Costa Rica, we shared a guided taxi with a German traveler. 3 of us paid 45 each for a guided drive from San Jose to Jaco Beach and nearby areas. It was completely worth looking at the pricing model of Costa Rican transportation system. (On side note - there is direct public bus available from San Jose to Jaco for $5, so that's certainly much cheaper)

There is entry ticket for Irazu Volcano for $15 per person and that's covered in your guided tour. Make sure you confirm it. One of the common principles is that you always confirm the price before you subscribe to a service or buy something.

There is entry ticket for Irazu Volcano for $15 per person and that's covered in your guided tour. Make sure you confirm it. One of the common principles is that you always confirm the price before you subscribe to a service or buy something. 

Our trip started at 7:30am from hotel. After we got picked up from our hotel in San Jose, we headed to Irazu Volcano National Park in a car. Apart from me and Vibha, there was only one person with us on the tour.

Our trip started at 7:30am from hotel. After we got picked up from our hotel in San Jose, we headed to Irazu Volcano National Park in a car. Apart from me and Vibha, there was only one person with us on the tour. 

We crossed some crazy traffic in San Jose town and beyond that it was a nice drive through green landscapes, hills and agricultural lands. The drive from San Jose took about 2 hours and we got to see some beautiful views on the way up to the national park. The weather was awesome. Clouds were playing hide and seek with us and some of the photographs in this post show that cloud play.

We crossed some crazy traffic in San Jose town and beyond that it was a nice drive through green landscapes, hills and agricultural lands. The drive from San Jose took about 2 hours and we got to see some beautiful views on the way up to the national park. The weather was awesome. Clouds were playing hide and seek with us and some of the photographs in this post show that cloud play. 

After reaching the Irazu Volcano National Park, we stopped at the highest view point in the national park from where different craters of the Volcano could be seen. People walking around the crater were looking like tiny dots.

After reaching the Irazu Volcano National Park, we stopped at the highest view point in the national park from where different craters of the Volcano could be seen. People walking around the crater were looking like tiny dots. 

After some stunning views from the top, it was time to drive down and look at the craters from nearby areas. As you go closer to the craters, there is a dedicated area for parking vehicles surrounded by a cafe and washrooms. Beyond this point you can walk down and go closer to the craters of Irazu Volcano.

After some stunning views from the top, it was time to drive down and look at the craters from nearby areas. As you go closer to the craters, there is a dedicated area for parking vehicles surrounded by a cafe and washrooms. Beyond this point you can walk down and go closer to the craters of Irazu Volcano. 

As we went closer to the biggest crater, we noticed few very interesting things : Dedicated view-points for awesome views of craters full of colourful water surrounded by huge mountains. Huge open ground where lot of groups were having fun by playing games or arranging picnic kind of setups. On other side, there is a dense forest which has some smaller treks to connect back to main road.  If interested, you can chase and watch some very interesting birds around this place.  Weather changes pretty fast here, so it's recommended to carry some sort of rain-coat or poncho.

As we went closer to the biggest crater, we noticed few very interesting things :
  1. Dedicated view-points for awesome views of craters full of colourful water surrounded by huge mountains.
  2. Huge open ground where lot of groups were having fun by playing games or arranging picnic kind of setups.
  3. On other side, there is a dense forest which has some smaller treks to connect back to main road. 
  4. If interested, you can chase and watch some very interesting birds around this place. 
  5. Weather changes pretty fast here, so it's recommended to carry some sort of rain-coat or poncho. 
The Irazu Volcano is in Costa Rica, situated in the Cordillera Central close to the city of Cartago. The name could come from either the combination of "ara" (point) and "tzu" (thunder) or a corruption of Iztarú, which was the name of an indigenous village on the flanks of the volcano. In Costa Rica it is known by the name of 'El Coloso' due to the catastrophes that it has provoked in the past.

The Irazu Volcano is in Costa Rica, situated in the Cordillera Central close to the city of Cartago. The name could come from either the combination of "ara" (point) and "tzu" (thunder) or a corruption of Iztarú, which was the name of an indigenous village on the flanks of the volcano. In Costa Rica it is known by the name of 'El Coloso' due to the catastrophes that it has provoked in the past.

The volcano's summit has several craters, one of which contains Diego de la Haya, a green crater lake of variable depth. The Irazú Volcano is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica.

The volcano's summit has several craters, one of which contains Diego de la Haya, a green crater lake of variable depth. The Irazú Volcano is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica.

From the top it is possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day. However, such clear days are rare, and the volcano's summit is usually cloud-covered.

From the top it is possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day. However, such clear days are rare, and the volcano's summit is usually cloud-covered.

After walking around Irazu Volcano National Park for a while we also thought of doing some trekking but our co-pessenger was in a hurry to head towards Cartago to see the Basilica. We had to drop that plan though we managed to see and capture some interesting birds of Costa Rica.

After walking around Irazu Volcano National Park for a while we also thought of doing some trekking but our co-pessenger was in a hurry to head towards Cartago to see the Basilica. We had to drop that plan though we managed to see and capture some interesting birds of Costa Rica. 

We had fun walking around Irazu Volcano National Park and recommend this place if you are visiting San Jose or Cartago and have time to explore places around these cities of Costa Rica.

We had fun walking around Irazu Volcano National Park and recommend this place if you are visiting San Jose or Cartago and have time to explore places around these cities of Costa Rica. 





If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica.

If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica.

If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica.

If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica.

If you start searching for main places to visit and explore around San Jose City of Costa Rica, some of the volcanos will show up in the list and Irazu photographs are usually exciting. I can claim that certainly this is a beautiful place to visit from the capital city of Costa Rica. This is not an active Volcano, but it has huge craters around Irazu hills. This blog-post takes you through some of the details around how to reach Irazu Volcano from San Jose or Cartago, what all to do around Irazu Volcano, entry ticket to the Volcano area and some bonus tips about making this visit even special by some touch or trek into the wild for enjoying nature and colourful birds of Costa Rica.

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