Volcanoes of Costa Rica
There's more than rainforests in Costa Rica. Over 200 volcanic formations have been identified in Costa Rica. Some of them date back over 65 million years, although several are quite young, formed within the last 2 million years. Most are dormant, but five are still considered active.
Volcanic soil is rich in minerals and nutrients. This natural fertility and is one key reason Costa Rica harbors such lush landscapes, dense forest and vibrant rivers, towering mountains and spilling blue waterfalls. The combination captivates visitors and scientists and hosts a plethora of outdoor activities, including white water rafting, bungee jumping, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, zip lines and exploration.
Volcanoes also call hikers up their slopes to see crater lakes of astonishing color!
Why so many volcanoes? Costa Rica is held within the Pacific Ring of Fire, a multi-national coastal area that holds 452 volcanoes, about 75% of the world total. The Ring of Fire's topography is the result of shifting tectonic plates and is associated with a series of ocean trenches, and also earthquakes.
Hike a volcano. Or just look at one. There are many volcanoes worth seeing while you are in Costa Rica. However, six are truly notable and have inspired namesake National Parks. They are top tourist attractions.
COSTA RICA'S MOST FAMOUS VOLCANOES
Listed in order of summit elevation with links to detailed pages about these special travel destinations.
Irazú Volcano 11,260 ft (3432 m)
above photo courtesy of