Irazu Volcano

Irazu's explosive past explored

Irazu Volcano

I am a nerd when it comes to nature and some of the awe-inspiring things this planet has shown me.  Costa Rica is a country that has many exciting and adventurous things to explore.  The trip started out with a visit to a volcano.  I had intended on visiting the Poas volcano, except it was sort-of erupting and venting some nasty gasses.  Of course I didn’t find this out until I got to the entrance… #fail.  The next stop was the neighboring active volcano named Irazu.

National Park

Irazu, like Poas is an active volcano standing 11,260 ft (3,432m) above sea level and the summit is typically shrouded in clouds and dense fog.  It is a popular spot to visit year round and even better when you can see more than a few meters ahead of you.

I began the 2 hour trip up the mountain with my GPS, fully charged camera and shorts.  With each turn, the mountain yielded views of thick cloud cover and dense fog – ingredients that don’t make for great pictures.  No more than 15 minutes after arriving at the summit, the cloud cover broke and gave way to a cold and sunny day.

NOTE: San Jose was 86 degrees (30C) and the summit was 51 degrees (10C) and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Not my smartest moment.

Safety at Irazu

Irazu is a part of Costa Rica’s national parks, but it is important to remember that Irazu is an ACTIVE volcano. When you arrive, they make you back in your car for quick escapes should the volcano awaken from its (temporary) sleep. There were many railings, sidewalks and signs which had scars from falling debris during past eruptions.

In every direction, the views were amazing and humbling.  The ability to stand on the edge of something so powerful and destructive really gives you a sense of how significant this planet is and how insignificant humans actually are.  Irazu last erupted in 1994 and has been relatively quiet since.

 

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