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Costa Rica: Irazú Volcano

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Irazú Volcano | Costa Rica | Americas

[Visited: April 2000]

Wherever you go in South America, volcanoes abound. From Mexico to Chile, the mountain range of pre-Andes and Andes contains a fairly high number of volcanoes. Many of those are active, and many can be climbed. In some cases, this requires a trek of several days. In the case of Iraz, however, it is possible to directly drive up the mountain. This certainly takes away the satisfaction one can feel when climbing a volcano himself and then enjoying the view up on the top, for once it was more convenient and practical to just go up by car. A nice Costa Rican who had offered us to drive us up early Sunday morning came along. And we were lucky, because the clouds had not come in yet and we could admire the strange colours of the crater lake.

Picture of Irazú Volcano (Costa Rica): Irazú volcano: crater lake

Obviously, these colours are formed by chemical reaction of volcanic materials which come from below. When you see the lake, it all looks so innocent and beautiful, but at the same time it is clear that all this spectacular scenery was created by a violent eruption (last one in 1963).

Picture of Irazú Volcano (Costa Rica): Irazú volcano: crater lake

Although the weather was quite clear, it was still not clear enough to enjoy a view of the Caribbean, which supposedly is possible on some particularly cloudless days. Still, we marvelled at the growth of small bushes at this height (nearly 3,500 metres). And then, when we went to a higher point from which we would have an even better view of the surroundings, clouds closed the curtain and the view was at once almost completely gone. Time to go.

Picture of Irazú Volcano (Costa Rica): Irazú volcano: crater lake and clouds

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