Volcán Irazú, Costa Rica – The vanished acid lake

Irazú volcano lost much of its attractiveness during the last years. We admit it disappointed us a bit, compared to our last visit many years ago. It was famous for its large, deep and bilious green crater lake. The eerie effect of the horrid colour was intensified by the clouds of steam stinking like sulphur that made us believe to stand in front of hell’s gate. Today the acidic lake disappeared but a puddle, nearly not to be spotted from the view point. The stretch of water was completely dried out for a while but refilled a bit. A possible explanation for this phenomenon is the increased activity of the twin volcano Turrialba.

Irazú is with 3.432 m Costa Rica’s highest volcano. On clear days (quite rare) Pacific and Atlantic can be seen from here. Clouds move in very early, sometimes 9 a.m., but the national park only opens at eight. The park road nearly touches the edge of the crater. The loop walk to the view point and back over a cold lava ash field takes around 30 min. Another road leads to the highest point of the mountain. Entrance fee is 10 $, camping is not allowed. It is chilly and windy up here, appropriate clothes are recommended. Right in front of the pay station a small road branches off to the right. Follow for about 200 m / yards, with good weather there is a good view to volcano Turrialba.

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