How to get to Poas Volcano!

In Costa Rica, Destinations, North America, Poas by Freestyle6 Comments

Poas Volcano National Park is about an hour/sometimes 2h drive from San Jose. It’s one of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen in my life – 350 meters deep crater with lagoon water.

How to get to Poas Volcano from San Jose?

Poas Volcano in definitely one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica, although it’s quite touristic. It’s very easy to get there by public transport.

  • you need to get from San Jose to Alajuela (city located on the north from the airport) by public bus (cost around 1$).
  • when you get there – ask for a bus terminal to Parque Nacional Volcán Poás  – everyone will lead you the way. The ticket costs around 2$. We’ve been searching hundreds information on bus schedules and each website contains different information. In January 2017 the was only one bus during a day going to Poas Volcano at 9 am. You will see photos of a bus station sign – Poas Volcano (station nr 8).

We were there in 2017: The entrance to the Park is 15$ (as far as I know the price is the same in 2019) and 2$ for Costa Ricans or residents. 🙂 The walk toward the Poas Volcano takes about 10 minutes. Yes 🙂 don’t expect long hiking. There is a paved road you can walk on to get to the lookout spot. This is a very short and easy walk taking you directly to the crater. After you see Poas Volcano another path takes you to beautiful Botos crater lake. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Botos and go back, so take your time to admire amazing nature and wildlife along the way. The weather and visibility in January was amazing!!! but I know sometimes it gets really cloudy and it’s impossible to see anything from the hill.

The same bus will leave the National Park at 2.30 pm. Don’t be late as there were more people coming back to San Jose and this is the only return bus!!!

Extremely important update from 2019!! It’s safer to buy tickets in advance – tripadvisor, restaurants, local agents! It happened that people were refused to enter the park cause they didn’t have tickets, while it was not possible to buy them on the gate.

Want to hike another stunning volcano visit Cerro Chato here:

If you have more questions – write me!

Poas Volcano crater

Alajuela bus station – bus to Poas

On the way to Poas volcano

Poas volcano

Poas crater

Poas crater

Poas volcano

Poas volcano

Around Poas volcano

Botos crater lake short walk from Poas volcano

A walk to the crater lake

Poas volcano landscape


  1. Hello,

    would you please advise, how long does the bus journey from Alejuela to Poas take?


    1. Author

      Hello Jan, be prepared that the bus from Alajuela to Poas takes around 2 hours. I wonder what’s the visibility at this time of the year around the volcano? I had an amazing weather but my friends told they even didn’t have the chance to see the crater.. Maybe you could update me when you get there? 😉 all the best!

  2. Hi!

    I’ve heard that the Cataratas de la Paz were pretty nice to see, and that they were at the Poas Volcano. Do you know about them? Is it possible to do everything before the bus leaves at 14h30?


    1. Author

      Hi Manon, apology for a late response but I got stocked in Jordan. 😉 I haven’t been to Cataratas waterfalls, cause this is what you’re looking for, but they are quite close to Poas Volcano and I think it is possible to do everything in one day. Honestly, when you reach Poas Volcano half an hour is enough to watch this amazing crater. Then you need another hour to walk and enjoy the crater lake Botos, so I would guess you would have enough time to reach Cataras. What I heard recently from travelers – YOU NEED TO HAVE TICKET IN ADVANCE to get to Paos Volcano. It might be true, as the number of visitors is big. Maybe it’s useful to ask before getting there. last thing you want is to drive up 2 hours and fail to enter the park. Write me when you get there is it’s true, how was it and whether it was crowded. 🙂

  3. Hello , do you know if the Bus leaving from Alajuela does it daily, or only on weekends, I am planning to visit on Monday or Tuesday, thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Miguel, Sorry for coming back so late – I guess you’ve already accomplished your trip. I can’t rememeber if it’s leaving every day same time. Sorry, I don’t want to give you a wrong information.

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