Costa Rica (Republic of Costa Rica)

Languages: Spanish

Currencies: CRC · Costa Rican colón (₡)

Capitol: San José

Continents: North America

Borders: Nicaragua, Panama

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Area: 51,100km2

Population: 5,094,114

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +506

Timezones: UTC-06:00

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Last updated on November 8, 2023

Poas Volcano National Park – one of the most spectaculat volcanoes I’ve seen, located 2700m above the sea level, with 350 meters deep lagoon crater. There are few options on how to get to Poas Volcano.

If you decide to take a local bus from San Jose to Poas National Park the drive takes about 1.5-2 hours. 

How to get to Poas Volcano

Going by a local transport is fun but it will leave you with limited time to explore the park, as there is one bus each way. You can go with an organized tour, which allows way more time to explore Poas natural wonder and hike the whole area toward Botos Crater lake.

How to get to Poas Volcano from San Jose by a local transport?

Poas Volcano in definitely one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica, although it’s quite touristic and during good visibility weather you will be certainly surrounded by crowds. The good news is – it’s very easy to get there by public transport.

  • First you need to get from San Jose to Alajuela by public bus (Alajuela is a city located on the north from the airport) – cost around 1$.
  • Once you get to Alajuela – ask for a bus terminal to Parque Nacional Volcán Poás – everyone will lead you the way. The ticket costs around 2$. We’ve been searching hundreds information on bus schedules and each website contains different information. There used to be only one bus a day going to Poas Volcano at 9 a.m. See photos of a bus station sign – Poas Volcano (station nr 8).
How to get to Poas Volcano from San Jose?

If you missed your bus or prefer to be at the Poas Volcano early in the morning (the park opens at 8am) you can take a bus from San Jose to Alajuela and taxi from Alajuela to Poas Volcano – the cost is aroun USD 60-70. 

How much is an entrance fee to Poas Volcano?

The entrance fee to Poas National Park is 15$ 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.

However there are many other trails you can explore in the area. After reaching the spectacular Poas Volcano hot acidic lake there is another attraction just a short walk from Poas. You will most likely see a path taking you to a 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. 

Going by public bus to Poas National Park will leave you on a tight schedule, as there is only one return bus. If you want to be more flexible and have time to explore the area and hike to Botos Crater Lake it is better to go on a tour – Best Tours & Tickets to Eprience Poas Volcano.

Poas Volcano crater

Best time to visit Poas Volcano?

The weather and visibility in January were amazing! But not everyone is so lucky, I know sometimes it gets really cloudy and you can’t see anything from the hill. Poas Volcano National Park is located in the forest, the temperature easily drop to 15 Celsius degrees, so bring some warm clothing. 

At high altitudes best views are usually in the morning time. Poas Volcano opens at 8am and it’s best to be there as early as possible. 

Bus going back to Alajuela will leave the National Park at 2.30 p.m. Don’t be late as there were more people coming back to San Jose and there is no other bus!!!

It is highly advisable to buy tickets in advance – from tripadvisor, restaurants, local agents! It happened that people were refused to enter the park because they didn’t have tickets, and it was not possible to buy them at the gate due to visitors limitation.

Hiking to Botos Crater Lake.

Hiking to Botos Crater Lake is very enjoable advanture. Once you’ve done admiring magnificent Poas Volcano you can take a 20-25 minutes walk toward Botos Crater Lake, located in Poas National Park. There is a visible, well maintaned path leading to an inactive Botos volcano with stunning green lake. The whole loop is about 2.5 kilometres.

Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!
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