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Irazu is Costa Rica's highest volcano and it is from a historical point of view the most active. Irazu had some destructive eruptions between 1917 and 1921. The most famous eruption was in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was visitng here. A platform let's visitors looking down on the green lake that is three hundred feet deep.
Volcan Turrialba stands 10, 950 feet high. Recently the volcano has shown some activity, but it was especially active in the 1860s, demonstrating some violence. Volcan Turrialba Nation Park protects five square miles that are almost all cloud forest. Dirt roads stop a few miles from the top of the volcano.
The nations most visited park surrounds the Poas Volcano. The park covers 25 square miles. Volcan Poas is 8,850 feet, and scientists estimate it was formed a million years ago. Activity in the volcano seems to occur in 40-year cycles. The drive up to Poas is beautiful. The scenery is pastoral and the views are dramatic.
If you are going to visit just one volcano while visiting Costa Rica then I think most would agree that the Arenal Volcano should be your top choice. The entire area is just the perfect spot for the ecotourist to have a vacation of a lifetime with almost every adventure you can imagine available from canyoneering, the top ziplines in the country, and even some excellent whitewater rafting.
If you want to see a volcano that will not have many other tourist around and feel like you are on a Costa Rica private tour even with your own volcano than this is the place to visit. To arrive to Barva you will drive through the town of Heredia and from their it is about a 30 minute drive up the mountain. You pass through some rural mountain towns on your way to the top of the volcano.