Volcano Turrialba National Park
Tel (506) 2556-9507.Open from 08:00 a.m to 03:00 p.m, entry 6 US$. With 3.330 meters in altitude and three well defined craters, this colossus dominates the whole valley in Turrialba. From there, on a clear day, you can sea the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean; there are natural footpaths where you can see the flora and fauna belonging to this volcanic area. During the ascent, the dairy farms that exist on the outskirts of the volcano offer a fantastic view. The first Spanish colonies called them Torre Alba, because of the columns of smoke that came out of the cone. It is only 15km to the northeast of Turrialba, and its last eruption was in 1866, although at present the volcano is dormant. The summit has three craters; the one in the middle is the largest and the only one that shows sings of activity with vapor and sulphur. Underneath the peak there is a humid rainforest that is full of moss, tree fern bromeliads and bamboo. To go up to the volcano, you can get on a bus to Santa Cruz, after a journey of about 18 Km you will reach the summit. The first 10km of this route is on an asphalt road, but the road does become worse; you will need a 4×4 to get to the top of the volcano. Close to the crater there is a picnic table with a footpath. This is the official route to get to the park and is well signposted. Another alternative is to get on the bus from Cartago until you get to San Gerardo, on the southern side of Irazu volcano. From here, a road that is in bad condition will lead you to Turrialba; it is the longest stretch of road that leads to Santa Cruz, and is also the highest. You will need to drive for about 25 Km and then continue on foot.