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  • Photos of Poas
  • Map of Poas
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How to get there?
From San Jose, take the North Pan-American Highway (route #1) in direction to the Juan Santamaria International Airport. When you get to the intersection, turn right for Alajuela. Continue towards Poas on the route #120 passing by the towns of Dulce Nombre, Fraijanes and Poasito.

The zone of Poas extends through towns like San Pedro of Poas, Fraijanes, Poasito, Vara Blanca and Cinchona. It is covered by a dense forest that shelters many flora and fauna species, where you can find waterfalls and an active volcano. This place is definitely an exciting ride for your senses.

Poas emerged from the union of the rivers Poas and Caracha. A bridge crosses this junction, where you will find two incredibly beautiful waterfalls. You can fully appreciate them from the riverbank, which is a perfect spot for taking pictures.

Its territory covers the Poas Volcano National Park, which is one of the most popular sites among local and international tourists due to its amazing volcanic structure, which also serves as hydroelectric power source.

This volcanic cone has an altitude of 2.708 meters above sea level and is 
one of the largest active craters of the world (1.320 m wide and 320 m deep). It has been active since 1747 and releases gases and vapor from its fumaroles located inside the cone.

In the bottom of the crater you will see a circular, turquoise-colored lagoon that has lots of sulfur and acids. It is the most acid lagoon on Earth, with a pH of 1 and temperatures that range from 35C to 95C. Its evaporation results in acid rainfall that has left the southwest side of the volcano without any vegetation.

There are also other places like a red cone with very active fumaroles, a plain area that serves as a viewpoint and an inactive crater with the Laguna Botos. This lagoon was named after the Botos native group, which used to live in this territory.

In the surroundings of this zone you can visit other protected areas like the Bosque Alegre National Wildlife Refuge. Its three lagoons, Congo, Hule and Bosque Alegre offer amazing and beautiful sceneries. Species of mammals like howler and white-faced monkeys live in its 833 hectares of primary and secondary forests.

You can get to the Hule lagoon through a road that goes to Puerto Viejo of Sarapiqui. It is home to 5 fish species like the wolf cichlid (Cichlasoma dovii) and the mojarra (Cichlasoma lyonsi).

In the region of Poas you can find many waterfalls that are definitely worth of visiting, which are located along the road heading north. One of them is the Catarata de La Paz, close to Vara Blanca and Cinchona.

La Paz is composed by three beautiful waterfalls, two small ones and a very large third one that has a spectacular beauty, which is decorated by and old bridge that makes the scenery even more charming. You will feel as if you were gazing at a beautiful picture.

From here you can walk inside the woods and appreciate the amazing flora and fauna of the zone. Theres a trail system that allows the access to the forest. The Rio La Paz begins its flow from the Poas massif, in a pathway that is 8 km long.

Continuing on the same route for about 4 km, in the community of Cinchona, you will find the Catarata de San Fernando, which can be seen from the road that borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park. This waterfall is more than 70 meters high and is surrounded by a dense evergreen forest.

Then you can visit the Catarata El Angel by following a trail that goes parallel to the Rio Angel. It is 100 m high and can be seen from the road when you pass through the community of La Isla.

If you would like to visit the complete set of 5 waterfalls, you must pay an entrance fee. Some of them are: El Templo (32 m), Magia Blanca, which is the largest one (38 m) and Encantado (32 m).

Many tours are arranged from the Poas Volcano for all those who visit this area. There are canopy tours where you can glide more than 10 meters above ground, observing the flora and fauna of the zone.

There are some private gardens full of butterflies and hummingbirds that are also decorated with beautiful orchids. These gardens extend over 27 forest hectares. Theres a set of three artificial and private lakes, where you can practice canoeing in one of them.

Here you can visit a field that has high ropes where you can participate in 7 different challenges. You must move the ropes from an altitude of 5 meters above ground, and theres space for about 20 people. There are several difficulty levels and professional guides.

From this zone you can also take a tour to a private land where they grow and produce coffee. Its taste may be affected by the fertility of the ground, which is fed by volcanic sediments. The visitors are taught about the complete process of coffee production.

In the surroundings you can also find the Hydroelectric Power Plant of the Poas River, one of the first hydroelectric plants in the country. It officially started functioning on December 8th, 1951.

Poas comes from the word puas, description given to the thorny vegetation of the territory that changed its name with time.

In this zone different products are grown, such as sugar cane, strawberries, corn and decorative plants like ferns. You can see these plantations along the way, with dark nets covering them.

Accommodations and gastronomy
There are rustic cabins for couples or families of 8 members, as well as luxury villas with bungalows, and in some places hydro-massages and bonfires. Theres a luxurious hotel with suites that are made of tents, but are equipped with the basic facilities for their guests.

Some places include breakfast in their rates, offer yoga lessons and have transportation service from and to the Juan Santamaria Airport. They also arrange tours to different interesting sites of the region, like rappelling, climbing and rafting tours.

In this zone you can find different restaurants that offer dishes from Italian, French, Costa Rican and fusion cuisines. They have relaxed environments and serve meals that are prepared with organic ingredients. 

They also have different preparations for trout dishes.

You can also find some hotels that have different attractions for children, where they offer buffets in their restaurants and have wide areas ideal for special events like weddings and meetings, as well as large outdoor green areas.

In the nearby towns there are many small restaurants that serve typical Costa Rican meals during lunchtime.

Where to go?
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