What to Expect at Poas Volcano National Park – Costa Rica

Costa Rica is filled with over 60 volcanoes. There are so many cool ones you can see up close. Poas Volcano National Park is a great place to experience the top of a volcano up close. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Poas Volcano National Park.

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First, know that the park is technically called Parque Nacional Volcán Poás. For the sake of this post, I’ll refer to it as Poas Volcano National Park.

Poas Volcano National Park pin 1

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Poas Volcano National Park

We visited Poas Volcano National Park in June 2022. At that time, the prices were $15 per adult and $5 per child. If you are a resident of Costa Rica, prices are much cheaper.

Poas Volcano National Park sign

How to Purchase Tickets for Poas Volcano National Park

You MUST purchase tickets ahead of time onine and show your reservation at the entrance. If you do not have a reservation, they do not let you in.

Luckily, my husband had a signal on his phone that we could get on and (ever-so-slowly) purchase tickets. Many other people there weren’t so lucky as a signal is tough to get up in the park.

First you must register an account with the Costa Rica national park service. Then you can log in and purchase tickets for whatever park you are visiting.

I recommend making your account NOW. It will save you a lot of time.

>>>Create your account HERE.<<<

Then, any national park in Costa Rica you’d like to visit will be easier to purchase tickets for when you’re ready.

What to Expect at Poas Volcano National Park

Mandatory Safety Presentation

Once you have your reservation set, drive into the park and park in the parking lot.

Someone will help guide you to where you need to be before heading to the volcano.

You must first get a hard hat. Then, you’ll go into a large room where they will show a video of safety guidelines.

It basically says you need to wear a hard hat and where safety shelters are in case the volcano acts up.

Poas Volcano walking trail

Walking to the Volcano

When the presentation is over, you can exit through the door up front and start your walk to the volcano.

The walk is really easy. There is a paved trail that takes you right to the volcano viewpoint. It takes about 10-15 minutes with kids.

Poas Volcano trail foliage

Even if it’s rainy, you can still enjoy that beautiful, massive foliage.

Poas Volcano Clear Day

Poas Volcano on a clear day, Photo by Manfred Madrigal on Unsplash

Poas Volcano overlook

Poas Volcano on a cloudy, rainy day.

Can you See Poas Volcano?

This is a hard question to answer!

On a clear day, yes! You can see the crater with the small lake inside. And it’s quite a site (or so I hear…)

On a cloudy and foggy day, nope. Not a thing.

The thing about Poas Volcano is that one minute it can be clear, and the next it is covered in a blanket of fog.

When we arrived, the guy at the entrance checked his camera and told us it was clear. We were so excited!

By the time we parked, did the presentation and began our walk, it was pouring rain. Pouring rain. We got to the volcano and we couldn’t see 10 feet beyond the viewpoint.


I highly suggest bringing some ponchos!


Everyone agrees that if you can’t see the volcano, just wait a few minutes and maybe it will clear. This is true; however, another part that makes it tricky is you are only allowed to stay at the volcano for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Just maybe that is enough time for it to clear. But maybe not.

I would LOVE to know if you get to see Poas Volcano on a clear day!

Facilities at Poas Volcano National Park

Close to the parking lot is the main facility building for Poas Volcano National Park.

The first floor has the presentation room. Upstairs is a gift shop and cafe.

This area also has real bathrooms. One is right outside the safety presentation room on the first level. The other is in the gift shop on the second floor.

Poas Volcano National Park

So do you think you’ll take the risk and visit Poas Volcano National Park in Costa Rica?

There’s a good chance it’ll be foggy. But if you make it to the crater on Poas Volcano on a clear day (or rather, a clear moment!), it seems so incredible!

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Poas Volcano National Park pin 1

19 thoughts on “What to Expect at Poas Volcano National Park – Costa Rica”

  1. A visit to Paos Volcano National Park sounds like it could be exciting if it is a clear day. It’s a bummer they only let you stay for 20 minutes. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. This happened to us when we tried to see a volcano in the Galapagos…it would start raining and get too foggy both times we tried stopping to see it. So close, but yet so far!! Worth taking a chance though!!

    Reply
  3. I’m always looking for fun family trip ideas. This is one I never thought of! The volcano national park would totally be up our alley! Great guide with excellent photos.

    Reply
  4. It sounds like a beautiful place to visit but what a bummer that it was so foggy. If only we could all have good weather days when traveling! I think it’s funny that you have to wear a hard hat as I don’t imagine it would protect much if it acts up! 🙂

    Reply
  5. What an absolutely breathtaking location in Costa Rica – for sure adding this to my bucket list 🙂 Never been to Cost Rica but this looks right up my alley.

    Reply
  6. What an absolutely breathtaking location in Costa Rica – for sure adding this to my bucket list 🙂 Never been to Cost Rica but this looks right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  7. Costa Rica has been on my list for so long. I feel like it is such a great nature escape. Thanks for adding the Poas Volcano NP to my list!

    Reply
  8. We had only one day in Costa Rica and really want to plan a return trip. We will have to make sure to put the Poas Volcano National Park on the plans. Good reminder to buy tickets in advance. I would hope to visit on a clear day with great views of the crater. But I would wait a bit hoping the fog cleared.

    Reply
  9. Sounds so cool to visit – such a bummer the weather wasn’t on your side though! That stinks. I’m surprised/impressed that they limit visitors to 20 minutes, I’ve never heard of that before.

    Reply
  10. This sounds like such an adventure! And I have to add, your kids are such awesome troopers for taking on this hike! I have like a tonload of nephews and nieces and I cannot imagine any of them doing this with such gusto!

    Reply

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