Face To Face With Irazu Volcano

Face To Face With Irazu Volcano

Irazu Volcano!

WOW!!!  2 volcanos in a week!  In all my life it’s only been pictures and now in one week 2 volcanos and this one, Irazu is face to face!     

This isn’t all that easy.  There’s no readily available tourist excursion…..at least that I could find because I was in no way anxious to drive up to the top of a mountain again!  Now, there must be tours booked from some place because there was a tour bus that arrived during the visit.

This trip was a two for oner. The haunted sanatorium is a short distance down the mountain from the volcano peak.  

I survived all 3.  3?  Yeah…..driving up the mountain, visiting the volcano and the sanatorium.  More on the sanatorium tomorrow.

Today is Irazu!

Here was my plight……I wanted to see this volcano up close and personal, but I dreaded the thought of driving up that mountain!!!  My hands would grip the steering wheel so ‘hard’!  I would tense up!!!  Sometimes because of the way the road winds up the mountain I couldn’t help but look over the edge!!  One thing that really astounded me was the number of villages in the mountains, schools, and BARS!!!!  I’d think, ‘how could anybody drink and drive home?’  Of course they didn’t, they walked to the bar and stumbled home.  I’d have done more than stumble…..after the first fall, I’d just stay down and crawl.  Hell, I might would just lay there and take a siesta!!!

Face To Face With Irazu Volcano

Okay, back to the volcano….

Irazú is a massive stratovolcano covering more than 500 sq km with at least 10 flank cones on the southern flank, all being older than at least 14,000 years when a massive lava flow (the “Ceravantes” flow) was erupted.
All known eruptions from Irazú during the past 10,000 years have been explosive and originated from the summit craters. The historically active crater contains a small acid lake of changing size and color.  At this time there was no water in the little lake……it was really tough to see down the crater and take pictures at the same time. The volcanic activity has given San Jose hell…..and that’s a nice drive away!

Here’s a few pics..  

I see the last eruption was back in 1994.  And it is still considered an active volcano……..I didn’t know that when I went to the TOP!!!!

The Irazú volcano is a complex volcanic shield. It is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica, and has an area of 500 km2 (190 sq mi). It has an irregular subconic shape.

Irazu volcano is a stratovolcano with a summit elevation of 3,432 metres (11,260 ft). Its five craters are easily differentiated. The most important ones, because of their activity, are The Main Crater and the Diego de la Haya crater. The Main Crater is almost circular, has very inclined walls and it measures 1,050 metres (3,440 ft) in diameter and 300 metres (980 ft) deep. The Diego de la Haya crater is 600 metres (2,000 ft) inner diameter and 100 metres (330 ft) deep. Other craters are Playa Hermosa, La Laguna, and El CPiroclastico.

Face To Face With Irazu Volcano

I still have to pinch myself that I did this!!!!   There still remains the possibility of visiting another volcano in Nicaragua……..I’ve got to look into that one.  It’s not far from Managua, but I’m curious of the terrain.  There is most definitely a volcano in my travel plans for next year before Europe…..Montserrat. I’ll be island hopping next year and it just seems like a good place to visit!

There’s more of Costa Rica to follow…..like the sanatorium and some ruins.  It was a tough place for me to visit, most definitely out of my comfort zone, but I will likely make a return visit to Costa Rica if time allows, I want to visit the Caribbean coast there.

Here you can see the ridge between 2 of the craters! 

Next up is the Sanatorium!! I’ve about 500 pictures there!!!  I’ve more of Irazu too……I’ll be uploading some to my photo page shortly.  Hopefully!

Peace, love, and beaches,


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