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Let´s discover 5 Volcanoes in Costa Rica that are visit worthy

Let´s discover 5 Volcanoes in Costa Rica that are visit worthy

Costa Rica is a country full of beautiful, natural landscapes that make the road trip as entertaining as the final destination.  Additionally, you are never far from anywhere in this little country in the middle of the Americas thanks to its very convenient size.  Let´s say you can catch the sunrise on one ocean and the sunset on the other in just one day. One thing that will be your constant companion during your travels through Costa Rica is a volcano as there are many.  Let´s discover 5 volcanoes in Costa Rica that are visit worthy!

Costa Rica has three volcanic mountain ranges that are home to over 200 identifiable volcanoes but only five are considered live as of today.  In true volcano form, it´s status could change at any time!  While their status is “live”, each of the Costa Rican volcanoes are very different and offer a unique experience from the moment you take the wheel in your Poas Rent a Car that will take you up and around the 5 volcanoes in Costa Rica that we will visit during our journey.

In true Costa Rican form, all our 5 volcanoes are within the protected areas network of National Parks which guarantees visitors the safety and infrastructure groundwork that a visit to a volcano deserves.  This becomes particularly relevant when you will be looking down into the crater of the live volcano so buckle up and let’s begin our travels to these majestic exemplars that our planet is alive and active!

1.   Poas Volcano

 

The Poas Volcano and Poas Rent a Car´s namesake, overlooks the Central Valley and sits on the western slopes of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range.  As you fly into the Juan Santamaria International Airport, you will see it and during your time in the bustling valley, it can be seen everywhere you go.

The ride up to the Poas Volcano is one of the prettiest.  As you drive up to the crater, you will travel through coffee plantations, strawberry fields, quaint, rural towns, lush dairy farms and the fresh, mountain air.  It is also a perfect opportunity for panoramic views of the sprawling major cities of San Jose, Heredia and Alajuela that cover the valley floor.

Due to the recent volcanic activity of the Poas Volcano, a series of additional safety protocols have been implemented.  After leaving your Poas Rent a Car in the carpark, the fun begins as you walk the last 200 meters to the volcano crater.   At this altitude (nearly 9000 feet!), the vegetation changes dramatically and is commonly covered in clouds.

And then, you reach the observation deck and see the incredible crater before you.  Although it is difficult to appreciate, you are looking at a mile wide, 900ft deep crater, making it the second largest in the world.  A sight to see to say the least!

Don´t forget to make a reservation prior to arriving.  This can be done on the SINAC webpage.  Poas Rent a Car recommends getting up to see this amazing sight in the early morning before the clouds roll in.

2.Irazu Volcano

 

The Irazu Volcano is also a day road trip away during your stay in the Central Valley. Located on the eastern slopes of the Central Volcanic Range, you will feel like you are walking on the moon as you walk towards the crater that you can peer down into.

On a clear day, you can see both the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans as well as the crater.  You will also be visiting the highest active volcano in Costa Rica at 11,260 feet tall so you may be lucky to see some spectacular views of Costa Rica as well as the volcano itself.

To get to the Irazu Volcano, you will also be able to enjoy some sightseeing along the way.  You will pass through the city of Cartago, and home to the iconic Basilica of the Virgen of Los Angeles, Costa Rica´s patron saint.

Poas Rent a Car recommends an early drive up through the rich, agricultural fields on the slopes of the Irazu Volcano and if time permits on the way back, a visit to the Orosi Valley. All the roads to the Irazu Volcano and the Orosi Valley are in great conditions, albeit windy but very scenic.

 

3.Arenal Volcano

 

The Arenal Volcano may well be Costa Rica´s best known volcano and its fame is well deserved.  This impressive 5300ft high formation is about 56 miles north of San Jose along a very picturesque route and it never ceases to amaze you with its presence.

Your stay in the Arenal Volcano region is one of nature and adventure. All the Poas Rent a Cars fleet can enjoy this area thanks to the great roads that will take you around the volcano, to visit the lake, through the rainforests and over the Costa Rican northern lowlands.

The adventurous side of the Arenal Volcano is the form of ziplining, hiking, white water rafting, rappelling, all under the watchful eye of this sleepy giant that can be observed and enjoyed wherever you may be in the area.  And then, treat yourself to a bathe in the thermal springs, a wonderfully relaxing gift that the Arenal Volcano graces its visitors with.

4.Tenorio Volcano

 

North of Arenal Volcano, you will find another one of Costa Rica´s iconic natural landmarks that sits on the slopes of the Tenorio Volcano.   It is Rio Celeste or Blue River, and it is an amazing place to visit.

The Tenorio Volcano belongs to the Guanacaste Volcanic Range that is home to a number of volcanoes in their different states.  This range divides the province of Guanacaste and the Northern Lowlands, the side where Rio Celeste runs.

Tenorio Volcano boasts 4 volcanic peaks and twin craters and while it is possible to reach the crater by horse, this volcanoes claim to fame is that incredibly impressive blue river that is used to promote Costa Rica all over the world.  Rio Celeste is worth the walk to witness the exquisite blue colored water and other volcanic manifestations within the riverbed.  Walk through the lush, rainforest while spotting the multiple hues of turquoise blue along the way.

With the Tenorio Volcano in the distance, a visit to Rio Celeste is an adventure into the magical world of how volcanoes can produce such beauty through chemical reactions and the suns rays.

The trip to Rio Celeste is along a recently repaved road from the small town of Bijuagua. Poas Rent a Car recommends you take this upgraded route that is very pretty too.

 

5.Rincon de la Vieja Volcano

 

Last by not least, our journey to discover 5 of Costa Rica´s volcanoes, takes us to the province of Guanacaste to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano.  The adventure-rich slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano attract many a thrill-seeker to enjoy ziplining, rappelling, tubing down rivers and canyoning among other fun-filled activities.

A mud bath and thermal springs are also part of the adventure, all nestled into the rainforest.  A visit to the national park includes a walk to view the mud baths and fumaroles is a great way to begin your day of volcanic adventures.

Poas Rent Car recommends you stay on the coast and take a day trip up onto the Volcano. This means you get the best of both worlds, the beach, and the adventure blast. Think about ending your trip here and dropping your Poas Rent a Car at the Guanacaste International Airport before heading off home.  It has offices in both international airports making picking up and dropping off a breeze!

Your road travels through Costa Rica can include a visit to 5 volcanoes.  Let Poas Rent a Car be your driving companion through your journey to discover them!

 

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A Road Guide to Costa Rica´s Coffee Country

Female finger typing on gps.A Road Guide to Costa Rica´s Coffee Country.

Costa Rica is famous for many well-deserved reasons.  Not only is it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and has the best coffee in the world, but it also boasts a myriad of landscapes making it very picturesque.  Driving over mountains, up volcanoes, along coastal roads, through rich farmland and quaint rural towns are just some of the scenic routes you can take while traveling around Costa Rica.  Explore the country with this road guide to Costa Rica´s coffee country.  Every drop of this golden bean and its surrounding beauty is worth it.

Costa Rica´s colonial history revolves around coffee production and exportation and many places around the country continue to harvest the benefits of this beautiful red bean.  While there are 8 coffee regions dotted around Costa Rica, each one also is worth visiting for their unique natural landscapes, cultures, and history. So, your Poas Rental car is ready for the ride to take you to visit 5 of Costa Rica´s coffee regions and their treasures.  Let´s go!

1.Central Valley Cup of Excellence

 

The western side of the Central Valley includes the Poas Volcano and the agricultural areas around the hilltop rural town of Naranjo.  Both these areas are an easy day drive away while staying in the Central Valley and grow some of the best coffee in the country!

As you wind your way up the slopes of the Poas Volcano, you will pass by coffee plantations galore and depending on the time of the year, may have the aromatic white flowers, unripe green beans or the iconic red beans just waiting to be handpicked by the agile coffee pickers.

Don´t miss a visit to the Poas Volcano, Costa Rica´s most visited volcano where you can actually look down into the crater, and of course your rental car´s namesake too!  You can also do a tour in a working Poas coffee plantations before leaving the Naranjo region too via the famous town of Sarchi to pick up wooden souvenirs and see who the famous ox cartwheel is hand-painted.   These cartwheels once transported the coffee beans around the country and symbolize Costa Rican coffee.

Route Recommendations: Start your drive early in the morning with a visit to the Poas Volcano and then onto Naranjo, via Sarchi before driving back to the comfort of your city hotel along the Pan-American Highway.  A perfect day drive full of rural colors, sights, and flavors.  A coffee-lovers dream day.

2. Brunca Best Beans

 

The Brunca coffee region is on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  This mountainous area extends down to the Panama border and is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches and of course, the world-renowned biodiversity-rich Osa Peninsula.

This could well be one of the most picturesque drives you will experience while exploring Costa Rica and well worth making stops along the way, one of the many benefits of renting a car.  Coffee plantations, waterfalls, rainforests, whale watching, the Golfo Dulce, and of course the Corcovado National Park.

Route Recommendations: Take the scenic drive from San Jose over the mountains to the thriving city of San Isidro del General and then down onto the coast to the surfing town of Dominical.  Whale watching, lush rainforest, and boutique hotels are also favorites in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.  It is easy driving too along the coastal road that hugs the coast and the secluded beaches.

3.Turrialba Brew

 

Turrialba is home to delicious coffee, a live volcano, white water rafting river, tasty cheese, and the Guayabo National Monument, an archaeological site of prehispanic structures. A small city to the south of San Jose, your drive will take you through the city of Cartago and its iconic Basilica and through the lush, rural countryside down into the valley where Turrialba sits.

Overlooking the thriving town of Turrialba is the impressive volcano of the same name. After a period of activity, the national park has recently been reopened. For nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, a walk up the slope of the volcano is an experience worth living!

Route Recommendations:  Turrialba is a two-hour drive from San Jose so it can be visited for a day.  To further explore this beautiful city and valley, Turrialba has a number of small, rural hotels so stay a night. You will love the coffee and sugar cane laden mountainsides too!

4.Tarrazu Roast

 

The rural town of Tarrazu belongs to the region called The Saints or Los Santos in Spanish. Coffee production is the main activity in this mountainous area that is also a favorite destination for the avid birdwatchers as it is home to the elusive Resplendent Quetzal. The mountain tops are covered by the misty, cloud forest, perfect for exploring and inhaling the fresh, crisp air and its serenity.

Tarrazu is located to the southeast of San Jose and your drive will take you up into the Talamanca Mountain Range that extends to the south of Costa Rica.  Quaint, rural towns sit on the valley floors that are embraced by coffee plantations on the steep walls.  Driving through the area is beautifully scenic as you roam the winding roads through this quintessential coffee region.

Route Recommendations:  Tarrazu is a two hour drive along the Pan-American Highway from San Jose making it a perfect one-day trip to explore one of the prettiest areas close to the Central Valley.  It is a favorite destination for nature and bird lovers, so time permitting, stay a night and enjoy waking up to a freshly brewed Tarrazu coffee in your mountaintop chalet.

5.Guanacaste Golden Bean

 

Last by not least is the province of Guanacaste.  Best known for its white-sand beaches, stretching savannas and cowboy culture, Guanacaste is located in north-western Costa Rica and is about a 4 hour drive up the Pan-American Highway.  Unlike the other coffee regions, the Guanacaste bean is grown at lower altitudes and is the plantations are dotted over a large area and temperatures are higher.

Guanacaste province is found on the Nicoya Peninsula that is home to the Guanacaste International Airport where Poas Rent-a-car has an office.  This makes picking up your car simple and seamless if your car trip through the coffee regions of Costa Rica starts here.

Route Recommendations: Guanacaste is easily drivable with good roads to all the major beaches, national parks, and volcanoes.  The most popular coastal towns are Tamarindo Beach, Nosara, Hermosa Beach and hotels range from the all-inclusive resorts to boutique beachside hotels so do some beach-hopping and explore the culture and the natural beauty of this beautiful region.

Poas Rent-a-car invites you to explore the coffee regions of Costa Rica and while doing so, see the very best of Costa Rica at your own pace and on your terms.  With offices in both international airports, picking up your late-model car is a breeze and means you will be sipping on your delicious Costa Rican coffee at your first stop off in no time.

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Navigating Costa Rica

Female finger typing on gps.Costa Rica is easy to navigate, regardless if you’re using an app or good old fashioned back-of-a-napkin directions.

Navigating Costa Rica can be relatively easy with a few friendly tips to make sure that you are prepared and feel confident that you can make it to that remote beach spa or mountain retreat you worked so hard to find.

Costa Rica is a small country, relatively the same size as West Virginia or Denmark. Renting a vehicle while you are in Costa Rica is one of the best ways to explore it in a short amount of time and get the most of your trip.

The addresses in Costa Rica are really more of a conversation.

Addresses typically consist of someone telling you to drive 400 meters and take a left at the church, drive 50 meters to the convenience store, take a right and go straight past the large tree with the swing set. There are not really designated street names in most places and even when there are, most people don’t know them. Costa Rican’s are super friendly and will be eager to help you find your destination, but it is helpful to ask more than one person.

If the first direction does not pan out, pura vida, do not feel discouraged, as it sometimes takes a couple of people to steer you in the right direction. If your Spanish is limited, don’t worry, most Costa Rican’s know some English, and if not, they are great at pointing and gesturing.

Google has nearly taken over road navigation and it a reliable way to navigate Costa Rica.

Waze, which is owned by Google, is relied on more in Costa Rica as Google Maps can get a little turned around in some areas. For example, Google Maps might tell you to turn the wrong way on a street because it does not calculate that certain bi-directional streets are one way only during certain hours of the day.

Waze will not only give you a more accurate arrival time then Google Maps, but it will update with construction or special traffic conditions. Waze can be used for nearly any destination and you can always ask for someone to share their location in WhatsApp and then direct it to Waze so that you can skip the lengthy address conversation.

Most rental cars have auxiliary outlets for you to plug your phone into the speaker so you can hear directions clearly. Another bonus to Waze is that it will talk to you, so that you can be hands free while driving. Siri will also be able to help you find destinations without you taking your eyes of the road and can even find good road trip music.

If you need to plug in a different destination, ask your co-pilot to do it for you or pull over at a fruit stand and buy some fresh mangos while you are typing in that secluded beach you’re seeking. We want to make sure that you have the best car rental road trip of your life in Costa Rica, not a visit to the Emergency Room. 

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