How do I get to Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica?

Volcán Irazú is an active volcano located in Cartago province, in Costa Rica. It is the tallest volcano in the country. To the south of the volcano a road climbs up to 3.366m (11,043ft) above the sea level.

Volcán Irazú

How long is the road to Irazu Volcano?

Set high in the Cordillera Central range, the road is totally paved. It’s called Ruta Nacional Secundaria 219. The road ends on a parking lot. It’s in good condition and signs mark the route clearly. The turnoff for Irazu is well marked and right before Tierra Blanca. Along the way, you’re likely to encounter some fog and light rain as you reach cloud level. Depending on the day, you might even drive above cloud level.  The road to the summit is pretty steep. Starting at Tierra Blanca, the ascent is 19.3 km (12 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.346 meters. The average gradient is 6.97%.

Where is the highest road of Costa Rica?

Due its height and position in the Central Volcanic Range Irazu Volcano is a strategic point for telecommunications in the country. West of the parking, a private paved road leads to Antenas Volcán Irazú (communication facilities) at 3.434m (11,266ft) above the sea level. 

Is Irazú Volcano worth visiting?

The Irazú Volcano is active and is the highest volcano in the country. The drive up through the hills provides an excellent opportunity to see the Central Valley below. During this ride to the top, you will drive through a beautiful agricultural area where many flowers, onions and potatoes are grown. Visitors can view both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans from Irazu’s summit on a clear day. Irazu Volcano last made international headlines when it erupted in 1963 on the day that former US President John F. Kennedy visited the country.

When to drive to Irazu Volcano?

Tucked away in the Irazu Volcano National Park, in the region of central Valley, to avoid the wettest months, the best time to visit is during March and April, although cool temperatures and high winds are common year round. The best time to view the craters is early in the morning, as cloud cover usually thickens after 10 a.m. The park closes at 3:30 p.m. and the drive up from Cartago takes at least 30 minutes so although it’s close you’ll want to start before noon to expect to have any time to enjoy the park.
Pic: Robert Di Pietro