Costa Rica Volcan Poas (Page 1) Day Trip San Jose
La Paz Volcano Crater Rim Costa Rica Park
Here are the pictures of the mists at the Poas crater rim, the destination of a day tour from San Jose to the La Paz Botanical Gardens, with birds and butterflies, and a hike to the La Paz waterfalls. The La Paz Volcano tour included lunch at the park restaurant. After an hour's a hike to the waterfalls, a tasty hot lunch was just what we wanted! Do pack rain gear, even if it's only a plastic rain poncho, and carry a bottle of water, and perhaps a snack.
Volcan Poas - La Paz Volcano in Cloud Deck Mists at crater rim
La Paz volcano at Poas is 8659 feet (2640 m) high, which is coincidentally, the level of the cloud deck.
As the cloud deck raises, or clears completely, visitors get wonderful views of the crater and the lake at the bottom.
This vantage point (photo) is reached after a 10-15 minute walk from the parking lot.
I always travel with rain gear, and this day, I was glad I had my jacket. There's a place to stand out of the wind, but it's really chilly here, with rain driven by 40 kph (25 mph) winds. I estimate the air temp was about 40F.
Wet and cold, with visibility at about, oh, a hundred feet: Lucky we had a congenial group, led by Max, the guide, who every few minutes would gaze over the railing and above, saying, "Look, it's clearing up! I bet it will be sunny in about 15 minutes!"
Volcan Poas Costa Rica Mist, fog and winds at La Paz crater rim.
With the weather pretty much socked in, there wasn't a lot to really see, and I was reduced to taking pictures of the rock formations that surrounded the viewing area.
From here, you can take a trail about 200 steps down into the crater. This day, though, only a few of our group went off to explore, and were soon back.
If you're driving, of course you can come here on your own, but try to come early for the best chance of clear weather.
To see the difference between being IN the cloud deck, as here, and ABOVE the cloud deck, as in Irazu, see this page.
La Paz Crater Volcan Poas ~ Clouds block views for Costa Rica Day Tour
In this picture, the hoped-for sun was definitely not making an appearance! Look how happy we all are!
But in the interests of giving tourists a positive experience, and the chance to see the crater, our tour guide had us stay here for an hour and 15 minutes. Besides, it was too soon for lunch.
I know I speak for the entire group when I say that we were most happy to retrace our steps to the parked bus.
As we walked the trail down the hill, the sun was shining, as it had been on our walk up. What a difference 15 minutes walk makes in elevation!
And so, well rested from our hour of standing still, we were ready for the hike down to the La Paz waterfalls!
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