Volcan Poas (Page 2) Day Tour San Jose, Costa Rica
La Paz Waterfalls, National Park Pictures, Video
La Paz Waterfalls at Poas National Park is a great place for a rainforest hike, about half an hour each way from the Botanical Gardens restaurant area. This day tour from San Jose also includes a 15-minute hike to the crater at Volcan Poas. My day tour from San Jose downtown area , Costa Rica, included lunch here at Poas, as well as breakfast at the coffee plantation (Doka Estate). There is more walking on this tour than the tour to Volcan Irazu, (another day tour from San Jose via Cartago). Below are my travel pictures of this part of the Volcan Poas tour. Do take rain gear, or at least a water-resistant jacket.
Volcan Poas - La Paz Waterfalls in Costa Rica National Park
A light rain was falling as our group set off down the trail to the waterfalls. There are two falls to see on this tour; this picture is of the first falls.
Sheltered in the rain forest, we were much warmer than when at the crater rim, and glad to be moving rather than standing around.
And of course, in the rain, picture taking is kept to a minimum, to keep cameras safe and dry, but I soldiered on!
Volcan Poas Costa Rica - La Paz Waterfalls Maintenance on Park Hiking Trail
The boardwalk took us past a white plastic covered platform, where maintenance workers were shoring up the hiking trail.
You can see the results of recent rains in the muddy waters of the falls.
While it takes about 20 minutes to go down the trail to the falls, it's easy walking.
Coming up is another story. We are still at altitude here (see Volcan Poas) and could feel the effects of the rarified air when we exerted too much effort. Having said that, one fellow who was using a cane for a sore knee made the trip with minimal difficulty.
La Paz Waterfalls at Volcan Poas ~ Costa Rica Day Tour Group Hike
Here's the La Paz waterfalls as seen from the upper viewing deck. Note the people on the lower deck, and the top of the falls.
We went down to the lower deck, where the guide had us do a short visual exercise that set up an optical illusion.
I won't spoil it for you :-) but it was really cool!
Then we retraced our steps and crossed a bridge that goes over the river that is the TOP of these waterfalls. I didn't use the telephoto lens in order to be able to show the distance from here to the top of the falls.
River Flows over the cliff to become La Paz Waterfalls
Where the river 'ends' in the middle of this picture is the top of the cliff of the waterfalls in the picture above.
I took this photo standing in the middle of the footbridge that crossed the river.
The current looked immensely strong; the jungle flora immensely lush.
Even the misty, rainy day couldn't dampen the fun of this part of the Volcan Poas tour.
We were wet, even with rain jackets on, but we were all having a great time, much the same as when kids splash in mud puddles. And after this, we were more than ready for lunch.
Second La Paz Waterfalls and Viewing platform near Poas Costa Rica
After you cross the footbridge (above pic), a short path leads to this viewing platform and the second waterfalls.
Only a few of our group of 12 made this hike to the second waterfalls; a neat experience to be standing in the clouds!
As day tours go, this Volcan Poas tour is one of the best that I have taken anywhere in the world:
Two good meals, interesting stops (butterflies, birds, monkeys, snakes, coffee plantation, earthquake epicenter, crater rim, cloud deck, botanical gardens), and a nice blend of riding on the bus and hiking around the stops.
There's also a shop op at the strawberry place back on the highway, where I got some coffee beans to take home, and a locally made necklace.
The guide was great, the other tour members interesting and congenial, and the food excellent.
And no, I am not getting any renumeration for mentioning any of these services, but I would not refuse if they offer to pay me :-)
If you are renting a vehicle (4WD for sure!), you can drive here fairly easily from San Jose. Head towards the airport (Alajuela area) and follow the signs for Poas. Park entry fees were posted as $10 USD person; I do not know if there are family rates, etc. From San Jose to Volcan Poas is about 40 km (25 miles). With the narrow roads, allow an hour or so to drive the distance.
Here is a sound byte of the Volcan Poas La Paz waterfalls :
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