At the height of more than 2700 meters above sea level in Alajuela province, visitors will find the much active Poas Volcano. This peak gives name to one of the most-visited national parks of Costa Rica: Poas Volcano National Park.
This national park is an hour and a half away, going northwest by car, from the capital city of San José. There, tourists will be able to take a leisurely morning hike to the volcano's crater, one of the largest in the whole world, with a diameter of approximately a mile wide.
Inside this astonishing hole, a lake formed, where geothermal activity still happens. Once you start the hike up, the air smells a bit sulfuric, and those who are lucky enough will be able to wonder at some active bubbling when reaching the top. The view of the crater is truly marvelous and rarely rivaled anywhere in the world. You cannot stay more than 20 minutes there, but it's worth it.
There is another inactive crater in the park, which is home to the famous Lake Botos. Unfortunately, it's closed to the public since recently.
Poas Volcano National Park visit is a half-day long. You can combine it with a stop in a coffee plantation in the area, or a little tour to La Paz Waterfall on the return trip to San Jose. Some visitors even take the Poas Volcano tour on their way from San José to another destination.