Irazu is the highest volcano in Costa Rica. There have been at least 23 eruptions since 1723. The most recent was from 1963 to 1965. It sent tephra and secondary mudflows into cultivated areas, caused at least 40 deaths, and destroyed 400 houses and some factories. Irazu’s last eruption was on the day of President John F. Kennedy’s visit in 1963. Ash showers followed by rain left the Central Valley covered in black soot and sludge for months.
Today, as you travel along the southern slope of the volcano to the park, the potato, onion, and cabbage fields give way to dairy farms at higher elevations. The next eruption can’t be predicted with much accuracy, but currently the only activity in the crater is from fumaroles releasing toxic steam. There are several paths to explore, leading to the craters and a majestic waterfall. From the highest point in the park, on a clear day, you can see both, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea at the same time.
Satellite image of the Crater of Irazu Volcano in Costa Rica: