Costa Rica’s Volcanoes
Costa Rica is a prime eco-destination, and active volcanoes are among its premier attractions. When I was there a few years ago, we spent one late afternoon lazing in the hot springs at the base of Arenal, and watched as the sky grew dark and the red glow from the summit deepened in color.
It’s great to see nature at work, but you do have to be careful when messing with active volcanoes. They’re dangerous and unpredictable. Tourists and guides have been killed hiking too close to the action. It’s not just burning lava that can get you, but noxious gases and heat, so get good advice from locals and be careful.
Not all CR volcanoes are so lively though, and you can safely hike along the weird formations they’ve left behind in angrier days, creating landscapes like nowhere else on earth.
If you want to know what you’re looking at when you get there, this glossary from the USGS provides great pix with well-written explanations. You can learn about cinder cones, calderas, fumaroles, bombs, and more.
And for a glimpse of what you’ll see, here’s a video from Travelistic.