Retirees and Costa Rica’s Hidden Giants

Almost everyone who lives in Costa Rica or has visited has heard of these volcanoes: Irazú, Poás, Turrialba, Rincón de Vieja and Arenal. Of these giants only only Turrialba (webcam and Arenal are active.

There are many lesser known volcanos because they have not erupted recently or are difficult to reach. In fact, vulcanologists (scientists who study volcanic activity) estimate that are over 200 volcanic cones in Costa Rica that vary in size and shape. El Tortuguero Volcano only rises 200 feet above sea level while other volcanic cones still lie beneath the surface, and have yet to be exposed by erosion.

Here are some of the county’s less famous volcanos and their locations:

Barva (Heredia) whose last eruption was of 6,000 years ago.
Burica (part of the Talamanca mountain range)
Cacao (La Cruz, Guanacaste) whose last eruption was over 400,000 years ago.
El Cacho Negro (behind the Barva Volcano)
Cerro Congo (Braulio Carrillo National Park)
Cerro Pelón (Cañas, Guanacaste)
Cerro Tortuguero (Tortuguero National Park)
El Hacha (near Peñas Blancas)
Kamuk (part of the Talamanca mountain range)
La Caldera de Bosque Alegre (Alajuela)
Lago Cote (Tilarán)
Miravalles (nine miles north of the small town of Bagaces, in the eastern province of Guanacaste)
Orosi (La Cruz, Guanacaste)
Talamanca whose last eruption was over 1.8 million years ago.

Adventurous retired expats who have the time, are in good physical condition and who like to hike can explore some of these lessor known volcanic wonders. Volcanos are both fascinating and important since they help to shape the earth, renew the landscape, create mountains and rivers and even affect the climate.

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