Through the Fog

Guess where I went recently?! Poás VOLCANO!! Even writing that is exciting, let alone actually telling someone.

Weekends here hold some of my best memories. They’re so full of potential. With 3 days off each week, there’s almost always the opportunity to explore more of this beautiful country 🙂

We decided to go on a Sunday. The five of us met bright and early in central Heredia at around 7:30am. From there we took a bus to Alajuela. Once we reached Alajuela, we took another bus to Poás Volcano.

20150719_110204These long bus trips are so tiresome, but they’re worth it for the views of the Costa Rican countryside. Almost everywhere I travel here, there’s a view of the mountains in the background. Sometimes I can only see the outline, other times I can see actual greenery. As we moved further from the city, there were a series of hills and valleys all along the way. Cute little houses or farms with horses and cows dotted the hillside. And then every once in a while there’d be a break in the greenery and you’d get a fabulous view of some body of water–maybe a river, a lake. We finally reached Poás Volcano National Park at about 11:30am.

Finally, we were getting closer to the main attraction. The trek to Poás was relatively quick and easy–there was only a slight upward hike. As we approached the viewing area, I could see lots of people standing near the safety railing and a huge cloudy mist in front of them. Nothing else was visible, except for the treetops of the surrounding forest. The fog seemed to be impenetrable.

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I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed. We traveled so far and for so long, only to reach our destination and not be able to see anything. The weather also surprised me. It was quite cold, colder than I thought it’d be. I’d compare it to a late autumn day in Atlanta, where the temperature is about 65°F (18°C). Still, my host did forewarn me, so I had a light sweater with me.

We decided to wait around for a while, in the hope that conditions might improve. In the meantime, we took lots of pictures.

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Finally we caught a break. The sun came out and some of the fog started to clear away. And what I was able to see was pretty incredible. I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves.

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We had some time left before we had to leave, so we decided to go to the nearby lagoon. From the volcano, the hike there was about 30 minutes. The scenery on the way was amazing. It’s hard to describe well, but I’ll try. On some parts of the path, it was like being in a dark, mysterious forest. Tree limbs stretched above us to form a tangled arch and sparse amounts of sunlight filtered through. Think Alice in Wonderland. We stopped to take a picture with the background and met some people who asked to be in a photo with us.

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The lagoon itself was quite nice and much easier to view than the volcano. However, around this time, it started to rain really hard so we headed back to the welcome center at the front of the park to relax before our trip home.

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20150719_125759It was such a great experience for me, unlike any I’ve ever had. And it’s yet another item I can cross off my Costa Rica bucket list. The people I went with also made the experience great. Though we’re all from different places, its nice sharing these first-time-visitor moments with them.

A visit to another volcano (hopefully Arenal) is definitely in order.

Till next time, ciao 🙂

(For more information on Poás Volcano National Park and tips on how to plan your visit, click here.)

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