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Irazu Volcano Crater Lake in Cartago Costa Rica

active Volcano in Central America with green crater lake

Volcan Irazu

The Irazu Volcano is the highest volcano in Costa Rica. It famously erupted the day President John F. Kennedy arrived in Costa Rica for a state visit.

A popular day trip from San Jose, the highly visible volcano has a long history with the surrounding countryside. Irazu is sometimes referred to as El Coloso (the Colossus) in light of the damage it has caused over the years. However one advantage of an active volcano is that most of the soil in the area is rich with minerals spewed out by Irazu and other volcanoes in the region. The nearby Orosi Valley is the site of some of Costa Rica's most productive coffee bean plantations.  One of Irazu's most notable eruptions began the day that President John F. Kennedy arrived in Costa Rica to visit the area. Several craters exist at the summit and the views are spectacular.

Cartago at a Glance

Largest City:
Paraiso pop. 174.219

432.395 (as of 2000)

3,124 km² (1,206 sq mi)

Featured Destination:
City of Cartago

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