Irazu Volcano

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Irazú Volcano National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
DirkvdM irazu 4.jpg
Irazú volcano crater
Location Costa Rica
Nearest city Cartago
Coordinates 9°58′44″N 83°51′7″W / 9.97889°N 83.85194°W / 9.97889; -83.85194Coordinates: 9°58′44″N 83°51′7″W / 9.97889°N 83.85194°W / 9.97889; -83.85194
Area 20 km²
Established 9 August 1955
Governing body National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC)

Irazu Volcano National Park has one of the most active volcanos of Costa Rica. It is in the central mountain range at 31 km to northwest of the city of Cartago, 3,435 meters above sea level. It last erupted in 1963 and 1965.

Irazu Volcano National Park offers many types of craters, some having small lakes. The park also includes 2,309 hectares of rain forest. 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.

The Crater Principal lake has an unusual greenish yellow coloring caused by rainfall dissolving the minerals along the craters walls. It has also been known to change colour to rust-red depending on the minerals present. The inactive, dry Diego de la Haya crater sits just up to the right of the Crater Principal and is filled with volcanic ash.

The park is the site of a reforestation project to restore the area which was destroyed by the eruptions. The forest is made up of conifers and other exotic and native species. There is a native forest consisting mainly of oaks and alder, protecting the watershed of the Reventado River.

The vegetation of the park has been changed by the constant eruptions, but it is very beautiful and diverse.

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