Yes – that’s rather surprising! Especially this Irazú Volcano, the highest in Costa Rica and usually above the clouds as seen in one of the following photos or the feature photo at top. As the highest, it is the only volcano from which you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day, though not a clear day while I was there. 🙂
Irazú has two craters, one inactive and one occasionally mildly active, with sometimes both craters filling with water in the rainy season (not now) to form beautiful lakes. But the biggest surprise to me was the number and variety of flowers and other plants, even trees around both craters and “the beach,” a large, flat sandy, desert-like area above both craters with hills going above that, all with plants growing on them!
And as I will denote tomorrow in my post on the neighboring Turrialba Volcano, the land below an active volcano grows great vegetables with the soil enriched by the regular deposits of the rich volcanic ash! 🙂 When it erupts during the windy dry season (Dec-Mar) I get some of that rich ash on my garden and even as dust all over my furniture at less than a hundred air miles away! 🙂
Volcanoes Irazú and Turrialba are almost twin volcanoes with a road connecting the near tops of both in the rural vegetable farming mountains just northwest of the lodge. The rich volcanic soil is great for growing vegetables and many are shipped to other countries including the states.
Turrialba is active right now, so we saw it from outside that park, but I have photos below of both. My one disclaimer is that there is not as much to see at these two as the Poas Volcano north of where I live and I do have past posts and photo galleries on my two visits there, plus a gallery on my visit to Rincón de la Vieja northeast of Liberia which is more like a miniature Yellowstone with lots of bubbling mud pots, hot springs and fissures. And Tenorio is similar. But my favorite is Arenal Volcano National Park for birding! You only see the volcano from outside. They are all interesting! And Stijn was an excellent guide again today! He made photos of me on his phone which I don’t have to share yet. And later I may do a post on the many interesting flowers and a couple of insects I photographed at Irazú.
Below are separate galleries on Irazú & Turrialba with 5 shots from each . . .