This protected area is located in the canton of Turrialba, province of Cartago, in the easternmost part of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, 24 kilometers northwest of the city of Turrialba.
Turrialba Volcano forms a single geological system with Irazú Volcano. It is an oval-shaped stratovolcano whose formation is due to explosive and effusive lava events. It has three craters with lava flows on its flanks. On its slopes, two possible cones have developed: Cerro Tiendilla at 2,971 MASL, and el Armado at 2,750 MASL. Here you can find two Holdridge life zones: Tropical Wet Forest and Premontane Very Wet Forest.
Its maximum elevation is 3,340 MASL, making it the second tallest volcano in the country, with an average temperature of 16° C and average rainfall of 3,000-4,000 mm.
The Turrialba Volcano National Park was created by Article 6 of Law No. 1917 on July 30, 1955, as published in La Gaceta 175 on Aug. 9 of that year, which stated that its perimeter is two kilometers in diameter around the active crater, for a total of 1,256 hectares.
Its name comes from Spaniards, who first called it “Torre Blanca” or “Torre Alba” (“White Tower”).
Its recent volcanic activity began in the 1980s and gradually increased until its first eruption on Jan. 5, 2010, which consisted mostly of gases and ash. Since then, it is considered active, having erupted again on Jan. 12, 2012.
In 2013, new eruptions occurred within the normal range of activity and without causing major threats or damage. They consisted primarily of low-volume expelled gases and ash. The biggest occurred on May 21, with a larger volume of expelled materials and gases.
A strong eruption occurred on the morning of Oct. 29, 2014, and several subsequent minor eruptions followed in the morning and next day, prompting emergency agencies from the canton to respond and a national alert to be activated due to the magnitude of gases and ash.
On March 12, 2015, three large eruptions occurred, forcing the closure of Juan Santamaría International Airport due to the expulsion of large amounts of gases and ash containing young material. Magma also was expelled for the first time, indicating the volcano had entered into a new phase.
In October 2015, the volcano entered a period of shorter eruptions, but with a higher level of explosiveness.
How to get there: from San José, take the highway Florencio of the Castle towards Carthage and the path to the Irazu volcano. In the Christ take route 230 towards Pacayas and continue until the pastor of Santa Cruz of Turrialba, then turn left and climb 18 km.