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Poas Volcano Webcam

Live view from the Poas Volcano webcam in Costa Rica.

This webcam is located on the northern rim of the volcano looking into the crater and acid lake.  Frames are updated every 10 seconds.  During major weather events, it is possible that the view becomes fogged out.


About the Poas Volcano

The Poas Volcano is one of Costa Rica's most iconic natural wonders, attracting visitors from around the world to witness its stunning crater lake and lush surrounding rainforest. Located in the Central Valley region just 30 miles north of the capital San Jose, Poas is an active stratovolcano that reaches an elevation of 8,885 feet.

Poas is the largest active crater in the world, spanning nearly a mile in diameter. The crater contains a vivid blue-green acid lake called Laguna Caliente that belches steam and gases. Poas is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes, with frequent but minor eruptions.

The last major eruption of Poas Volcano occurred on April 12-14, 2017. A series of explosive eruptions blasted ash, rocks and gases 9,800 feet into the air. Ash fell on surrounding communities and authorities closed the national park. Seismic and volcanic activity continued for several months after the eruption.

Prior to 2017, Poas also erupted in 1910, 1953, and 2009, although these events were less severe. The 1910 eruption produced lahars (volcanic mudflows) that damaged agricultural land. The 1953-54 eruption created a new crater lake. Activity in 2009 was characterized by minor blasts.

Despite the potential hazards, Poas Volcano National Park is one of Costa Rica's most popular tourist destinations when volcanic activity is low. A paved road allows visitors to drive right up to the crater rim, where a visitor center and viewing platforms offer spectacular vistas on clear days. Hiking trails wind through the dwarf cloud forest.

Getting to Poas Volcano is relatively easy. Visitors can drive from San Jose in about an hour, or take a public bus from the Avenida Segunda terminal. Many hotels and tour operators in the Central Valley region also offer half-day trips to the volcano, which is an ideal option for those who prefer to leave the logistics to someone else.

In addition to Poas, Costa Rica is home to five other active volcanoes: Turrialba, Irazu, Rincon de la Vieja, Arenal, and Orosi. Together, these volcanoes form the Central Volcanic Corridor, which runs roughly northwest to southeast through central Costa Rica.

Turrialba Volcano, located east of San Jose, has been Costa Rica's most active volcano in recent years. Major eruptions in 2014-2017 repeatedly impacted the capital with ash fall, prompting evacuations and airport closures. Turrialba's summit crater is currently off-limits to visitors.

Irazu Volcano, situated just east of Cartago, is Costa Rica's tallest volcano at 11,260 feet. It last erupted in 1963-65, showering San Jose and Cartago in ash and causing significant agricultural damage. Today, Irazu is a popular tourist destination known for its lunar-like crater landscape and green lake.

Rincon de la Vieja Volcano anchors a remote national park in the northwest Guanacaste province. It is an active complex of nine contiguous craters, with minor phreatic eruptions occurring every few years. The park is noted for its volcanic hot springs, waterfalls, and bubbling mud pots.

Arenal Volcano, located in the north-central part of the country, is Costa Rica's most famous volcano. It erupted continuously from 1968 to 2010, attracting tourists from around the globe to witness its incandescent lava flows and ash columns. Although Arenal is currently in a resting phase, the area remains a major hub for hiking, hot springs, and adventure activities.

Orosi Volcano, the southernmost of Costa Rica's active volcanoes, is a remote peak that sees very few visitors. It last erupted in 1888 and today is monitored for signs of renewed activity. The summit region contains a deep crater lake and several fumaroles.

Costa Rica is also prone to seismic activity due to its location at the intersection of the Cocos, Caribbean, and Panama tectonic plates. The country experiences hundreds of minor earthquakes each year, although major damaging quakes are less frequent.

One of the largest earthquakes in Costa Rica's history occurred on April 22, 1991, when a 7.7-magnitude quake struck the Caribbean coast. The temblor and resulting tsunami caused extensive damage, particularly in the city of Limon, and claimed 48 lives.

More recently, on September 5, 2012, a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit the Nicoya Peninsula on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. Although the quake caused widespread power outages and property damage, effective building codes and emergency response limited casualties to two.

Other notable earthquakes in Costa Rica include a 6.1-magnitude quake near the capital in 2009, a 6.2-magnitude quake in the northwest in 2016, and a 6.5-magnitude quake near the Panama border in 2017. Visitors to Costa Rica should be aware of earthquake safety procedures, such as identifying safe zones and having an emergency plan.

Despite the risks associated with volcanic and seismic activity, Costa Rica remains a top destination for adventurous travelers who appreciate the raw power and beauty of the Earth's geological forces. With proper precautions and respect for nature, exploring Costa Rica's volcanoes can be a safe and unforgettable experience.

Whether you're marveling at the turquoise waters of Poas' crater lake, hiking through the misty rainforest of Arenal, or soaking in the hot springs of Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica's volcanoes offer a thrilling glimpse into the heart of a dynamic and ever-changing planet. For those who love to hike in tropical rainforests and witness the majesty of the natural world, there are few better places to do so than in the shadow of Costa Rica's awe-inspiring volcanoes.

Watch live from the Poas Volcano Webcam.

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