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Parque Nacional Volcán Irazú

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Like the Poás Volcano,Parque Nacional Volcán Irazú is very popular with visitors, and for many of the same reasons. Over 100,000 people come here every year, most from Cartago (31 km) and San José (53 km), which are relatively close by. Although there is no interpretation centre or real hiking trails, the road goes all the way to the top of the volcano whose spectacular beauty, impressive height and awe-inspiring craters make it a highlight of any trip to the Central Valley. Moreover, the little road (Route 8) that winds its way from Cartago to the park passes through vast plains serves up superb views of the Central Valley.

The Costa Rican conservation movement achieved one of its first successes on July 30, 1955 when 2,309 hectares of land around the Irazú Volcano became a protected area with the creation of Parque Nacional Volcán Irazú. As early as 1563, Spanish settlers noted that this high mountain (3,432 m) occasionally spewed out fire and ashes. Irazú's first recorded full-blown eruption of was in 1723.

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