The owner of the Monkey’s Tribe Hostel and fellow Couchsurfer Hazel was gracious enough to take me to Irazu Volcano National Park despite my tight schedule. I was skeptical when she mentioned we were taking public transportation there, I’m not going to lie — but was wonderfully surprised once at the bus stop! The coach was unusually comfortable, with reclining seats and large picture windows. It was also a pretty direct, stunning route, which made it the best Irazu Volcano budget tour of all:
To get to Irazu from San Jose by the way, just go to downtown’s Central Avenue: right in front of the National Theather. From there, you will see a bus stop called Volcan Irazu; the first bus leaves at 8 AM every day and costs less than a dollar. The ride takes about two hours and best of all? The bus drops you off right inside the National Park, by the souvenir shop, and entrance fee is only USD $10 for foreigners. You will have a solid 2-2.5 hours to explore, as the bus won’t go back to San Jose from that same spot until 12:30 PM.
The Crater Lake (That Wasn’t There)
Spectacular scenery: Green rolling hills, puffy white clouds, light blue sky. “Are we really going up to Irazu Volcano National Park? Doesn’t feel like it!” exclaimed Hazel upon our arrival. We were being blessed with an unusually-sunny day, as the way up is typically foggy (such is the volcanic climate).
As we finally reached the summit though, the city of Cartago below was slowly covered by a gentle mist. This only added to the incredible landscape: the stark contrast of beautiful flowers and oddly-shaped leaves against the dark gray…