The long dormant Barva Volcano is known for the lush ecosystem that makes up the area, and also for fictitious reports of volcanic eruptions from the 1700s and 1800s.
Barva is found in Braulio Carrillo National Park in the Canton of Barva, Heredia Province, Costa Rica. From Juan Santamaria International Airport in the Central Valley region it is about forty-five minutes away, it is around four hours and fifteen minutes from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica. It is close enough to San Jose for making a day trip, but there are also places to stay nearby if you want to make it an overnight adventure.
Elevation & Size
The summit of the Barva Volcano is 2,906 meters in elevation from sea level, and the caleda of Barva Volcano is enormous at 2 X 3 kilometers in diameter giving it an overall circumference of about 8 kilometers.
Type of Volcano
Barva is a dormant andesitic complex shield volcano. In breaking down each of the terms, andesite is a type of volcanic rock known to be in a chemical composition that lies between basalt and dacite. Barva is a complex volcano because it has multiple vents from which lava or phreatic eruptions may happen. It is a shield volcano, because its shape resembles a shield and is very large.
In 1760, ’66 and possibly ’76 there were unsubstantiated reports of eruptions at Barva, and in 1867 there was a report of an eruption that is yet to be determined if it is true or false. The last scientifically proved eruption at Barva happened around 8000 years ago in 6050 BC. Scientists were able to show evidence for this eruption by method called tephrochronology which analyzes layers of volcanic ash to come up with a timeframe related to the event.
There are a few hiking trails in the area of Barva and the Braulio Carrillo National Park. The national park comprises 475.8 km2, and there are 6,000 species of plants, 140 species of mammals and 75% of all the species of birds that can be found in Costa Rica. In other words, there’s plenty to see. Near to Barva there is a ranger station, and it is the only area of Braulio Carrillo National Park where camping is allowed.
Location: Barva Canton, Heredia Province, Costa Rica
Elevation: 2,906 meters
Size: diameter=2 X 3 km perimeter=8 km
Type of Volcano: andesitic complex shield volcano
Years of Activity: 1867?, 6050 BC
Nearby Attractions: hiking, bird and wildlife observation, camping