The Miravalles Volcano and the area surrounding it represent the largest geothermal energy production location in all of Costa Rica which produces 140 megawatts.
Miravalles Volcano is located in the cantons of Bagaces in Guancaste Province and Upala in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. It is along a line of volcanoes in the Cordillera de Guanacaste which includes Rincón de la Vieja, Tenorio and Arenal. Miravalles is around an hour and twenty minutes from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica. From Juan Santamaria International Airport in the San Jose Central Valley region it is about three to four hours away.
Elevation & Size
Miravalles Volcano is the tallest volcano in the province of Guanacaste at 2,028 meters above sea level. The caldera of Miravalles is 15 meters by 20 meters in diameter with a total circumference around 55.53 meters.
Type of Volcano
Like Arenal and Turrialba, Miravalles is an andesitic stratovolcano. Andesitic refers to the type of rock that it is made of, and stratovolcano means that it has a long cylindrical cone with one major crater. These are considered the most powerful volcanoes in terms of eruptions.
Miravalles volcano formed nearly 1.5 million years ago, and it has shown some signs of activity as recently as in the last century. Along with Tenorio Volcano, which Miravalles is in close proximity, two earthquake events happened in 1994 and 1997. The last recorded eruption took place more than seventy years ago in 1946. Before the eruption of ’46 and the quakes of ’94 and ’97, Miravalles saw an event of some magnitude around 5050 BC.
Miravalles is one of the volcanoes in Costa Rica which you can climb to the summit. Guayabo is the name of the crater on Miravalles, and it takes around 9 hours round trip. There are other hiking trails in the area, and you can go swimming at different spots around the protected area. Miravalles is home to 130 bird species that live in the various ecosystems of the protected zone and include cloud forests in the higher elevations.
Location: Cantons of Bagaces in Guanacaste Province and Upala in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
Elevation: 2,028 meters
Size: diameter:15 X 20 meters circumference=55.53 meters
Type of Volcano: andesitic stratovolcano
Years of Activity: 5050 BC, 1946, 1994, 1997
Nearby Attractions: hiking, swimming, bird watching, hot springs, summiting