Turrialba Volcano in Cartago Costa Rica
Turrialba Volcano has been the most active volcano in Costa Rica since it started erupting around the month of May in 2013. It continues to show activity in 2015.
Turrialba lies slightly Northeast of Irazú Volcano in Turrialba Canton, Cartago Province, Costa Rica. It is about two and a half hours from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in the San Jose Central Valley region, and it is nearly six hours driving time from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Libreria, Costa Rica. Much of the area that would regularly be open to the public may not be as accessible due to Turrialba’s recent activity.
Elevation & Size
The summit of Turrialba is 3,340 meters from sea level, and the Caribbean and Pacific can be seen from the viewing platform on clear days. There are three craters just below the summit of Turrialba which comprise an area of 800 X 2,200 meters.
Type of Volcano
Turrialba is a basalt and dacite stratovolcano. Basalt is an igneous rock that moves quickly, and dacite is another type of igneous rock that appear grey, brown or yellow when they have cooled. The term stratovolcano refers to its conical shape and layers (strata) of volcanic material that have built up over the years of the volcano’s production.
Turrialba Volcano started its most recent cycle of activity in 1996. It has been active since at least 7260 BC, but it wasn’t active for more than one hundred years up until recently. Before Turrialba became the most active volcano in Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano had been the most active. Arenal stopped showing signs of activity in 2010, and Turrialba has been erupting consistently since around 2013. On March 12th and 13th, Turrialba had the largest eruptions since it began exhibiting activity in 1996.
Turrialba National Park is currently closed because of the recent activity of the volcano. It is close to Irazu Volcano which can still be summited, and there are a number of hiking trails in the area. There are bathrooms, picnic tables and a small food court at Irazú, and along the route to the summit there are plenty of restaurants, bars and eateries. Turrialba may be visible from sections of Irazú on clear days.
Location: Turrialba Canton, Cartago Province, Costa Rica
Elevation: 3,340 meters
Size: 800 X 2,200 meter summit depression (made up of three craters)
Type of Volcano: basalt and dacite stratovolcano
Years of Activity: 7260 BC, 1866, 1996, 2013-2015
Nearby Attractions: Irazú Volcano National Park