Posted on June 24, 2015
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica
When I told Bean what a volcano was, (a big hole in a mountain that sometimes had fire in the middle of it and hot mud) she said, “That’s o.k. mom, I don’t have to see it. You can go by yourself and I will sit in the van and wait for you and the rest of the people.” I thought that was so funny and I told her that she would not be scared. I wish I had listened to her and chosen another activity as well.
We got up early and though we had a few minutes to order breakfast at our guesthouse, I wasn’t sure if it would come out before the tour bus came. I wish I had of taken those few minutes to at least try and order something as there wasn’t a breakfast on this tour as I had hoped. We picked up a few people who were also going with us on the bus to the volcano and then we drove and drove until we reached the site.
Unfortunately for us, the day was very cool and overcast. Bean and I both had little jackets on, but it didn’t seem to be good enough. Also, regardless of what the brochure said, there really wasn’t a snack stand. There was a coffee machine, a few empanadas to buy and a few other snacks like cookies and trail mix. We were starving and because our group was about to leave, I forced myself to pay six dollars for a bag of nuts. Hungry people will do anything.
We started the hike with our group and walked about a mile to get to the viewing area where we could see the crater of Poas Volcano. Our group was certainly NOT the only group. There were lots of people just trying to catch a glimpse of the crater. Our guide told us just wait a few minutes and we might be able to see something because the clouds were moving fast.
About twenty minutes later, the clouds did move just a little and we were able to see a small speck of green. Everyone grabbed their cameras and started clicking away. It was somewhat funny. Our guide then told us that we were the lucky ones. He said that only 20% of the visitors coming to see Poas Volcano actually see anything. I was annoyed at that. 20%? And yet they sell tons of tours and never say a word about this! I should have listened to Bean and stayed in the van…better yet, choose another activity for the day.
After that short lived excitement, we were given the opportunity to go on another hike to see the crater from a different angle… if the clouds moved. I let Bean ride piggy back and she was more willing to go this time. I was the one who would be doing all of the work after all.
We walked and walked, maybe close to two miles uphill in order to get to the next viewing area. I wasn’t too upset this time. We just looked at the rain forest and foliage all around us. We listened to the birds and it was a blast. It was one of the activities that I believe helped Bean to get another sense of Costa Rica and the beautiful nature for which this country is known.
While I would not recommend buying a tour to Poas Volcano alone, I would recommend visiting and taking a hike. For me, the hike alone was worth the visit. We had the opportunity to really get close to nature in a way that the other tours did not provide, though it was implied. Bean was able to see first hand an active volcano which didn’t happen to be frightening at all. Being able to give my five year old this experience makes myspoclife worth living.