Volcan Turrialba National Park

The easternmost volcano in the country is the 3,328-meter-high Volcan Turrialba, which was active in the first half of the 19th century but has remained quiet since 1866. The Spanish named it Torre Alba (Tower of the Dawn) for the towering column of smoke that it sometimes emitted.

From Santa Cruz (12 kilometers north of Turrialba) a winding cross-country road leads to the summit, passing Bar Canada and winding through the cloud forest. The last 12 kilometers are only passable on foot or horseback. The three craters of Turrialba are visible from the summit. The middle one occasionally spews steam and sulfur.

Los Juncos Cloud Forest Nature Preserve

On a clear day, from the summit of Turrialba you can see the private, 1,400-hectare Los Juncos Cloud Forest Nature Preserve, which crosses the continental divide with its towering stands of virgin forest. Senderos Iberoamerica, the company that manages the property, organizes full-day trips into the forest, which offer ideal conditions for bird watching. The company also maintains a biological observatory with simple accommodations consisting of approximately 20 beds that visitors can use. Los Juncos is just a few kilometers south of Braulio Carrillo National Park and is connected to the park by hiking trails.

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