Poas location mapKutztown Geology 2007-2008 trip to

Costa Rica
Poás Volcano

Although classified as an active volcano, Poás volcano is not currently erupting.  The attraction here is a view right down into the steaming crater of the volcano.

Poás Volcano Main Crater

Volcán Poás group photoThe main crater at Poás volcano is really spectacular.  When we first arrived at around 11:00, the summit was completely socked in with fog with a visibility of about 3 meters (10 feet).  We could see nothing of the crater!  There was a brisk breeze, though, that blew the fog off in a couple of minutes - first revealing only glimpses of the crater as holes in the cloud would blow through, and then clearing up nicely!

Kurt Friehauf at Volcán PoásJust a picture of me since I couldn't be in the group shot  :-)

Volcán Poás group photoThe lake in the crater at Poás is remarkable in that it is the most acid natural lake observed on earth.  The pH of the waters fluctuates with rainfall, groundwater flow, and variations in volcanic gas emissions, but has been measured to get all the way down to zero!  The water temperature also ranges from 50-90°C (120-200°F).  If you dropped a penny in a glass of that water, it would fizz like an alka seltzer tablet and dissolve to nothing in around 20-30 minutes!

Botos Lake

From the main crater, we hiked to Botos Lake - a neutral pH lake in an old crater on the volcano.  The hike through the dense forest was like walking through a living tunnel much of the time. 

Casado lunch

dinner at a local restaurantAfter our hikes on the volcano, we stopped for Casado (the typical Costa Rican meal of rice with black beans, a piece of meat, a fried plantain or piece of yucca, and maybe a salad or corn tortilla).  Casado is both delicious and nutritious.  Casado meals typically cost around $3 to $4, but can get up to $7 when one adds in something to drink and a tip.  This was our preferred meal in restaurants. 

Coffee plantation

coffee beansAfter lunch, we stopped at a coffee plantation.  Many coffee plantations offer a tour for $10-15, but we opted for the free self-guided visit. 
The coffee beans are surprisingly sweet!  They have a hard center with a few seeds surrounded by a soft, sweet, fruity flesh. We met a 17 year old local boy on a bike who worked the fields.  He said that he did not go to school - rather just picked coffee and rode his bike with his friends.  His hands were very tough and a little cut up, suggesting he was telling the truth.  It's fascinating to think of the different kinds of lives we humans live. 

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