There are over 112 volcanic formations across the country, with seven volcanoes currently active (lava flows, incandescent rocks, fumaroles, ash columns, etc.).Natural volcanic activity has highly contributed to the country's rugged terrain and the overwhelming natural beauty of Costa Rica’s landscape.
Only ten volcanoes in Costa Rica are known tourist destinations, leaving a whole new world yet to discover. Centuries old volcanic eruptions helped create the fertile soils that now bless the tropical boundaries of this small, agriculturally based country.
Historically, sudden eruptions have attributed to death and destruction, once again reminding all mankind of Mother Nature's awesome power. Today, modern geologic predictions make visiting volcanoes much safer, although visitors should always obey any warnings and/or instructions that are posted.
Fortunately, several of Costa Rica’s major volcanoes are now protected by the government's National Park System: Volcanoes Irazú, Poás, Arenal, Turrialba, and Rincón de la Vieja. Other ones like Miravalles and Tenorio are also part of an active conservation program. Climbing some volcanoes to the top to have a closer view of their craters is permitted, while others (like Arenal) have to be observed from a not-so-close distance and visitors must keep themselves within the safety zones that have been established.