Poas Volcano and Coffee Farm

Published: February 23rd 2012
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Today we went to see the Poas Volcano (almost 9 thousand feet elevation). We were warned that it was cloudy on the mountain today, and we might get wet. But we got lucky and the weather turned out to be beautiful. Because of the sulpher fumes, the clouds, the humidity and the elevation, you often cannot see the crater at the top of the mountain. At first, we saw only clouds, so we hiked up another trail to see a mountain lake. The trail is in the Escalonia Cloud Forest, and is a steep ½ hour hike. The air is a little thin up here, plus we are not in the best shape, so we had to stop to catch our breath a few times. The mist rising off the trail was interesting to see. All the trees in the forest are covered with moss. And the lake at the top was a pretty turquoise due to the minerals in the water. The way down the trail was much quicker, and by then the fog and clouds were clearing away from the crater, so we got a few good photos of the crater too. We also saw plants with the large leaves that they call the “Poor Man’s Umbrella”, and lots of bromeliads on the trees. We are told that cloud forests like this are disappearing throughout the world because of global warming and deforestation.

After a nice lunch that represents the typical meal of Costa Rica (rice, black beans, meat, salad and salsa, served with fruit water and rice pudding for dessert) we went for a tour of a coffee farm. They had already picked all their coffee beans, but they put on a fun show for us explaining how it is all done. We were able to taste the various coffees they make here, and walk around the property a bit. They also grow chocolate which grows in big pods that look something like a mango. We were told that chocolate grows better in hotter climates, but they like to show the tourists what the plants look like so they grow it here also.

We were glad to get back to the hotel for a swim and a soak in the hot tub. The leg muscles are going to be sore tomorrow.

There is a big flock of wild parakeets that roost in the trees around the hotel every evening at sunset. We were able to get a couple of pictures of them right from our hotel window

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