Our First Coati Encounter at Volcan Irazú


Crater Lake

The first thing you notice as you stroll along the path to the lookout point is the puffy clouds below you. At 3,400 metres above sea level, it’s a beautiful site to see the clouds as you would if you were taking off in an airplane. 

There are two craters you can view from the lookout point. One of them has a crater lake which gives off a slight sulphur smell, kind of like the smell of Rotorua.

Playing with the Volcanic Rocks

Once we had taken our photos we headed back across the barren volcanic grains of sand. Kenzo enjoyed creating dust storms with his feet which enticed Giselle and Carmelo to try to skid on the gravel. Lui got distracted by some rocks that he kept trying to lift but they were too heavy for him.

Baby Tornado

While we were waiting for the kids to finish playing, Ajay spotted a little tornado. The ground was dusty enough that the tornado was picking up dirt making it easy for us to see the tornado as it moved along the ridge beside us.

Coati Munde

When we finally made it back to the carpark, all dusty from the exploration of rocks, we spotted a little four-legged creature with a long tail, moving peacefully along. It was super cute because it didn’t acknowledge the presence of any humans around and seemed content to search for food with it’s long nose while we stopped and stared.

We didn’t know what they were but they seemed very gentle and very laid back. Carmelo said it reminded him of a racoon. I asked one of the other tourists and they told us it was called Coati munde , or coati (pronounced qua-tee) for short, and that they were cousins to the racoon. 

Getting There

We were staying in San Jose when we decided to visit and we had rented a car for our Costa Rican trip so we drove to Volcan Irazu. The drive is not well sign posted until the last twenty minutes so you do need some kind of navigation system. We used Maps.me which is a free app that you can use offline. It is estimated to take about an hour depending on traffic but it took us an hour and a half to get there.

There are one day tours that leave from San Jose and include Volcan Irazu on the trip.

How much is the entry fee to Volcan Irazu?

The entry fee is per person in Colones or USD. 

Children two years and under are free.  

Children 3 – 13 years old are 5USD

Full price tickets are 15USD or 5000 colones.


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