ÁREA DE CONSERVACIÓN CORDILLERA VOLCÁNICA CENTRAL
Monumento Nacional Guayabo
Location: On the foothills of Turrialba Volcano, in the province of Cartago, 19 Km Northwest of Turrialba city.
Area information: Created on August 13, 1973, it is the largest and most important archaeological area discovered so far in the country. Guayabo is part of the cultural region denominated Central Intermountainous and Atlantic Slope of South American influence. Its human occupation seems to have ceased in 500 BC, while its greatest development and the construction of the present structures believed to have been between 800 and 1400 BC. On the Guayabo River canyon, next to the archaeological area, one can observe a sample of the tall and evergreen forests typical of the region.
Reserva Forestal Bosque del Niño
Location: On the province of Alajuela, in San Pedro de Poás. Borders with the Poás Volcano National Park and the protected zone Río Toro.
Area information: Here are located the servicies and facilities for visitors and researchers. It has an area of 30 Hectares, of which 22 are natural secondary forest and the other 8 are a coniferous forest. The reserve comprises low mountainous wet forest, whose natural vegetation is composed of species like ciprecillo, lorito, quizarrá amarillo, quizarrá quina, cedro dulce, ratoncillo, and roble encino.
Parque Nacional Volcán Irazú
Location: On the province of Cartago, 31 km al Northwest of the city.
Area information: Created on July 30, 1955, the Irazú, at 3,432 m, is an active volcano with a long history of eruptions. There are four craters, the main or west crater, the Diego de la Haya, and two small craters located Southeast and Northwest of the main crater. The main crater is almost circular, measures about 1,050 meters in diameter, and has a depth of 250 to 300 meters, with steep walls. On the bottom there is a permanent green-yellowish water lagoon and doesn't show any activity. The flora has suffered strong alterations due to the eruptions. In the present, one can see areas of small and open vegetation, and areas with secondary forests and remain of primary forests.
Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo
Location: On the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, northwest of the Central Valley. It includes Barva Volcano, el Bajo La Hondura and Cerro Cacho.
Area information: Created on April 5, 1978. Almost all the landscape is composed of tall mountains densely covered by forests and countless rivers. The topography and high rainfall of 4500 mm per year, give place to the formation of cascades everywhere. The park contains two dormant volcanoes: Cacho Negro, very visible due to its conic shape, and Barva, with various craters such as Barva Lagoon of 70 meters in diameter, circular, and with clear waters, and Danta Lagoon, of 500 meters in diameter. It has two ranger stations at Quebrada González and at Barva Volcano.
Parque Nacional Volcán Poás
Location: On the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, 37 Km North of Alajuela, on the road Alajuela-San Pedro de Poás.
Area information: Created on January 25, 1971, the Poás Volcano is 2,708 meters tall, and is one of the most spectacular volcanoes of the country. There are several types of forests with an abundance of epiphyte plants, which grow on the trunks of the trees. The Poás crater is a huge hollow of 1.5 Km in diameter, and 300 m in depth. At the bottom there is a circular hot lagoon, whose water temperature oscillates between 40 and 70 Celcius, of 350 m in diameter, and a rubble cone 40 m over the lagoon. It also presents very active fumarolas.