The Volcano Barva- a non touristic attraction
In the mountains around Costa Rica´s capital are two volcanos: The Poás and the less popular Barva. Around the second one is also a huge national park, the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo. The volcán Barva is not active anymore and you don’t have a crater lake in the park but two lagoons filled with water. All the trails together in the park are around 12 kilometres long but the most popular hike is about 10 kilometres long an includes one viewing point and the two lagoons. The trail starts at the cashier desk at the entrance and we started walking on a stony road. After passing the rangers´ lodge there is a path going into the woods. We crossed a wooden bridge and continued hiking at a path surrounded by green walls. After 18 hundred metres on the “green” path, we came back to the “black” one, the main trail. From there we continued walking until kilometre three on a dirt road to the lagoon of the volcano Barva, which is about three thousand metres above sea level. There is also a viewing platform from which you might be able to see the lagoon, but we just saw a wall of fog. You can go there down to the “beach” where they built a small shelter for taking a rest. The last part of the trail ends at the second lagoon and is the “yellow” one. To arrive at the entrance again, we turned around and walked the same trail again in the other direction. At the end you can decide between staying on the “black” path or walking the “green” one again. On the “black” one you have the opportunity to visit a third viewing point. Especially because of its high number of plants you shouldn’t miss this park. It`s also great spot to start your Costa Rica journey, because the weather is rainy but more comfortable than the heat along the coasts. It´s hardly possibly to visit the Barva by bus because the next bus stop is some kilometres away. Also arriving by car is tricky because of the street´s condition. If you haven´t a four-wheel drive vehicle I wouldn’t try it at all. The hardly accessible position of the park protects it from being very crowded. Hiking boots are also a must bring. Especially in the rainy season the ground gets very muddy. Moreover, bring a rain jacket, water and snacks with you, because there doesn’t exist the possibility of buying water nor food. You can still refill your bottles in the restrooms at the entrance. After our hike, we asked the woman at the entrance for a restaurant recommendation and ended up at the “restaurant la montaña”. The interior is a bit like a ski lodge but they serve really good casados, a typical Costa Rican dish of vegetables, beans rice and meat or cheese, and you can enjoy a warm drink, like hot chocolate or tea.