Are Volcanoes in Costa Rica Dangerous?

Since 1975, five people have been killed as a result of volcanic eruption in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is famous for its volcanoes. The country is part of the so-called Pacific Ring Fire Circle. Today there are eight active volcanoes in Costa Rica.

If you are considering a trip to Costa Rica should you be concerned about the dangers of volcanoes?

Not really. Riding a motorcycle in Costa Rica kills more people in a year than volcanoes have in the entirety of recorded history. 

Volcanoes are an important part of what makes Costa Rica a great vacation spot. They are amazing, powerful, beautiful and, yes, slightly dangerous. However, with some common sense and precaution, you can enjoy everything that this unique volcanic area has to offer a traveler. For the most part, volcano eruptions in Costa Rica are not mortally dangerous. They are just an inconvenience. An eruption will spill ash into the air that can result in airport closures and respiratory irritation for those that are sensitive.

The volcanoes that are currently active are:

  • Turrialba

  • Rincon de la Vieja

  • Poas

  • Orosi

  • Miravalles

  • Irazu

  • Barva

  • Arenal

Of these active volcanoes, only Irazu and Arenal have experienced significant eruptions since 1963. In total, there have been six eruptions between the two. Since 1975, volcanoes have accounted for five deaths in Costa Rica.


Chifrijo Jones is a traveler, writer, and entrepreneur. He first visited Costa Rica more than ten years ago for a Spanish immersion school. He made friends and developed a strong affinity for the country. Today, he splits his time between the United States and Costa Rica, traveling the country and discovering new places.

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