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Miravalles Volcano Attractions and Photos

Updated on February 26, 2013

Miravalles Volcano and Steam Vents

A landscape photo of Miravalles Volcano taken with a wide-angle lens, February, 2013 (summertime).
A landscape photo of Miravalles Volcano taken with a wide-angle lens, February, 2013 (summertime). | Source
A steam vent along the west flank of Miravalles Volcano.  This site is located near three popular hot springs resorts mentioned below, and is accessible through the Guayacan resort.  It is about 700 meters from where the first photo was taken.
A steam vent along the west flank of Miravalles Volcano. This site is located near three popular hot springs resorts mentioned below, and is accessible through the Guayacan resort. It is about 700 meters from where the first photo was taken. | Source

Miravalles Volcano is an active volcano and the tallest mountain (2,028 meters) in the Cordillera Guanacaste, or the Guanacaste Mountain Range. This volcanic mountain range borders the eastern part of Guanacaste province in northwest Costa Rica and affects its weather.

The volcanic activity is limited to the venting of steam at various points around its flanks. There are two areas that vent steam, like the one pictured above near the town of Guayabo. The other is called Las Hornillas crater, which is closer to the town of Fortuna.

Because of all of the steam venting around this mountain, Costa Rica's public utility (ICE) has invested in a geothermal plants near Fortuna for the generation of electricity. There are also new plants that have be constructed around the neighboring volcano to the north, Rincon de la Vieja. There is more on that below.

The steam vents and hot springs in the area also have created a tourist opportunity. There are at least six resorts along the west flank of the volcano that offer relaxing hot springs pools, five of which are called:

  • Yoko
  • Thermomania
  • Las Hornillas
  • Guayacán
  • Río Perdido - opened in 2012


Photos from Las Hornillas

Las Hornillas Crater, a place where you can walk around and view steam vents, bathe in volcanic mud and swim in the pools.  You can also take a tractor or horse tour from there to a water falls, shown below.
Las Hornillas Crater, a place where you can walk around and view steam vents, bathe in volcanic mud and swim in the pools. You can also take a tractor or horse tour from there to a water falls, shown below. | Source
A water falls located on the southeast flank of Volcano Miravalles and yours truly.  There are old growth trees along the steep walk up to the falls.  We arrived at the base of the trail on a tractor-pulled cart.
A water falls located on the southeast flank of Volcano Miravalles and yours truly. There are old growth trees along the steep walk up to the falls. We arrived at the base of the trail on a tractor-pulled cart. | Source

My Preferred Hot Springs Resort, Guayacán

Of all of the resorts along the flank of this volcano, I prefer the Guayacán because it is relatively inexpensive, there is plenty of natural shade and it has a number of pools to choose from. It has also developed a mud bath area in the steam vent area shown in the second photo above. They are also in the process of developing a butterfly garden and many other improvements are being made, like two pools that have been recently dug or remodeled to allow swimming in addition to soaking. There is also a water slide and, on the other side of a stream, you probably have the best unobstructed view of the volcano. And you can sometimes be surprised by the wildlife that happens by - I saw a flock of four baby toucans in the trees there last week.

They have a restaurant there, and reasonably priced rooms and cabins. They don't sell alcoholic beverages, but you can bring them on site if you wish. Some pictures of this resort follow below.

My second choice is Rio Perdido, the new resort that is near Fortuna de Bagaces. There is a lot to explore here, trails down to the hot springs stream shown below and many kilometers of bike trails. They are in the process of developing this resort for overnight stays, so for now, you can just visit during the day. There has been significant investment put into this resort, and it shows in the infrastructure.

El Guyacán Photos, 2013

A soaking hot springs pool at El Guyacán.  There are a total of about seven of these on site.  And you can choose a site with shade.
A soaking hot springs pool at El Guyacán. There are a total of about seven of these on site. And you can choose a site with shade. | Source
The warm water swimming pool at El Guyacán that has a million-dollar view of Volcano Miravalles.
The warm water swimming pool at El Guyacán that has a million-dollar view of Volcano Miravalles. | Source
The El Guayacán sign at the reception desk.  Rooms and cabins are available.
The El Guayacán sign at the reception desk. Rooms and cabins are available. | Source

Poll

Which volcanoes have you visited and/or liked most in Costa Rica?

See results

Tilapia Fishing

There are several places near Fortuna and Guayabo where you can go and catch tilapia. They will even cook it for you. Fresh-fried whole tilapia is very good. I will put in more information in this article about this later.

Power Generation around Volcano Miravalles

Near the town of Guayabo, there is a ridge where you will see power generation windmills, which are pictured below. You can see them up close if you drive the gravel road which goes from San Jorge to Guayabo. (San Jorge and Rincon de La Vieja Park are accessed by a road that travels directly east from Liberia). The second picture shown below was taken during the cloudy rainy season, showing steam exiting from the Las Hornillas ICE power generation plant. The photo was taken from a restaurant on the east side of Guayabo, where they serve fresh tilapia.

The power generation wiindmills (energía aeolica) on the windy west flank of Volcano Miravalles.
The power generation wiindmills (energía aeolica) on the windy west flank of Volcano Miravalles. | Source
Looking across a field in the direction of the volcano, one can see the steam escaping from the power generation plant near Fortuna.  Cloudy skies are more common during the rainy season.
Looking across a field in the direction of the volcano, one can see the steam escaping from the power generation plant near Fortuna. Cloudy skies are more common during the rainy season. | Source

Location of Volcano Miravalles

More Photos

The hot springs stream in the canyon below the Rio Perdido resort.  It is a steep hike up and down to this stream, but it is worth the trouble.
The hot springs stream in the canyon below the Rio Perdido resort. It is a steep hike up and down to this stream, but it is worth the trouble. | Source
A Roble Sabana (Tabebuia roseae) blooming along the lane to the Guayacán Resort.
A Roble Sabana (Tabebuia roseae) blooming along the lane to the Guayacán Resort. | Source

Your Thoughts?

I see tourists coming in and out of different resorts in the area frequently, particularly Las Hornillas and Thermomania. I would like to hear from anyone who has visited any of the sites I have mentioned above to get your reflections on your experience and adventures. Let me know in the comments section below!

Comments

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    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 

      5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Informative article and great pics., thanks for sharing those. I shall be visiting the Popocatepetl volcano soon as I stay near its huge base area in Morelos Mexico.

      Bob

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow....l love this hub very much and I really enjoy the virtual tour at Miravalles Volcano. My friend, you have good pictures here. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

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