One natural attraction that defines Costa Rica’s beauty is its volcanoes, which have produced lush valleys and diverse ecosystems. This country is home to more than 200 volcanic systems located throughout its territory, twenty of which are active.
There’s a wide variety of activities to do here, one of which starts with the heat of magma near the earth’s surface, resulting in hot springs with mineral waters that make an excellent tourist attraction.
You can also hike along challenging trails, where slight altitude changes create a hotbed of biodiversity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, attracting tourists and scientists alike.
Costa Rica has a high level of volcanic activity as it is part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, which is a 1,500 kilometre (932 mile) long chain of volcanoes, extending from Guatemala to Panama.
One of the most impressive facts about the Arc is that it has the highest density of volcanoes in the world, with one volcano located approximately every 35 kilometres (22 miles). It stands out as the most volcanically active region in the Western Hemisphere.
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The Volcanic Arc originated due to plate tectonics, specifically of the Cocos Plate, which underlies the Pacific Ocean west of Central America. This plate is slowly sliding beneath the Caribbean Plate.
This process, called subduction, is responsible for the region’s frequent earthquakes and regular volcanic activity. As the edge of the Cocos Plate sinks deeper it also melts, sending large columns of magma upwards beneath Central America. When this magma breaks through the earth’s surface, volcanoes are formed.
If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica and you want to see a volcano, don’t miss our list of the best volcanoes to visit and enjoy maximum excitement.
Visit these incredible colossal volcanoes during your next adventure!
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