5 Volcanoes You Can Explore from Your Couch

Enjoy these spectacular 3D views of volcanos from the comfort of your own home.

A virtual trip around the world

How many people can say they’ve actually seen a volcano in real life? There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, and, in the United States, about 169 of those are potentially active, according to the United States Geological Survey. You may have heard of the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, but how often do you actually pay attention to volcanic activity? Here are five volcanos in Costa Rica you can get to know via the Costa Rica Tourism Board quite well from the comfort of your own home. In case you were wondering, these are the 13 volcanos that could erupt nextor already are.

Arenal Volcano

Sunny Day and Arenal Volcano, Costa Ricamilehightraveler/Getty ImagesLocated in Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Arenal Volcano was the most active volcano in Costa Rica until 2010. Arenal Volcano is  5,437 feet tall and, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the “town of Arenal surrounds the national park and is hailed Costa Rica’s adventure capital.” Good thing you’ll be seeing it from the comfort of home! Check out the views on Google Earth.

Rincón de la Vieja

Rincon de la vieja vulcano and misty cloudsPobladuraFCG/Getty Images

If you’re interested in learning more about geothermal activity, then Rincón de la Vieja in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica would pique your interest. Rincón de la Vieja stands at 6,286 feet high and nine miles wide. The last time the volcano had a big eruption was in January 2020. Santa Maria Volcano is the dormant sister of Rincón de la Vieja, and both volcanos, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, create the center of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Check out the views on Google Earth. Here are 11 fascinating things captured by Google Earth.


Poas Volcano crater at sunset, Costa RicaMatteo Colombo/Getty Images

Poás and Irazú are two of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes and reside in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. The crater lake Laguna Caliente, meaning “Hot Lake,” on Poás is one of the most acidic lakes on Earth. The volcano isn’t only a tourist destination but also useful for scientific exploration. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have studied the toxic volcanic lake and found microbes that still are able to survive, providing clues for scientists hoping to find any trace of past life on Mars. According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, the colors of Laguna Caliente change from emerald to greyish white hourly. You can see this for yourself on Google Earth. Here are 15 lesser-known natural wonders that will take your breath away

Irazú Volcano

Irazu Volcano Crater and Plants Above Clouds, Costa RicaOnfokus/Getty Images

Costa Rica’s tallest volcano, located about an hour and a half by car from San José in Irazú National Park, is Irazú Volcano, standing at 11,260 feet. It’s a popular tourist spot and if the weather cooperates in a cloudless sky, visitors can have incredible views of both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. You can see these incredible views, along with the mountain forest and cloud forest of Irazú National Park, on Google Earth. Here are 12 true stories from the most haunted forests in the world

Miravalles Volcano

Mountain TopsKryssia Campos/Getty Images

While Miravalles Volcano may be lesser-known than the popular Arenal Volcano and Rincón de La Vieja Volcano, there’s still a lot to explore in this area. According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, Miravalles Volcano, standing at 6, 654 feet, “produces so much geothermal energy that the Costa Rican government’s electric institute constructed plants along its base to convert the energy into electricity to supply the national electricity system.” Not bad for a natural wonder! You can see Miravalles Volcano for yourself on Google Earth.

Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at RD.com. Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: www.madelinehwahl.com