Throughout the past few weeks (And even months), if you Googled Costa Rica, most likely there would be, at least, a dozen articles and news about the Turrialba Volcano eruptions. There is a lot of information and it is easy to get confused about it. So At Premio DMC we decided to clear things up, in order to inform our friends and costumers of the situation.
First of all, are some myths that we want to address here about the volcano, the eruptions and the ash itself.
1.The ash covered the Central Valley
False. There is ash all over, yes… but it more like dust. It travels with the wind, and so, in the windy months December and January it travels throughout the Central Valley, filling our houses and patios with an uncomfortable ash dust.
Like you see in the picture. It is not like gray snow leaving everything coated in two inches of ash. Not really.
2. The volcano looks very impressive from San José.
False. You cannot see the Turrialba Volcano from San Jose. You have to drive for about an hour and a half to two hours to see it. As you can see in the map below it is quite away
False. Costa Rica has more than 112 volcanoes. Every now and then one or two of them gets into activity and puts out a big show. But, unless you are in the very surroundings of the crater of an active volcano is not dangerous.
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4.There will be a massive eruption
False. We have very efficient professionals monitoring the volcanoes permanently and, volcanoes, are, in fact, absolutely predictable.
There will be more activity coming from the Turrialba Volcano? Yes.
A huge eruption followed by an earthquake?… Ahhmmm no. Most likely activity will remain the same for quite a while.
There is a permanent camera at the Turrialba Volcano and another in the nearby Irazu Volcano to monitor every single movement of the volcano. If you want to see the camera live click here
If you like to see where is the ash going today you can also click here
5. You can hear the rumbling from the volcano all over the Central Valley.
False. You cannot listen to the volcano from the Central Valley… If you hear any rumbling, there is a storm somewhere near.
6. Turrialba Valley (The nearest region to the Volcano) seems to be the most dangerous place to be in Costa Rica
False. Because of the rotation of Earth, the winds are carrying the ashes to the West or the South of the volcano. From Turrialba, you can see the eruptions but will barely see any ash from it.
7.If you are in the Central Valley now, you can’t breathe because of the Turrialba Volcano eruptions
False. Yes, every now and then there is a faint sulfur aroma. And right after the intense eruptions, people with respiratory problems may have issues. In general, what specialists have recommended for these cases is to use masks.
But, yes, you can breathe.
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8. There is a danger of having rocks falling in the Central Valley because of the Turrialba Volcano eruptions
False. Rocks have been falling, in the surrounding areas to the crater. And actually, none can get to that area right now. Not even the volcanologists.
But rocks will not reach the Central Valley. Not even close!
9. Costa Rica is so small, that wherever you are you are in danger because of the volcano
False. The ash has been blown to the West and South of the volcano, which means, yes, the Central Valley and the Central Pacific Coast, where is barely noticeable. The rest of the country only gets the news.
10.Whenever you go to Costa Rica, there will always be a volcano erupting
False. This is an excellent opportunity to see, in a safe way and from far away, the magnificence of nature. It is not a usual sight at all.
11. All airports closed because of the Turrialba Volcano eruptions
False. There were canceled flights yes. Some airlines were delayed.
But, more than 40 airlines are working without a hiccup in the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). In the Liberia Airport, they only read the news of an eruption, somewhere close to the Central Valley.
NO flights have been canceled or delayed in Liberia because of the Turrialba Volcano
12. The media is making a big dramatic fuzz out of this
Yes, and no. It is a unique event for Costa Rica and even the World.
If you are in the right place at the right time, the sight is impressive and you will probably never forget the feeling.
However, yes, in Costa Rica there are all sorts of jokes about how the media is overreacting and making a huge thing out of a process that happens in Costa Rica, every now and then.
13. Is the Turrialba Volcano the new Arenal?
It might be. It has everything! Great hotels, beautiful rainforests, a fantastic adventures infrastructure and the mighty volcano spewing ash. It might be…