Costa Rica will reopen Turrialba Volcano National Park, the Environment Ministry announced Thursday.
After eight years closed due to the threat of volcanic activity, the park will again welcome guests starting December 4.
“Once the Turrialba Volcano decreased its activity considerably, the reopening of the National Park has been responsibly sought together with other entities to favor the reactivation of local economies and businesses close to the area through tourism,” said Rafael Gutiérrez, executive president of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).
New facilities within the park include shelters for use in the event of an eruption, a renovated visitor center and railings at lookout spots.
The national park has been closed since 2012, when the volcano increased in activity and experienced several moderate-sized eruptions. In addition to the park’s closure, authorities have maintained a 2 km forbidden zone around the crater.
“The Environment Ministry and SINAC have worked hard to make the improvements requested by the National Emergency Commission, seeking to reactivate tourism in the National Park, in addition to guaranteeing security and a space of high quality enjoyment and entertainment,” said Andrea Meza, Environment Minister.
SINAC indicated that visitors to Turrialba Volcano should use the Montecalas route, as the ownership of Route 417 is under a legal dispute.
Before its 2012 closure, tickets to Turrialba Volcano National Park cost 1,000 colones for citizens and residents, and $12 for foreigners.
In addition to the volcano itself, on clear days visitors can enjoy magnificent views of the Caribbean plains, Turrialba valley, and Talamanca mountain range. Some 84 species of birds and 11 species of mammals inhabit the park.