Area:  1,206.9 sq. miles
(Sixth province in size - 6% of national area)
Population:  432,923 (2000)
Main City:  Cartago
Population Density:  358.5 per square mile
Elevation:  4.708 feet
Average Temperature:  66.6°F
Annual Rainfall:  59-79 inches

Tapantí National Park

Located north of the Chirripo National Park, the Tapantí National Park is the stationed around the Rio Grande de Orosi and many other feeding rivers. The upper Orosi River Valley receives an average of 280 inches of rainfall annually, making it one of the rainiest spots in Costa Rica. All of this water drains into Lake Cachi, home to the Cachi Dam and Angostura hydro-electric project.

Guayabo National Monument

The largest archeological site in Costa Rica, the Guayabo National Monument contains ancient trails, bridges, water tanks, and homesites and petroglyphs (rock carvings) estimated to be about 3,000 years old. All of this is found amidst the lush cloud and rainforests of the area. Here you can hike ancient stone-paved paths and find yourself among raised stone foundations of a lost civilization.

Irazú Volcano National Park

The main attraction here is, of course, the Irazú Volcano. Although the last major eruptions were in the mid 1960’s, there have been a few small eruptions since, and the volcano is considered to be still active and is monitored closely. The Diego de la Haya Crater is the spot of a yellowish-green volcanic lake. This strange coloration is caused by rainfall that dissolves the minerals lining the crater walls, making this spot a sight to behold.

Turrialba Volcano National Park

The Turrialba Volcano National Park is home to the Turrialba Volcano. This active volcano has three large craters at its summit. The central crater is the deepest and most active. It contains two cone-shaped structures and emits large amounts of sulfuric steam on a regular basis.