Temporary Closure of Turrialba Volcano Is
Due To Bad Roads
The temporary closure of the Parque Nacional
Volcán Turrialba is taking its toll on the
neighbouring community, as visitors to the
colossus and the area decreases and
unemployment rises. The main reason for the
closure is the poor conditions of the roads,
especially the last five kilometres, that
leads to the volcano.
The lack of visitors has meant that many
hotel and tour operators in the area had
begun to lay off employees.
One of the most affected operators is the
Volcán Turrialba Lodge, who, according to
its owner, Tony Lachner, has had to reduce
his staff from 25 to 4.
Tour operators have been forced to detour
visitors to other parks like the volcán
Irazú and the Monumento de Guayabo.
It is difficult to calculate the number of
visitors avoiding the Turrialba area and
looking for alternatives.
One thing is for sure, everyone loses, the
owners of the hotels and tours, the
employees and the community as a whole, with
less visitors to the area.
The temporary closure was reccomnended by
the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE)
to the Sistema Nacional de Conservación (Sinac),
as the road conditions of the area do not
meet the security requirements, especially
in the area of an evacuation in the event of
According to Javier Pacheco, seismologist
for the Observatorio Vulcanológico y
Sismológico de Costa Rica (Ovsicori), the
volcano that has increased activity in the
last several months and the focus of
attention of tourists, is open and can
receive tourists for periods of up to 20
minutes at a time, the maximum time that is
safe from exposure to the toxic gases
emitted by the volcano.
Pacheco says that the only reason for the
closure is due to the road conditions.
However, even though the Volcán Turrialba
park is closed, that doesn't stop the
curious from climbing the colossus. Area
residents assure that daily they see
visitors to the volcano, as there is no one
there to stop them.
Since the park is closed, the park rangers
have also gone home.