We returned to El Iral Cloud Forest in the cone of Coronado to conquer one of the least known places in our country, it is the Laguna de Colores on the slopes of the Irazú Volcano.
How to get there?
Go towards San Isidro de Coronado, then continue towards Las Nubes and then what follows is called Cascajal. In Cascajal there is an intersection which continues for about 15 more minutes until you reach Iral.
Accessibility: It is not accessible (the restaurant is)
What to bring? Comfortable clothing, waterproof jacket, sweater, trail tennis shoes or boots, sunscreen, repellent, hat, sunglasses, and an excellent attitude.
Vehicle: Preferably high clearance vehicles.
Contact: 8766-1622 (Reservation required, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Cost: ¢25,000 / person
We arrived at El Iral around 5:30 am in a cone from Coronado, where we left the car in front of the restaurant and got out to finish getting ready while they gave us directions and then they gave us a snack so we could start walking.
We started the walk at dawn, it was cold at about 10 degrees so we were well dressed. As we walked we began to warm up around the first slope until we reached the dairy.
These first 2 kms are easy with only 1 hill, ideal to warm up… Then you continue going down through paddocks until you cross the Cajon River, which is orange, then comes a hill to reach the La Isla refuge where we ate half of the snack .
This part called La Isla is a paradise for the farm’s calves, a lot of grass and blackberries protected by 2 rivers. From here if you are lucky you can see the side of the Turrialba Volcano, we did not even see the shadow.
Then we continued down and went from the paddocks to the jungle until we reached the viewpoint of the Laguna de Colores. When we arrived, the forest opened up like a big window with a view of the abyss where the lagoon lies. From a distance it looks like an old volcanic crater, but this lagoon was actually formed by a landslide that blocked the course of the Blanco River, forming a large lagoon.
After the viewpoint we put on the safety helmet provided by the guides and the descent became a little steeper and more technical. For this it is recommended to wear construction gloves (such as those with fabric and rubber), this is of great help to grab the ropes that are placed to lower safely.
When we finished the technical descent, we began to climb towards the lagoon along a beautiful path. We passed by a stone wall with formations similar to columns. Then we crossed the Río Blanco (white color) with crystal clear water, here things got weird because the stones were extremely slippery, so it is better to go well holding on to other stones so as not to fall on your behind.
Half an hour after walking we managed to reach the Laguna del Río Blanco beach, or Laguna de Colores. It is impressive to be in this place, you feel insignificant surrounded by all this nature, the terrain is a bit of mud that sticks to the shoes but it is also useful to observe different tracks of wild animals such as coyote and tapir.
After eating a second snack, we began to walk back all the slopes that we went down to the path, and it really is a hard walk. In the end we ended up dead but with a God-level satisfaction for having known this paradise hidden in the foothills of the Irazú.
*TRIP DATE: January 2022