Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica

Location: 10.2N, 85.5W
Elevation: 6,285 feet (1,916 m)

Text and Photos by Doug Simms (Page 1 of 2)

Costa Rica has six active volcanoes. One of these, found in the Northwestern corner of the country, is the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, which is located within Rincon de la Vieja National Park. Left Photo: First glimpse into the active crater. Right Photo: The lake within the active crater is a glowing blue color, with the glow caused by sunlight reflecting from ash and chemicals suspended in the water.

Von Seebach Peak is a mountain of ash that sits beside the active crater. It is one of the highest points in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, at 1,895 meters.

Meaning of the Volcano's Name

There is a charming legend that explains the origin of the name Rincon de la Vieja. The native princess, Curabanda, fell in love with Mixcoac, chief of a neighboring enemy tribe. When her father, Curabande, learned of the affair, he captured Mixcoac and threw him into the crater of the volcano. Curabanda went to live on the side of the volcano and gave birth to a child. To allow the child to be with his father, she threw him into the volcano too.

For the rest of her life, Curabanda lived near the crater and became a powerful healer. The people referred to her home as "Rincon de le Vieja," meaning "the nook where the Old One lives."

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