Visitors used to be able to hike down into the main crater, but increased volcanic activity in 2014-16 has caused the surrounding Turrialba Volcano National Park to close.
The stratovolcano is 3,340 m (10,958 ft) high and is about 45 minutes from the Atlantic slope town of Turrialba. The summit has three craters, the largest of which has a diameter of 50 m (160 ft). Below the summit is a mountain range and montane forest, with ferns, bromeliads, lichens and mosses. Most of the forest is either primary or secondary forest.
Turrialba is adjacent to Irazú and both are among Costa Rica's largest volcanoes. Turrialba has had at least five large explosive eruptions in last 3500 years. On clear days both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea can be seen from the summit.
The volcano is named after its canton, Turrialba, in Costa Rica's Cartago Province. There is no clear consensus on the origin of the name Turrialba, but historians disagree with attempts to attribute the name to the patronym Torrealba (from Aragon in Spain) or from the Latin Turris alba (white tower). The general consensus is that Turrialba derives from the local Indian (Huetar language), but there is no agreement on its actual roots.
This volcano is monitored by the Deep Earth Carbon Degassing Project.