Poas Volcano Crater
Poas Volcano Crater

Costa Rica is famed for its stunning natural diversity and exotic wildlife, including tree frogs like me! It is also the setting for many myths. According to local legend, the story of the rualdo bird is tied to Poas Volcano. Let's learn more about this mysterious bird and how it came to be spoken of in tribal folklore.

A faithful companion

The tale of how the rualdo bird lost its song is one of the most prevalent myths in Costa Rican culture. According to legend, a young tribal girl who lived near Poas Volcano befriended a rualdo bird when she was exploring the lush tropical rainforests nearby. The bird followed her everywhere, and the two became close friends.

Fury of the land

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The girl's father, a powerful shaman, grew fearful of Poas Volcano, and worried that it would erupt in anger and destroy his village. One day, seeking answers, the shaman journeyed to the summit of Poas Volcano to ask the mighty mountain how he and his tribe could appease it.

To the shaman's dismay, the spirit of the volcano told him that in order to sate its fury, the tribe would have to sacrifice the young girl. While this saddened the shaman, he reluctantly agreed, knowing that by giving the mountain his only daughter, he would save his village and the lives of his tribe.

The ultimate sacrifice

The shaman descended from the mountain and gave word that his daughter should be captured and brought to the summit of the volcano. Despite her cries and protests, she was dragged to the top of the mountain, kicking and screaming.

Moments before she was due to be cast into the fiery pit, the rualdo bird flew deep into the crater of the mountain, pleading with the spirit of the volcano to exchange its song for the girl's life, singing with all its might. The beauty of the rualdo bird's song made the volcano weep, flooding the crater that is known today as the Botos Lagoon.

The tale of the remarkable friendship between the girl and the rualdo bird is a vital part of Costa Rican myth, and if you want to see the incredible lagoon for yourself, head to Poas Volcano.

Botos Lagoon at Poas Volcano
Botos Lagoon at Poas Volcano