Chirripó National Park is recognized as one of the wildest (if not the wildest) National Parks in Costa Rica. It encompasses almost 51,000 hectares of various and contrasting ecosystems and is home to the Cerro Chirripó. With 3820 meters of altitude, Cerro Chirripó is not only the highest peak in Costa Rica but also one of the highest in all of Central America.
The park is a hiker’s paradise, with miles and miles of trails ready to be discovered. While exploring them, visitors will be able to observe the distinctive park’s environments, such as cloud forests, paramos, moraines, valleys, and glacial-origin formations. What is more, Chirripó National Park is a beautiful place for birdwatching quetzals and other bird species, and also to spot some wild animals like jaguars and tapirs.
But, undoubtedly, the main attraction of the Chirripó National Park is the hike and climb to the summit of its central peak. Although experienced hikers perform this task in just one day, the usual practice is to spend between 2 and 3 whole days to make the complete journey.
Tourists who wish to try themselves in this challenging hike, usually spend the previous night in the neighboring town of San Gerardo de Rivas. Early the following morning, they start the trail to reach the Crestones Base Camp by mid-afternoon. There, they have a meal, shower, rest, and go to bed early. They wake up long before dawn and continue the climb to reach the summit before sunrise.
The landscape up there is truly majestic and a more than fair reward for getting to the top. If you are a lucky hiker, you will get a clear day and will be able to see both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts from the top of Cerro Chirripó.
Chiripó National Park is a special place waiting to be discovered and explored. Don’t miss it.