Fodor's Expert Review Chirripó National Park

Chirripo National Park Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

The main attraction of this national park is Mt. Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica and a mecca for both hikers and serious summiteers. It's a 48-km (30-mile) round-trip hike, with an elevation gain of 2,100 meters (6,890 feet) to reach the hostel, and another 340 meters (1,000 feet) to reach the summit. You need to be very fit and acclimatize before setting out. The round-trip usually takes three days—one day to climb to the hostel, one day to explore the surrounding summits, and one day to descend.

With the number of hikers limited to 52 per day on the San Gerardo route, and only 15 hikers per week from the new San Jerónimo trail, it’s becoming an ever-more exclusive experience to hike here. Lodging at the summit hut is set at $35 per night. Though the hostel is slightly more comfortable than it used to be, keep in mind that it is still fairly basic, with bunk beds and no hot water for showers. It’s chilly at the top, so be sure to pack lots of layers. The maximum... READ MORE

The main attraction of this national park is Mt. Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica and a mecca for both hikers and serious summiteers. It's a 48-km (30-mile) round-trip hike, with an elevation gain of 2,100 meters (6,890 feet) to reach the hostel, and another 340 meters (1,000 feet) to reach the summit. You need to be very fit and acclimatize before setting out. The round-trip usually takes three days—one day to climb to the hostel, one day to explore the surrounding summits, and one day to descend.

With the number of hikers limited to 52 per day on the San Gerardo route, and only 15 hikers per week from the new San Jerónimo trail, it’s becoming an ever-more exclusive experience to hike here. Lodging at the summit hut is set at $35 per night. Though the hostel is slightly more comfortable than it used to be, keep in mind that it is still fairly basic, with bunk beds and no hot water for showers. It’s chilly at the top, so be sure to pack lots of layers. The maximum stay at the hostel is three days, two nights. Lodging and food service in the simple restaurant are arranged by Consorcio Aguas Eternas, which also can provide all the gear you need, from pillows, towels, and sleeping bags to porters to haul them. Depending on which of the various meal packages and local lodging before and after the hike you choose, prices for a hike start at about $250 per person. Porter fees are set at about $4 per kilo, and charged each way. The easiest way to arrange a hike is through one of the hotels that belong to the consortium, such as Hotel de Montaña El Pelícano, which can arrange all the details, from park reservation to lodging, food, and gear.For more information, see the highlighted listing in this chapter.

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Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Trail/Path Park (National/State/Provincial) Green

Quick Facts

main street, south side of soccer field
DO NOT USE - MERGE San Gerardo de Rivas with San Gerardo, Cartago  11904, Costa Rica

-2742–5200

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $18 per day park fee; $36 (plus 13% tax) per day for lodging in park, plus food, Closed 2 wks in Nov.

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