Distance from San José: 153 km (96 miles) / about 3.5 hours
Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (reservations are recommended, restricted number of visitors per day)
Date of foundation: August 19, 1975
Size: 50.105 hectares
The Chirripó National Park is part of the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve and named after the highest peak of the country - the Cerro Chirripó (3821 m/ 12.536 feet). The vegetation of the park differs depending on the altitude: premontane rainforest (up to 2000 meters / 6560 feet) following mountain rainforest and cloud forest (up to about 2800 meters / 9190 feet) and Paramó (from about 3200 meters / 10.500 feet) - a type of vegetation that can only also be found in the South American Andes Mountains and that is characterized by hill moors and small trees.
From about 2000 meters / 6560 feet, mainly oak woods with white and black oaks are found that reach a height up to 50 meters / 164 feet. In this altitude also the Ira tree can be found which is the favorite type of alimentation for the Quetzal bird.
The ascent of the Chirripó Mountain is very challenging is takes about 8-12 hours from the starting point in San Gerardo de Rivas until the refuge Crestones with a distance of 16 km (10 miles) and about 2400 meters in altitude (7874 feet). The refuge tends to be booked out mainly between the months of December until the middle of April, a timely reservation is recommended. The national park remains closed during the month of October.
Starting point for tours offered by our agency is the Pelicano Lodge close to San Gerardo de Rivas or the private reserve Las Nubes. A very pretty - yet equally challenging - day trip can be undertaken from San Gerardo to the Cerro Paraguas.
Amenities: Ranger station, refuges, central office, camping facilities
Tour Unit: T9h
- Hiking Chirripo National Park