Trekking Costa Rica 2018 © All rights reserved
Chirripó National Park is a highly visited place in Costa Rica for trekking. Therefore, you need all the information of Chirripo required to arrange your trip in advance. Many hikers visit this park because a friend suggested it while others find out that this is the highest climbable peak in Central America and decide to climb it.
Because of its being widely known and visited, trekkers need to make their reservation for the tour as soon as possible. The reason is that the park gets booked up very easily during high season (December to March) that corresponds to the dry season in the Pacific side of the country, which is by the way considered to be the best time to visit Chirripo. On this post, we provide you details and important information about the trek for most of your doubts so you can take them into account for your travel arrangements.
First of all, you can make all the required bookings with us. There are several tour options to visit the park, as it has three trails from where you can reach its summit: San Gerardo de Dota (Chirripo Classic Tour), San Jerónimo (Chirripo through San Jerónimo), and Herradura (Urán-Chirripó Loop). Each of those are villages, and every village offers a different trail to visit the park.
You can have more information about each trail at the end of the Chirripó National Park page or by clicking on each of the names above to find more details. Consequently, You can pick out the one that better fits your expectations, or you can contact us and ask more questions to help you make your choice.
The reservation season for Chirripó opens up 6 months prior the date you want to start your hike. In addition, there are only 52 spots available for each night. As we have explained, it gets fully booked too easily during high season. However, if you just stumbled upon this information, you may check availability with us, it may happen to be spots available yet. By the way, visitors can book only two nights in a row during high season. Nevertheless, you can book up to three nights in a row in the base camp (Crestones Base Camp) during September and October.
There are some essential items you must pack up when visiting Chirripó. These include a headlamp, hiking shoes, raincoat, winter hat, warm gloves, bottle of water or camel bag, wind breaker, shoes to stay in the base camp, towel, and sunblock. Other items that depend on the hiker’s needs are: hiking poles, knee braces (in case of previous injuries), electrolytes (for loss of minerals), and any medication prescribed.
Visitors need to take their own sleeping bag when taking the Urán-Chirripó Loop. For other tour options, you will get two blankets and a pillow at the base camp. In the event you required a sleeping bag, you can rent it in the place at an extra cost. We will provide the required information about what to take in our confirmation vouchers as well.
The number of nights recommended in Crestones Base Camp depends on your experience as a trekker or your intentions. Thus, if you want to visit the park to get to the summit as the only reason, you can even take the one-day tour we offer. You can find all details by clicking on the link provided. Please, consider that is an option for experienced hikers only. On the other hand, if you are good at hiking, but it is too much distance and altitude for a single day, then you may take the tour spending one night at the base camp. Finally, you can take the three-day tour if you want to have enough time to visit other attractions in the park or take pictures if this is your aim.
In order to start the hike as early as possible, to avoid intense sunlight, and to take advantage of your visit to the park, we strongly recommend to spend the previous night of the trek in any of the nearest village to the entrance of any of the three trails (San Gerardo, Herradura, or San Jerónimo), depending on the tour you have booked. Thus, you can check into at the park ranger office the afternoon prior the tour and get ready for the next day.
Yes, no matter from which of the three villages you start the trek, you can hire porter service to send your baggage. We can arrange this service for you, please make the resquest while booking and we will provide you the necessary information.
Guiding service is not mandatory for visitors starting the trek in San Geardo de Dota. However, those who take the tour through Herradura or San Jerónimo side must be accompanied by a local guide.
The best time to visit the park is from December to the end of March since this corresponds to the dry season in the Pacific. You may read our post about weather in Costa Rica for more information about climate.
Trekking in Chirripo National Park is possible in four different tour modalities. Choose the adventure that better adjusts to your travel itinerary and expectations.
From Crestones Base Camp the trail to the highest peak is 5, 5 km away. Visitors who stay at least one night can put off their visit to the peak for the next morning. Since the majority of people love to see the sunrise, you may start at 4:30 a.m. to be at the summit in time. We suggest to order breakfast to go (the night prior at dinner time) so you do not need to go back to the station for breakfast. As a result, you can spend more time at the summit.
Mount Ventisqueros is the second highest peak in the country (3,812 m.a.s.l). The trail to this mount is only 3 km away from the station, but its acclivity is harder than Chirripo´s. This hike is good for people who want to do some more hiking the first day of their stay (when staying at least one night) as long as they feel energetic enough to do more hiking. From the peak, the sunset is amazing if it is not too cloudy. Make sure to take flashlight and a wind breaker since its name means “lots of wind”. Moreover, remember that dinner is served until 6 pm. So make sure you depart from the mount with enough time to have dinner.
These huge rocks offer a nice view from the station, but visitors can also climb them and have a nice view from above. At sunset, those turn into many different variation of warm colors from the last rays of the sun.
This outstanding peak can only be visited taking the tour through Herradura’s trail. It is located at 3,660 m.a.s.l and form by accumulation of sharp rocks. It has an amazing view from the top and is great for your picture at the summit. When taking the Urán-Chirripó Loop tour, you can reach the summit at sunrise and have a spectacular view of the first sun rays that offer a huge variety of color tones. In October 2019, the SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservación), which is the government authority in charge of preserving protected areas, allowed the entrance of visitors to climb this peak in a two-day tour. Please, ask for the Urán trek as it is a new option to visit the park. For more information about the tour to visit this mount, clink on the Urán-Chirripo Loop tour above.
This place is a natural savanna located 4 km away from Crestones base camp. It offers its visitors a lovely landscape of 160 hectares of flat land. A few people who visit the park get to visit this place due to the distance. However, there is a tour option in which visitors can visit the place on their way to the base camp. This trekking tour (named Chirripo through Sabana de los Leones trek) starts in the village of San Jerónimo and the trail goes within Sabana de los Leones. This way, hikers can have the chance to experience the landscape at the same time they make their way to the station.
The station in Chirripó National Park was named after the rocks located just in front of the main building. The place has capacity for 52 visitors in shared bedrooms. Every bedroom has two bunks, so visitors have to share the bedroom with people they do not know, unless they travel in a group of 4. On the other hand, restrooms are shared too. By the way, there is no hot water in the shower. There is a dining area where you have meals, which we always include in our packages. Finally, light in the station is available only until 7 pm, and you can recharge your electronic devices at dinner time only.
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When planning your trip, it is advisable to know certain aspects about the country you visit. Therefore, we have a section you may want to read in order to know generalities of the country.
Trekking Costa Rica 2018 © All rights reserved