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Cerro Cabecar is located in the south pacific of Costa Rica in La Amistad International Park. The word Cabecar comes from the native aborigines “Cabecars”, which means Quetzal, and they name their tribe this way too. Moreover, Cabecars do not live near the peak, but their villages are not too far away from this mountain. It is believed that they used to travel from the Pacific to the caribbean through this mountan system in ancient times. The trek to this mount is a challenging, but great experience to get in touch with nature and enjoy time with a group of friends or make some during the trekking journey.
Due to the inclination of the trail, this tour is suggested only for experienced hikers. Particularly in the case of travelers who want to cover several destinations in short stays at each location. During summertime, non-experienced hikers can do this trek, but staying at least two nights in the camp ground and one night in the village of Santa María of Brunka.
Arrival to the village of Santa María. Here, local people make their living on agriculture and the village is sparsely populated. However, there are some how have been taking people to know the Cebecar peak for more than 10 years ago. It is recommended to get to the community before 4 p.m so you can deliver your luggage, and rest in your dormitory for an early departure the next morning. Lodging at the community will be at the local association’s station.
The trek starts in the near the elementary school of the village at 1, 000 m.a.s. From here, we take the 7 km long trail heading for Cabecar shelter (camp ground). The first section of the trail is a gravel road of 1 km long approximately. Then, we pass through a forest area that contains several species of epiphytes characteristic of this areas. As we ascent, we can see the Cañas river, which supplies many villages along its way with clean water. Time later, some Pasture lands show up allowing us have a complete view of the pacific lowlands. Finally, we get to the shelter, which is located near the border line of La Amistad Park within a small forest of oak trees.
Very early in the morning, we depart to the Cabecar summit. The trail is 3,5 km long, and may take 3 hours in average. Some other peaks will show up as we move to higher grounds. From here, we will be able to see the Térraba-Sierpe river and the Caño Island. After this section, we go among a mysterious forest covered with fog, moss and lianas, giving the forest a mystic appearance. Finally, we reach the summit of the Cabecar, from which we may have the chance to see both slopes at the same time (Pacific and Atlantic). If weather allows it, we might also see both coastlines. Moorlands are the type of forest in the Cabecar peak and there are some species that are particular from the moorlands of the south.
Today, we return to Santa María after having an intense hike. Once in the village, we have lunch and get ready for our next destination in Costa Rica.
* One night of lodging in the station of Santa María
* One night at the camp ground
* Meals (Day 1: Dinner ; Day 2 Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner ; Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner ; Day 4: Breakfast and lunch
* Admission to La Amistad International Park
* Local guiding service
* Baggage bearer (up to 5 kg per person each way)
Items you may need are: Gloves, winter hat, sweater, Sunblock, fleece, hiking poles (recommended), hiking shoes (comfortable shoes), a pair of shoes to wear in the station, bottle of water (1lt capacity), towel, raincoat (during winter), flashlight. -It is better to dress in layers than only a thick sweater, this will allow you remove/add one or more clothes if you are sweating or cooling down.
What is the type of accommodation during the trek?
In Santa María, you will stay at a local house sharing with people from the village since they develop rural tourism.During the trek, hikers make a tent over a camping platform. There is a shelter in which meals are provided and for meeting other hikers (if there are more during your visit).
Is it possible to do this trek in 3 days?
Yes. However, this option is only for experienced hikers.
Do I need to take a sleeping bag?
No, we can provide sleeping bags so you do not worry about it. Please, ask us to arrange it in advance if you need spleeping bag.
Maximun altitude is 2,950 m.a.s.l at the summit.
Local guide is mandatory.
All meals required are included.
Difficulty is too high, and only for experienced hikers.
From San Jose
Drive all the way to San Isidro de El General. Then, continue on Panamerican Highway towards the South 47 km until you arrive in Santa Marta of Buenos Aires. Once in Santa Marta, take the road towards Santa María of Brunka. It is 15 km away from Santa Marta. There are several deviations on the way. Take the left one the first two times. Then you will see a third one. Continue straight, going upwards.You will pass by El Socorro (continue straight) on the following three intersections. The next village is San Rafael, just after the elementary school you will see another intersection. Continue straight until reaching Guadalajara. For the next two intersections, you will see clear the main road (left options). Finally, take the right road towards Santa María. There is a sign right infront of the intersection. Continue on this road until reaching the station of ACETUSAMA.
From the South
Take the Panamerican Highway towards Buenos Aires. Continue for around 10 minutes until you arrive in Santa Marta. Follow the instructions above from this point.
Please, ask for public bus schedule and itineraries if you travel by public transportation. Advise us previously to let you know all the information you require.
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*Prices per person in US dollars
*Guiding service is mandatory
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