A Complete Cerro Chirripo Hike Guide | Hiking to the Top of Costa Rica (2023)

At 12,533 feet in elevation, Cerro Chirripo stands as the tallest point in all of Costa Rica. Getting to that peak though is no easy task. For most people it requires a 2-day 23-mile round trip hike, gaining over 8,600 feet of elevation along the way.

To take part of a Cerro Chirripo hike, there are a lot of various points to consider – permits, weather, lodging, gear, and plenty more. This guide is here to go through each and every one of these topics and help answer all your questions along the way.

By the end of this guide, you should be well on your way to hiking to the tallest point of Costa Rica, Cerro Chirripo.

What's in this article?

  • 2) How Do You Get to Chirripo
  • 3) Accommodation in San Gerardo de Rivas
  • 5) What to Bring Along
  • 6) Cerro Chirripo Permit
  • 7) Crestones Base Camp – Cerro Chirripo Lodge
  • 9) Cerro Chirripo Map
  • 10) Costa Rica Travel Insurance
  • 11) Cerro Chirripo Hike
  • 12) Frequently Asked Questions.
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1) Cerro Chirripo Hike Facts & Overview

Before jumping into the details, I first wanted to lay out an overview of Chirripo and some of the important things to consider. For the remainder of the guide, I then will dive a bit deeper into these focus areas.

Mountain Name: Cerro Chirripo (12,533 feet / 3,820 meters) -> the word Chirripo translates to “land of the eternal waters”

Location & Mountain Range: Chirripo National Park / Cordillera de Talmanca -> the mountain is located in the larger Chirripo National Park, and is part of the Cordillera de Talmanca mountain range. The park is home to five different ecosystems, primarily rain and cloud forests. There are also over 400 species of birds and over 260 species of amphibians and reptiles found in the park.

Entry Sector: San Gerardo -> while there are three entry sectors to the national park, San Gerardo is going to be your main go to entry when attempting a climb up Chirripo. San Gerardo de Rivas will also be the town you will want to stay in the day before/after your hike.

Best Time to Visit: January – April -> in order to avoid the most amount of rain and clouds, you will want to visit between January and April. This will give you the best chance of good weather to take in those views!

Accommodations: Crestones Base Camp -> most people opt for an overnight stay at the Crestones Base Camp, located at 11,155 feet. Head up to base camp on day 1, where you will have a nice meal, a cold shower, and sleep overnight.

Permit Required: Yes -> a permit is required for Chirripo National Park as only a certain number of people are allowed up in a day. More info on that later in the guide.

Hike Length: the hike from the trailhead to the summit of Chirripo comes in at around 11.3 miles / 18.1 km, making this a 22.5 miles / 36.2 km round trip hike.

How Long Does It Take to Hike Cerro Chirripo: total hiking time is around 15 hours over two days -> it is about 8-10 hours of ascending and 5-7 hours of descending. The first day you will head up to the Crestones Base Camp, followed by a second day of summiting Chirripo and heading back down to San Gerardo de Rivas.

Elevation Gain: 8,621 feet / 2,628 meters -> this is a major amount of elevation gain for a hike, even if it is split over two days. And remember, everything you go up, you must come down as well.

Chirripo Itinerary Breakdown: below are the distances and elevation gains by day for a 2 day Chirripo itinerary ->

Day 1 – Heading to Base Camp

Starting Point: San Gerardo de Rivas

Ending Point: Crestones Base Camp

Distance: 8.6 miles / 13.9 km

Elevation Gain: 6,531 feet / 1,991 meters

Day 2 – Part 1: Round Trip to Summit

Starting Point: Crestones Base Camp

Mid Point: Chirripo Summit

Ending Point: Crestones Base Camp

Distance: 5.2 miles / 8.4 km

Elevation Gain: 1,635 feet / 498 meters

Elevation Loss: 1,635 feet / 498 meters

→ Note there are alternative routes back down to base camp

Day 2 – Part 2: Heading Back Down

Starting Point: Crestones Base Camp

Ending Point: San Gerardo de Rivas

Distance: 8.6 miles / 13.9 km

Elevation Gain: 495 feet / 151 meters

Elevation Loss: 6,531 feet / 1,991 meters

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2) How Do You Get to Chirripo

Before hiking to the summit of Chirripo, you first need to reach the start of the hiking trail in San Gerardo de Rivas.

San Gerardo de Rivas is a small town located at the base of Chirripo and offers visitors the perfect place to base themselves before and after a hike up the mountain.

There are two main ways to get yourself to San Gerardo de Rivas – by rental car or by bus.

(Video) CERRO CHIRRIPO IN ONE DAY - Climbing the Tallest Mountain in Central America | Costa Rica

Rental Car

The easiest way to get yourself around Costa Rica in general is by having your own rental car. This way you can go at your own pace, and be on your own schedule throughout a trip to the country.

→ Feel free to take a look at Rentalcars.com for a variety of car options to choose from for your time in Costa Rica. You will be able to filter by price, car type, rental company, & more to find the best car rental for your trip.

The drive from San Jose to San Gerardo de Rivas will take around 3.5 hours, from Manuel Antonio around 2 hours, and from Uvita also around 2 hours.

A very important driving tip here so please be aware -> when inputting directions to/from San Gerardo de Rivas, some of the navigation maps do not realize that some roads are not paved. So, instead on sending you on the normal safe route on main highways/paved roads, the apps may send you on a more dangerous non-paved road for a portion of the drive. This is more likely to happen to/from San Jose.

To avoid this -> make sure you are always driving through San Isidro de El General first before going to or leaving from San Gerardo de Rivas.

Public Bus

The second way to get yourself to San Gerardo de Rivas is by bus. First you will need to get a bus to San Isidro de El General. There are busses that leave San Jose to San Isidro de El General constantly throughout the day and will take around 3 hours.

From San Isidro de El General, you then will need to grab a second bus to San Gerardo de Rivas, which are a bit less frequent (just a couple a day). If you don’t want to wait for the second bus, you can also grab a taxi from the bus stop and that should take around 30 minutes.

Once in San Gerardo de Rivas, you will need to get yourself to the starting point of the hike. The exact GPS coordinates are 9.469689, -83.584494. On Google Maps it is named “Entrada al Sendero Parque Nacional Chirripo”. Depending on hotel choice, you may just need to walk a couple minutes to the entrance or even upwards of a mile.

3) Accommodation in San Gerardo de Rivas

In town you should find many places that offer accommodation for hikers looking to summit Chirripo. You certainly will need to stay there for the night prior to the climb, and depending on your itinerary, you may stay there the night you arrive back from your climb.

Note that San Gerardo de Rivas town center is about 0.6 miles away from the trailhead, however there are hotels directly next to the trailhead too.

Below are a few highly rated options to choose from in the area. Don’t expect anything too fancy here. It is just enough to get the job done. Be sure to book these hotels as soon as you know your dates by using the links below.

Hotel Uran -> Located directly across the street from the trail entrance

Talamanca Nature Reserve -> located just 15 minutes by foot from the trail entrance

Hotel Roca Dura -> located 30 minutes by foot from the trail entrance

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4) Cerro Chirripo Weather & Temperature

One of the top considerations when going about a climb should be the time of year that you attempt it. Since so much of the experience is to take in those beautiful views along the way (and from the summit of course), you will want to avoid those times of year when rain and clouds can get in the way.

While nothing is ever guaranteed, the best time for a Cerro Chirripo climb would be from the months of January to April (with February and March being the best two months). During this time period is when the region expects the least amount of rainfall.

Just because you head there during dry season, doesn’t mean you are going to have a hot and humid day as you may in other parts of the country. Since you are starting the climb at around 4,900 feet above sea level, and heading all the way up to 12,000+ feet, the temperatures can drop quickly.

At the base of the mountain, temperatures can be quite hot getting to around 70+ degrees F. As you continue up though, the temperatures begin to fall. At around 6,500 feet in elevation, the temperature will be around 60 degrees, at 10,000 feet it drops to around 50 degrees, and once you reach the summit temperatures can be near the freezing point of 32 degrees.

Of course, every day can be different with the weather. Sun, wind and rain all can vastly affect the real feel temperature. End of the day though, you do need to prepare yourself for all types of weather.

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5) What to Bring Along

Due to the variety of weather and temperatures, you will need to prepare accordingly. With a climb like this, it will all be about layers! You can start the hike off with shorts and t-shirt, and by the time you are up top, you may have 3+ layers on keeping you warm.

Since you will also want to consider the weight of your backpack, the packing list for Chirripo should be as efficient as possible. Below are the items I would recommend (note that all clothing items should be made of moisture wicking material):

» Base Layer Underwear

» Hiking Socks

» Hiking Shorts

» Hiking Pants

» Short Sleeve T Shirt

» Long Sleeve T Shirt

» Mid Layer Fleece

» Rain/Wind Jacket

» Light Gloves

» Hat

» Headlamp

» Sunglasses

» Sunscreen

» 1 Liter Water Bottle (can fill up during the hike)

» Towel (if you want to take a cold shower)

» Toothbrush/Toothpaste (+other toiletries)

(Video) Climbing Cerro Chirripo | Highest Peak in Costa Rica

» Portable Charger

» Lodge Clothes

Feel free to take a look at my Hiking Packing List for some of my top recommendations

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6) Cerro Chirripo Permit

While many people want to climb Chirripo during a trip to Costa Rica, that doesn’t mean they actually get to climb. That is because there is only a limited amount of permits available for the national park for each day.

The number of overnight permits equates to the number of beds available at the Crestones Base Camp. This means that there are 52 available spots for an overnight trip. In addition, there are 20 spots available for just day hikers in the park. If there are no overnight spots left and if you think you can summit in one day, then a single day permit could work for you.

Getting a permit can get a bit tricky due to the limited number of spots and how the reservation system works. Below though I will try and walk you through the exact process to get yourself a permit.

Step 1: Creating a SINAC account

SINAC is the organization that overlooks the country’s national parks. If you are headed to others in the country, you may be visiting the website to purchase those tickets as well.

The first step though is to create an account on their website: https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/

Simply head to the webpage, click on “Create an Account”, fill out your personal information, and click Register. You are now done with the first step in the process!

Step 2: Getting a Chirripo Permit

Now comes the tougher part. Once you are in the account, you will see a menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Click the “Buy” dropdown and then the “Online Reservation” option.

There will be four pieces of information to choose from on this next page:

Wildlife Area: Parque Nacional Chirripo

Sector / Schedule: Sector San Gerardo

Entry Date: TBD

Departure Date: TBD

Before inserting your dates, you are better off first clicking the blue “Availability” button. This will show you all dates for the month with the availabilities listed next to them. The first column named “Availability” is for overnight visitors and the second column named “Daily Visit” is just for the single day visitors.

Once you have found dates that have availability, you can then fill out those in the two date dropdowns.

These availabilities begin to show up 4-6 months ahead of time. At some point as you continue to scroll for open spots, you may see the word “Cerrado” listed. From my understanding, this just means the spots have not opened up yet, and not that the park is closed on those dates (cerrado translates to closed in Spanish).

Hopefully though, you will be able to find the dates that work for you. You then will scroll to the bottom of the page and down to “Foreigners Admission” (if you are not Costa Rican of course). There will be a “Quantity Days” column and a “Quantity” column. The Quantity days should automatically be filled out for you based on your dates selection from above (most likely “2”). The “Quantity” column you will need to choose how many people you are booking for.

The cost is very reasonable: $18 per day for Adults and $5 per day for Children (plus tax). Since you are most likely going to do the overnight, that will be $36 for adults and $10 for children.

Continue to the bottom of the page, check out the terms and conditions, and click continue. From here you will have a 12-minute timer to put in your information (12 when I checked last, 8 minutes when I booked in the past). This means you should have all your information ready to go!

For each visitor you will need 1) Full Name 2) Passport # 3) Country. Once those are good to go, the bottom section is just putting in your credit card details.

You then just need to click the Continue button on the bottom, confirm your details of the reservation and then finalize.

Congrats you completed the toughest part!

Step 3: Paying for Accommodation & Food

Soon after you hit submit, you will receive an email from SINAC with your reservation details. Not too long after that (in my case 50 minutes later), you will receive a second email from “Consorcio Aguas Eternas” to reserve your accommodation and food. If you do not receive this email, please send an email to info@Chirripo.org.

You will be given 2 days to complete this step before losing your reservation. So, don’t delay, just follow the instructions and pay for the accommodation and food once you get the email.

During the reservation process you will also be able to select meal choices if you would like. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks/drinks for purchase.

The cost for one night is ¢21,811.19 / $34 per person. Meals cost around $11 each and you must purchase these ahead of time during your booking process.

You are now all set with your permits, lodging and food!

Step 4: Checking In

The last step applies when you arrive in San Gerardo de Rivas. You will need to make two stops once you get there.

The first is to the Chirripo National Park office to get your permit / wristband. The office is open Monday to Sunday from 8AM – 12PM and 1PM – 4PM. This means you MUST arrive prior to 4PM the day before your hike if you are looking to start the hike at a reasonable hour.

The second stop is at the Consorcio Aguas Eternas (located next to the town’s soccer field) to pick up your accommodation and food vouchers (open from 8:00AM – 4:00PM). You will receive small food vouchers and your accommodation ticket for check in when you arrive.

Update: the Consorcio Aguas Eternas office has moved to directly across the street from the Chirripo National Park office

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7) Crestones Base Camp – Cerro Chirripo Lodge

For the majority of hikers out there, summiting Chirripo is going to be a two-day event -> hiking to base camp on day 1 and then summiting on day 2 before heading back down the mountain. That means an overnight at 11,155 feet above sea level at Crestones Base Camp.

From the Crestones base camp lodge, it is still another 2.6 miles and +1,500 feet in elevation to the summit. This means the first day of the hike to Crestones is going to be around 9 miles and +6,500 feet of elevation gain.

Once you arrive at Crestones Base Camp on the first day, you will have the chance to unwind, shower, eat, and recover before setting out the following day.

» At Crestones you will find a pretty simple but effective setup for hikers. In total there are 52 beds (mostly with rooms of 4 people on bunk beds). For each bed you will be given a locker to store your things as well as sheets, pillows, and blankets.

(Video) Cerro Chirripó (3820m) | 4K | Costa Rica - September 2021

» In addition, you will find 8 shared bathrooms throughout the lodge. While there are showers, note that the water will be very cold. Be sure to bring a quick dry towel if you want to shower as no towel is provided.

» For food, they offer three meals per day and these need to be purchased in advance when you pay for your accommodation. Breakfast is served from 5:30AM to 8:30AM, Lunch from 12:30PM to 3:00PM, and Dinner from 6:00PM to 7:00PM.

» Each day of the week has different Costa Rican inspired food options and there are vegetarian options available as well.

» Check in time is at noon and check out time is at 11AM.

» Also note that they can organize a baggage transfer up and down the mountain if you do not want to carry your own things. This will cost around $4.50 for each kilo (2.2 lbs.).

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8) Cerro Chirripo Tour & Guided Hike

To be quite honest, the hike up Cerro Chirripo is quite straightforward. The trail is well maintained and you can find signboards posted throughout.

For those though that do not want to worry about permits, and may want to learn a bit more about the area during a hike, then a guided option can be an option for you.

There are tour companies that offer 2-4 day trekking options but they do seem to require exact dates 6+ months in advance. This way they can be sure to book the spots as they open up.

I would recommend taking a look at Chirripo.com or some options through Explore-Share.com. I do not have any experience with either as I did it on my own.

9) Cerro Chirripo Map

Below you can find a map of the Cerro Chirripo hike. The thick light blue line represents the 8.6 mile / 14 km hike from San Gerardo to Crestones Base Camp. Once at base camp, you can see the various green lines representing different hikes in the area.

This means there are additional hikes here that you can take part of in addition to Cerro Chirripo. There is the option to head to the second highest peak in the country – Cerro Ventisqueros, trek to some lakes, and visit the beautiful viewpoint of Los Crestones.

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11) Cerro Chirripo Hike

Now that you have all the background information for the hike, let’s talk about the hike itself. I am going to go about the two-day option here as that is what most people (including myself) take part of. The breakdown of the two days will look something like this:

Day 1: San Gerardo de Rivas to Crestones Base Camp

Distance: 8.6 miles / 13.9 km

Elevation Gain: 6,491 feet / 1,978 meters

Day 2: Crestones Base Camp to Cerro Chirripo Summit to San Gerardo de Rivas

Distance: 13.9 miles / 22.3 km

Elevation Gain: 2,130 feet / 649 meters

Total Chirripo Hike

Total Distance: 22.5 miles / 36.2 km

Total Elevation Gain: 8,621 feet / 2,628 meters

Chirripo Hike Day 1

Due to the long mileage and high amount of elevation gain, I would recommend starting the hike up early in the morning sometime between 6AM-8AM. Remember, first you will need to get yourself to the entrance of the hiking trail, which may add some additional time as well.

Once at the entrance you will see various hiking signs welcoming you to the start of the trail. At each kilometer up until Crestones Base Camp, there will also be these grey pillars telling you what kilometer you are on. At the entrance you will come across the first one “Km 0”. From there it is 14 km to base camp.

In addition to those kilometer signs, you will also see different names for various sections of the trail along with the elevation. For example, the first section is called “El Termometro” or “The Thermometer”.

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From here, the hike up the rocky & sandy trail begins. While the trail is not paved by any means, it is maintained to an extent. The hike continues through the forest as you get some views of the surrounding landscape from time to time.

You will soon finish up the first kilometer and see the next section of trail called “The Monkeys”. It is more rainforest walking with extensive greenery all around you. The trail passes by some pastures, where you may catch some cows looking on.

The views can really open up at times as you take in some views further down the valley. After a couple more kilometers and section names, you will reach the “official” entrance to Chirripo National Park at kilometer 4.

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It is a continuous uphill climb for the most part as you hike through the rainforest and get to enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. Just after 7 kilometers of hiking you will reach the major pitstop point of the day at Llano Bonito.

Here you will find restrooms, potable water, and a snack bar with hot/cold drinks & some various snacks. Feel free to take some time to sit back and relax here as you are just about halfway towards your goal for the day.

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(Video) Costa Rica Adventures: Cerro Chirripo - Hiking the tallest mountain in Costa Rica!

After a little bit of a break at Bonito, it is time to continue the hike up. At kilometer 8 you will be welcomed to the “Cuesta Del Ague” or “The Water’s Climb” section. As you may imagine, there is quite the climb that follows.

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You are slowly going to leave the forest behind as you approach kilometer 10. Instead of being surrounded by greenery and trees all around you, the scenery will now be much more open.

If you haven’t put on sunscreen, now it the time as you will be exposed for the remainder of the day to the sun. It will feel like a completely different hike and experience now as you are taking in views of the surrounding mountains all around.

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You will soon reach kilometer 13 named “Los Arrepentidos” or “The Repentants”. From here it is the last push to base camp. However, it is also one of the steepest portions of trail so be prepared for it!

Continue the climb up and soon enough you will be welcomed to Crestones Base Camp. From here you can check in, shower (if you are up for it), change clothes, and relax in bed or the common dining room.

Enjoy dinner and a nice rejuvenating sleep before getting ready for day 2 on the mountain!

Chirripo Hike Day 2

The most popular way to go about the Chirripo summit is to head up for sunrise before heading back down to base camp and then onwards back down to San Gerardo de Rivas.

This will require a wakeup call around 2AM followed by a 2-3 hour hike to the summit. During those peak dry months, sunrise will be between 5:30AM – 6:00AM.

The hike from base camp to the summit gains around 1,500 feet of elevation over the course of 2.5 miles. Be prepared with all your layers and your headlamps as you head out in the darkness.

Be sure to pay attention to the hiking signs along the way as there are a couple intersections / turn off points for other trails. The main one will be at Valle De Los Conejos, where you will come across a four-way intersection. Turn left here for the last push to the summit.

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The final portion of trail to the top of Costa Rica is more of a climb than a hike. It is nothing too technical but you will need to take some bigger steps up from one rock to the next.

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Soon enough though you will reach the summit of Cerro Chirripo!

When I reached the summit, it was very windy so do be prepared for that as well. However, you will probably be distracted by the endless views in every direction. On a clear day you will be able to see both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

The summit itself has a lot of different areas to walk on so you shouldn’t be bunched up with too many people. On either side of the summit you will have lake views and various mountains all around you.

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Once you are all set up top, it is time to descend back to base camp. You have the option here to head directly back to base camp or you can add on more of a loop trail that passes by Cerro Terbi and Los Crestones.

Below is a zoomed in view of the map from before that shows the loop trail. Simply follow those hiking signs and you should be good to go here.

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After making it to the top of Chirripo, and heading back down to base camp (either directly or along the loop), it is time to then continue back down to San Gerardo de Rivas. You can first have lunch at base camp before making the 14 km downhill hike back to civilization.

Once you reach San Gerardo de Rivas, head back to your hotel, take a nice shower and have a meal before heading off to your next destination in Costa Rica.

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12) Frequently Asked Questions.

Before wrapping up this guide, I did want to touch on a few frequently asked questions about Cerro Chirripo.

How Difficult is Cerro Chirripo?

Any way you look at it, Cerro Chirripo is a difficult mountain to summit. We are talking about nearly 23 miles and 9,000 feet of elevation gain (and loss) over the course of 2 days. If you are interested in taking part of the hike, you need to be confident in your abilities.

A couple ways to lessen the burden however, would be to split the hike into 3 days and/or have the luggage service take your baggage up to base camp for you. All said and done though, this is one of the more difficult hikes to take part of.

Is Cerro Chirripo a Volcano?

Chirripo was actually not formed through volcanic eruption but rather through tectonic deformation and glaciation.

Can you Hike Chirripo in a Day?

The answer is yes, you can hike Chirripo in a day. However, be prepared for a 23-mile round trip hike from San Gerardo to the summit and back. This should only be attempted by those in peak physical condition.

A one-day hike would require one of the day permits given out by SINAC and you would certainly need to start the hike in middle of the night to get it done in a day.

How do I Book Cerro Chirripo?

You must purchase your permits for Cerro Chirripo through SINAC 4+ months ahead of your climb. Once permits are purchased, you will then need to confirm your accommodation and food with the Crestones Base Camp.

Is Chirripo Worth It?

In my opinion, yes Chirripo is 100% worth it. While it is one of the toughest hikes in Costa Rica to take part of, it is also one of the most rewarding. Getting to stand at the highest point of the country is something you will not soon forget.

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With all of that said, that wraps up a complete guide to hiking Cerro Chirripo in Costa Rica. If you have any additional questions or comments, please be sure to add them in below.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other Costa Rica guides and itineraries up on the site.

Have fun out there and safe travels!

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How hard is it to hike Cerro Chirripo? ›

At 12,533 feet in elevation, Cerro Chirripo stands as the tallest point in all of Costa Rica. Getting to that peak though is no easy task. For most people it requires a 2-day 23-mile round trip hike, gaining over 8,600 feet of elevation along the way.

How long does it take to hike Cerro Chirripo? ›

Accommodation: Most people do the Chirripo hike over two or even three days. As camping is not permitted on the main trail, the only accommodation option is a 52-bed mountain hostel called Crestones Base Camp (3392 m).

What does the indigenous word Chirripó mean? ›

“Chirripó” derives from an indigenous word meaning “land of eternal waters.” Chirripó National Park lies towards the northern end of one of the most important biological zones of all Central America.

How high is Cerro Chirripo? ›

Cerro Chirripo is most noted as being the highest mountain in Costa Rica, standing proudly at an elevation of 3,821 meters or 12536.09 feet. Because of its altitude, the flora and fauna change drastically. If you are hiking during the rainy season, you might even see snow on the summit!

What is the hardest day hike in the world? ›

Everest Base Camp (EBC)

The Everest Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas in Nepal is one of the most famous and also, the hardest hikes in the world.

What is the most difficult thru hike? ›

Mount Huashan Trail in China is widely regarded as possibly the most dangerous thru hiking trail in the world. The trail passes through 5 enormous peaks: Facing Sun Peak, Jade Maiden Peak, Cloud Terrace Peak, Lotus Peak, and the South Peak which is the tallest and riskiest of them all.

Is the potato chip hike hard? ›

Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 4 h 20 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

How do I book Chirripó? ›

The contact number for Chirripo.org (Crestones Lodging) is (506) 2742-5097 or (506) 2742-5200. All reservations are non-transferable and non-refundable. The Park requires each hiker to check in at the San Gerardo Park Office, at the entrance to the village of San Gerardo de Rivas, by 4pm one day prior to hiking.

Can you hike for free in Costa Rica? ›

Free Hiking Trails in Costa Rica

Many trails in Costa Rica come with entrance fees but there are some that don't. It can be difficult to find the access points and to be certain you're not trespassing so we don't list many of them here.

What do you call a native Costa Rican? ›

Tico is an idiomatic term used for a native of Costa Rica. Costa Ricans are usually called ticos by themselves as well as by people of other Spanish-speaking countries.

What do most indigenous people call themselves? ›

The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or Indigenous American are preferred by many Native people.

How do you say hello in indigenous? ›

Some of the most well known Aboriginal words for hello are: Kaya, which means hello in the Noongar language. Palya is a Pintupi language word used as a greeting much in the same way that two friends would say hello in English while Yaama is a Gamilaraay language word for hello used in Northern NSW.

How difficult is Cerro Torre? ›

Cerro Torre is one of the worlds most coveted peaks because of its difficulty. Cerro Torre is famous not for its height but rather its foul weather, its very long pointed shape and difficult technical climbs.

What is Chirripo National Park famous for? ›

The number one attraction in Chirripó national park is climbing Cerro Chirripó Grande, the highest peak in Costa Rica. The views are spectacular, on a clear day, you can see the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean sea simultaneously.

What can you do at Chirripo National Park? ›

Stunning views, exotic bird watching and a tour across moorland and glacial lakes are part of the experience you can live in this park. In Chirripó, each site is unique. Since the beginning of the course the view is refreshed by premontane forests and their great diversity of species.

What is the golden rule of hiking? ›

The best thing you can do when hiking is to remember the “golden rule”: treat others the way you would want to be treated. Here are some main points of hiking etiquette. Hikers coming uphill have the right of way. If you're descending the trail, step aside and give space to the people climbing up.

How many miles can you realistically hike in a day? ›

How far can the average person hike in a day? Every hiker and trail is different, but on average, you can hike 8-15 miles a day [4]. Even the slowest hikers can cover a considerable distance if they have the time to spare. At a pace of 2 mph (slower than average), you can comfortably hike 10 miles in a day.

Can you hike 12 miles in a day? ›

A person of average fitness can cover 8 to 12 miles a day with a beginner to intermediate level of hiking experience. However, experienced hikers with stellar fitness can cover 12 to 16 miles a day!

What is the big 4 in hiking? ›

Going Ultralight With The Big Four. The fastest way to lighten your load is to replace one or all of the four largest items most backpackers carry: pack, tent, sleeping bag and pad.

Which would be an easier hike for a beginner? ›

As a beginner, I recommend looking for a trail that is under 5 miles with minimal elevation gain. Think about it like you're on a treadmill: a 1-mile hike with 500 ft of elevation gain has an average grade of 10%. Look for beginner hikes with less than 250 feet of elevation gain per mile.

How long should a beginner hike for? ›

Allow around one hour for every 4km when you are starting out. Don't forget to give yourself extra time for rest breaks, lunch, taking photos and for going uphill. As your fitness improves, these times will get shorter.

What is the hardest mountain to hike in the US? ›

6 Difficult Mountains to Climb in the USA
  • 1 #1 Mount Washington, South Gully, Huntington Ravine Route.
  • 2 #2 Mount Rainier.
  • 3 #3 Mount Elbert.
  • 4 #4 Mount Longs Peak.
  • 5 #5 Mount Haleakala.
  • 6 #6 Mount Shasta.
  • 7 #7 Mount Hood.
  • 8 Why Is Mountain Climbing in the USA So Famous?

How hard is Delicate Arch trail? ›

Trail Details:

Length: 3.2 miles round trip, 1.5 miles to Delicate Arch. Time: 2-3 hours. Elevation Gain: 550 foot gain. Difficulty: Moderate.

Where is Mount Chirripo in Costa Rica? ›

Located in the Talamanca Mountain region in the south of Costa Rica, Chirripo National Park encompasses one of the largest ecological zones in Costa Rica. The park was established in 1975 and protects a number of important ecosystems.

Where is Cerro Chirripo? ›

Mount Chirripó is the highest mountain in Costa Rica, with an elevation of 3,821 meters (12,536 feet). It is part of the Cordillera de Talamanca, and the range's highest point. It is located in Chirripó National Park and is noted for its ecological wealth.

How much money do you need for 2 weeks in Costa Rica? ›

A 2-week Costa Rica itinerary will cost you anywhere between 2000 – 3000 USD. For example, this includes going out for lunch and dinner, accommodation, attraction tickets, and your rental car. However, if you travel with two or more people, you can split accommodation and transport costs.

Can you wear shorts hiking in Costa Rica? ›

Arenal and La Fortuna

In La Fortuna, it gets hot and you can wear shorts, t shirts and flip flops. Hiking: Running shoes or hiking shoes will be fine for most hikes in Costa Rica. In rainy season, I recommend a pair of waterproof hiking shoes or hiking sandals.

What is a reasonable amount to hike in a day? ›

Most people will plan to hike 3-10 miles per day, depending on what shape you're in and how much elevation gain there is.

What do you call a girl from Costa Rica? ›

Tico/a. This is a word that means “Costa Rican.” A Tico is a Costa Rican man and a Tica is a Costa Rican woman.

How do Costa Ricans say hello? ›

Hola = Hello. This is the basic way to say hello. Buenas = Shorthand way of saying hello, any time of day. It is more casual and works in the morning, afternoon, or evening.

What are female Costa Ricans called? ›

A Costa Rican man is called a Tico, and a Costa Rican woman a Tica.

What do Native Americans call America? ›

Turtle Island is a name for Earth or North America, used by some Indigenous peoples, as well as by some Indigenous rights activists. The name is based on a common North American Indigenous creation story and is in some cultures synonymous with "North America."

Which state has the most Native Americans? ›

Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico have the highest population share of American Indians and Alaska Natives, according to new census figures. Nov. 26, 2021, at 7:30 a.m.

Do Native Americans pay taxes? ›

Members of a federally recognized Indian tribe are subject to federal income and employment tax and the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), like other United States citizens.

How do you say love you in Aboriginal? ›

kesalul - I love you.

What is the Aboriginal word for dad? ›

bäpa baapa

Has anyone free soloed Cerro Torre? ›

Leclerc has now soloed all three main peaks of the Cerro Torre group—Cerro Torre, Torre Egger and Aguja Standhardt (2700m). The latter peak he onsight freesoloed via the Tomahawk to Exocet link-up (5.8 M6 WI6 900m) on September 24, 2015, just one day after the Vernal Equinox.

What is the hardest rock face to climb? ›

Based solely on grade, the world's hardest sport climb is currently Silence, 5.15d (9c). This title was previously shared by Change, La Dura Dura, and Vasil Vasil— all of which are graded 5.15c (9b+), and all established by Adam Ondra. With his ascent of Silence, Ondra opened a new grade.

Is Torre Egger more difficult than Cerro Torre? ›

Torre Egger is a harder solo than Standhardt, Cerro Torre, or Chaltén, for the same reasons that climbing Torre Egger with a partner is harder than climbing those other peaks with a partner,” Haley said.

How difficult is Cerro Chirripo? ›

How Difficult is Cerro Chirripo? Any way you look at it, Cerro Chirripo is a difficult mountain to summit. We are talking about nearly 23 miles and 9,000 feet of elevation gain (and loss) over the course of 2 days.

What are the 4 national parks in Costa Rica? ›

Costa Rica National Parks a National Treasure

Some of the most popular national parks include the Arenal Volcano National Park, the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero National Park and Cahuita National Park.

Is the lemon squeeze hike hard? ›

Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 28 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. There is a fee per person to start hiking from Mohonk Preserve trailheads.

What is the hardest hike in California? ›

Mt. Whitney and Iron Mountain are the hardest hikes in California. Both of these hikes have 6,000 feet of gain and are very steep.

Can you hike Cerro San Cristobal? ›

Cerro San Cristóbal is the second highest mountain in the city and is a very popular site for hiking, biking, outdoor physical activities or just enjoying the beautiful views.


1. Hiking Volcano Chato: A journey to the heart of Costa Rica 🇨🇷
(Chad and Lacey)
2. Hiking Cerro Chirripo (Costa Rica's Tallest Mountain) in One Day
(Hailee Boyle)
3. On top of Costa Rica
(Hungaro Explorer)
4. Mt. Chirripo hike in Costa Rica, with Jack Witt
(Jack Witt)
5. Climbing Chirripó - Costa Rica's highest mountain
(Emelie Ering)
6. Hiking CHIRRIPO the highest mountain of Costa Rica I | Travel Series [S1-E12] - Central America 2015
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