Chirripo National Park



The main attraction in Chirripo National Park, on the northwest corner of La Amistad International Park (60 mi/100 km southeast of San Jose), is Mount Chirripo. At 12,600 ft/3,840 m, it is Costa Rica's highest peak.

From Mount Chirripo's summit, you can see the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea at the same time. You'll also see lakes of glacial origin, cloud forests and paramo—an ecosystem of stunted shrubs and marshy alpine grasslands that are common to the Andes Mountains in South America.

The park can only be entered on foot, and it's a grueling hike—two days minimum to ascend, plus a third day for the descent—but it's phenomenal. There's a cozy mountaintop cabin where visitors can sleep and recuperate.

Entrance fees and cabin space must be prepaid at the MINAE office in San Gerardo de Rivas, which has plenty of simple accommodations as well as a luxury boutique hotel. If you're interested in visiting, be sure to confirm that the park is open before you go.

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