Chirripo-Gipfel-mit-Ta
QCOSTARICA – Tourists visiting the Chirripó national park, starting in March can reach the summit of the highest peak in the country by way of a new route.

The director of the Área de Conservación Chirripó-La Amistad, Ronald Chang, explained the route would start in San Jerónimo de San Pedro, a community located south of Perez Zeledon. The route runs a distance of 10 kilometres, accessing the Crestones shelter at the famous Sabana de los Leones.

Magnificent Views from the Highest Mountain in Costa Rica - Cerro Chirripó
Magnificent Views from the Highest Mountain in Costa Rica – Cerro Chirripó

Chang said they are waiting on the approval of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC) – National System of Conservation Areas, to enable the route.

The new trail can only be entered with  a guide. Chang said the tours will be in small groups of not more than eight people and only once a week, due to the fragility of the ecosystem.

The new route will offer a new experience in mountain tourism, crossing several kilometres of cloud forest.

“It has always been a complaint that the park is very big and does not benefit everyone equally,” said Chang.

Valle de los Conejos, Chirripo National Park
Valle de los Conejos, Chirripo National Park

Currently, the Chirripó 3,820 metre (12,530 ft) summit can be reached via a 19.5-kilometre (12.1 mile) hike, that is usually done in two stages.

The Chirripó, encompassing parts of three provinces: San José, Limón and Cartago, is the highest mountain in Costa Rica, the 37th most prominent peak in the world. From the summit, it is possible on clear days to see all across the country from coast to coast, from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea

The Valle de los Lagos in Chirripó National Park.
The Valle de los Lagos in Chirripó National Park.

The park is one of the coldest places in Costa Rica. In fact, the coldest temperature – 15°F (-9°C) – ever recorded in Costa Rica was recorded here.

Todo el parque

The peaks of these mountains, because of their height, constitute sky islands for many species of plants and animals. Snow has never fallen on the peak in the past 100 years or so, according to the University of Costa Rica, but hail is reported sometimes.

Chirripo