Costa Rica Travel Blog

Information, News, and more about traveling in Costa Rica

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What you should know about hiking up Chirripo in Costa Rica

Hiking in Costa Rica is a great way to discover Costa Rica’s natural environment while also satisfying your desire of being an explorer. If you are planning to hike in Costa Rica, then Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica, is a must. The mountain is located in the Chirripo National Park, which is in the middle of the country.

On a clear day you will be able to see the Caribbean and the Pacific when you reach the top. I would suggest though that you make sure you are fit before going through the challenge of hiking at Chirripo, because when you are climbing thousands of vertical feet, the trail can be demanding. I would also suggest you to get an early start hiking in the morning when light is coming out. Climbing Chirripo can take from 7-8 hours hiking up and 7-8 hours hiking back down.

Before you make plans for hiking in Chirripo, make sure you make reservations before you leave and arrive in Costa Rica.

Packing

Make sure you are prepared and well equipped before hiking in Chirripo. Bring a backpack that fits you. Try not to bring too many items but only what is necessary, because you are going for a constant hike up the mountain. Make sure you bring something to keep warm such a jacket, sweater, and sleeping bags. The weather up in Chirripo is very cold, even during the summer! Also bring something for rainy weather, but no raincoats.

Bring comfortable sturdy hiking boots and some thick socks. You would be wise to bring anything you may need like band-aids, soap, and a small first aid kit. You also will have to bring your own food, so bring something that will give you energy but yet do not expire quickly, such as pasta, food bars/drinks (just bring the powder ones), dried fruit, and oatmeal. Along with the food bring some packs of cocoa, tea, or coffee. There is a lodge upward and you don’t have to worry about the water because it is clean. Make sure you have everything that is necessary but at a minimum.

How to reach Chirripo

San Gerardo is where the trip starts. You can take a bus, and walk up to where the trail begins in the Chirripo National Park. You can also hire a taxi to drive you the whole way, which is more expensive than taking the bus, but much quicker.

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