Chirripo National Park

Chirripo National Park -  Just northeast of San Isidro del General, Chirripo National Park is spread over more than 125,000 acres of raw beauty.  The immense land mass of this park is located in the Provinces of Puntareneus, Cartago and Limon.  Hosting the highest peak in the country at 12,352 feet, the change in altitude allows visitors to see first hand how it affects the flora and fauna.  The lower slopes are primary cloud and rainforest that hold primarily large oaks and elms.  You find a variety of wildlife such as monkeys, quetzal as well as a variety of birds.

The habitat changes considerably around 9000 feet as the dense forest leaves way for thin trees, moss covered paths, and paramo.  As you travel even higher, you will observe wind blown trees, short shrubs, perennial plants and raspy grass.  Once you hit the summit you have beautiful views of the lakes, remnants of glacier activity that had to take place here well before man.  There are many great trails to any of the five peaks in the park but hitting the summit in one day hike is not advised.  The trail is over 30 miles long and brings below freezing temperatures at night once the sun goes down.   Los Crestones Base camp is equipped with bunk beds, cooking area, and cold showers but reservations are required.  The only other camping allowed in the Park is at the Indian Pass Camping Area along the Uran Trail. No resources for food are located within the park, but there are ample resources in San Isidro del General or Cartago.  If camping is not your style, there are numerous quaint cabins and hotels located outside the park that are all inclusive accommodations.   

Area   125,600 acres
Location    South Pacific Region - San Jose, Limon and Cartago Provinces
Max. Elevation     12,532'  Chirripo Peak
Precipitation     up to 150 inches annually
Created   30 August, 1975

Protected Areas close to Chirripo National Park include - Los Santos Forest Reserve, Rio Maucho Forest Reserve, and Paramo Wildlife Refuge.

Photo: By Poutine (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons