Chirripo National Park

CHIRRIPO NATIONAL PARK is contiguous with LA AMISTAD INTERNATIONAL PARK, on the western border of La Amistad and only several kilometers east of VISTAS DE CHIRRIPO Country Estates. Together they constitute the largest protected area in Central America and have been designated one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.

“La Amistad means “friendship”, and the international park was created with an understanding that a counterpart park would be established across the border in Panama.

La Amistad is a gigantic national park, 479,199 acres (193,929 ha.), big enough to sustain a healthy population of animals that require large areas for hunting and reproduction, such as the tapir, jaguar, puma, and harpy eagle. Probably the largest population of resplendent quetzals in the country reside in this refuge of rainforest, cloud forest, and paramo, along with at least 400 other bird species. Epiphytes abound in the tall cloud forests, where you can see oak, elm, magnolia, and sweet cedar. More than 130 varieties of orchids have been found in the southwest corner of the park alone. There are 263 species of amphibians and reptiles. Spread across the rugged Talamanca Mountain Range, the highest in Costa Rica, the park protects not only endangered plants and animals but important watersheds as well. It is within the Amistad Biosphere Reserve.”
      COSTA RICA, A Natural Destination (4th ed.), Ree Strange Sheck

Chirripo National Park itself is 195 square miles and contains over 400 species of birds and a variety of animals including pumas, jaguars, peccaries, monkeys, and the largest population of tapirs in the country. According to Exploring Costa Rica ( 2006 ed., The Tico Times ) climbing to the top of Mount Chirripo is the ultimate Costa Rican trek. Adventure-seekers from around the world make this trek. Mountain-climbing skills are not required, but it is an endurance test. The starting point for the hike is at the ranger station at the village of San Gerardo de Rivas, also the entrance to Chirripo National Park, 15 km. northeast of San Isidro de El General. Reservations must be made for the hike and for overnight accommodation.

“Geologists, botanists, mountain climbers, biologists, adventure seekers, and just plain nature-lovers make their way to Chirripo National Park, 94 miles (151 km) south of San Jose near San Isidro de El General. The park contains the highest peak in the country, Chirripo Peak at 12,529 feet (3,819 m ), glacial lakes, rivers, and habitats ranging from mixed forests, fern groves, and swamps to oak forests and paramo.

On a clear day, visitors can see both oceans from the peak. There are cloudy and clear days throughout the year, but the driest time is February and March. Annual rainfall is between 138 and 197 inches (3,500 and 5,000 mm). Some long-time visitors say that they cannot resist trips in the rainier times, when the exuberance of the vegetation defies description.”
      COSTA RICA, A Natural Destination (4th ed.), Ree Strange Sheck

Vistas de Chirripo
Vistas de Chirripo Phase 2
Vistas del Diquis
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