Things to Do in Province of San Jose

Chirripo National Park, Province of San Jose: Address, Phone Number, Chirripo National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Chirripo National Park
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171 reviews
Very good

Jeremy S
1 contribution
Mt chirripo
Jan 2020 • Couples
Waste of red tape!!! Overly complicated. worst part they have the gall to charge foreigners more. A true scam
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Maria and Stephans.
Schiedam, The Netherlands60 contributions
beautiful place for hikers
Dec 2019
we went the first day to base Crestone's, I imagen a small wood house, but not it is a big place with excellent service good and big amount of food, extremely cool douches so I didn't shower, there you have a sleeping bag we brought and extra of our own, now to walk you need fresh clothes by walking you warm up to fast, sun hat, warm clothes, sunblock, mosquito repellent, headlamp, and extra batteries.
we start to walk at 2 am, absolutely recommended, arrive at Crestones base 10 am
sleep for 2hous, then rest until the next day we started to walk at 1.30 am to see the sunrise. before the sun comes is extremely cold, I had two merino shirts, sweaters, winter jacket, thermal pants, two merino socks in each food and I was frizzing, once the sun comes out it is not that cold.
going up and down are both difficult. it is a long walk.
but that is what we went for, the challenge and the adventure so was great.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bailey C
Philadelphia, PA32 contributions
Loved it!
Dec 2019
My husband and I had a very positive experience climbing Cerro Chirripo and dealing with the red tape in order to register, etc. We followed a blog that really helped with the process of registering for the park and the overnight at Crestones Base Camp. It was sort of a pain but nothing that could not be accomplished with some patience. FYI if you're reading blogs that discuss having to pay through a bank or something, those are old. You pay for everything on the park or base camp website. Once we got to San Gerardo, checking in at the TWO different locations the day before the hike was easy (one for the park, the other for the base camp). It is a small town so it is all very close together. Also, San Gerardo is a sweet little town, there happened to be a soccer tournament the day we arrived and we had a fun time watching most of the afternoon. I would have liked to spend an extra day at San Gerardo if we had the time.


Food was great, staff was friendly! You'll likely be sharing a room unless you're traveling with 4 people. Walls are very thin and you can hear pretty much everything so bring ear plugs. Most people wake up around 2 or 3 AM so you'll hear all the alarms too. It's a pretty basic bunk bed, and you're provided a sleeping bag and pillow. My husband and I found this to be enough and we chose to not bring up an extra sleeping bag or blanket. I was warm the entire night and happy I did not have the extra weight on our hike. Although, you can pay by the pound to have horses carry up your things, like sleeping bags or backpacks, etc.


I'll start off by saying I am in average shape, I do weekly activities like tennis and ballet and we hike on the weekends when we can. We also live at sea level. I probably could have worked on my cardio a bit more in preparation. All this said, we were able to complete the hike and felt pretty good the whole time. The first day we started around 5:30 AM and arrived at base camp around 2:30/3 PM. There are many blogs that go over in detail each kilometer and the trail conditions, etc, so I won't be going over that, but I will say the trail was very muddy in the lower kilometers. The second day, we began for the summit at 2 AM (bring head lamps!) and made it to the top by 4:45 AM. (The last bit of the hike is STEEP!) We stayed at the top for maybe an hour or so and then went back to base camp to get our stuff. We ate a quick breakfast and then began the trek down. At first, we had a really quick pace but around kilometer 9 we slowed down. We took a break at the snack shop/water refill station and then continued down. My knee began to really hurt and it slowed us to a snails pace. We eventually made it to the trail head at 4 PM.

Despite the pain, this was an amazing experience that I would highly recommend!
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

London, UK26 contributions
Muy duro
Dec 2019 • Couples
Beautiful stunning views from the top of chirripo early morning.
Beware this is no easy hike especially if not used to altitude
Written December 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

8 contributions
Excellent solo hiking experience
Sep 2019
I had an excellent time hiking up to Cresstones Basecamp and hiking around Chirripo National Park. As a solo female traveler, I felt safe and comfortable for my full time in the park. I checked in the day before I started hiking (you are required to check in at 2 park offices before 4pm the day prior). One young man in the park office spoke english, and was very helpful in the showing me the map and giving me advice on when to start hiking. The Ladies in the second office were very encouraging and helpful also! The ranger at the 7Km refuge was friendly and spoke english too.

The mountains are beautiful and the hiking was challenging and fabulous. I spent 2 nights at Cresstones so I could take my time exploring the different mountain peaks in the area. I was glad I decided on the second night. Even during the cloudy season the views of the mountain ranges were beautiful.

Base camp is exactly you would need and expect. It was cold at night, and there were no frills. But the rooms were comfortable, there are lockers to store your things, and they give you nice big portions of food!
Written September 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Reilly Strand
Santiago, Chile5 contributions
Beautiful park ruined by red tape
Jul 2019 • Solo
There's no denying that this is a beautiful and well preserved gem within Costa Rica. The trails aren't the nicest and the amenities aren't great but the scenery is simply fantastic. Unfortunately the Costa Rican government had to get a bit too involved and make the process for obtaining a permit as painful and inconvenient as possible. If they wanted to prevent the average person from seeing this place then they succeeded. If you want to come here I'd recccomend using a local service to obtain a permit. The Costa Ricans haven't quite figured out how to run their national parks yet and you'll pay for that with delays and frustration while trying to enter.
Written July 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Montreal, Canada23 contributions
Dec 2018
I was dreaming of climbing Cerro Chirripo since my first trip to Costa Rica in 2007. I finally realized it this last december. I was amazed by the beauty of the parks environnement. Be aware, it is a 14.5 km to the Albergue Crestones and than 5 more km to the summit of Cerro Chirripo. The last few 50m are more like rock climbing then simple hiking. The trail is well indicated with signs every kilometer. It is fairly steep all of its run and often rough with rocks and tree roots all over the trail. You need to be in good physical shape.
The albergue is really clean with very nice people working there.
And seeing the sun rise just above the mountainous skyline is just an amazing experience! You have though to be prepared, even if the temperature at sunrise is around zero, which is not so cold, you have to consider that you are on the top of a mountain that has almost or very little vegetation, so it is really windy. Therefore the windshield factor takes a few more degree off the thermometer.
All these efforts, strains, and pains worth it at 100%. The landscape is so beautiful!
N.B. Don't forget to plan ahead you trip. Also, take a minute to think of your planning as get down all the way form the summit to the entry of the trail is 19.5 km. A fairly long descent if you have pain in your knees.
Written February 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

San Antonio De Belen, Costa Rica116 contributions
The best family challenge
Dec 2018 • Family

Climb the highest mountain of my country was a gold for my family and me. We where waiting the perfect time, and the time was when my youngest son turn 11, daughter 15, husband 44 and me 43. We were training but nothing prepare us for the journey. It was really hard specially for my 11 year son, breathing was difficult, we walked 30 steps and 1 breathing stop till the heart beating down to 90. The walk was 14.5 kilometers and we spent 8.46 hours walking. If you decide to take this heavy adventure please try to go light (sweater, water, rain coat, flash light and snacks) in the middle of the way you can buy snacks, drinks, first aid stuff,etc. There are many information for this trip you just have to be informed and prepared. Chirripó is 3820 meters above the sea level so if you live in low lands the altitude will make you feel bad ( headache, dizzy, nauseated ) keep hidratated. You have to follow some procedures before Chirripó I recommend read the web site “consorcio aguas eternas” the company in charge.
Is important for me to tell you that the workers in Chirripó walks every 6 days to their jobs in the night to be with you in the morning and they works with limitations. The cookers (Joaquin, Mauricio and Jeovany) do their best. Laura the receptionist, bellboy, etc works from 5:00 am till 9:00 pm. Spoke with Chirripó workers was a highlight in my trip.
I highly recommended spent at least 2 nights in Chirripó because when you arrived to Base Crestones you will walk 5 more rough kilometers to reach Costa Rica’s highest point and then you have to see more atracctions ( Las Morrenas, Los Crestones, Ditkevi Lagoon) Don’t worry about yor belongings you can hires the Arrieros service ( they are like cherpas) and when you get to Base Crestones your belongings will have arrived ( FYI you have to pay for each kilogram, so think what is really important). Is better to travel in groups of 4 because of the bedroom capacity, if you are 2 you have to shares the bedroom, be prepared to share the bathroom too.
Written January 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

reston6 contributions
Subhuman treatment of your fellow human being
Sep 2018 • Solo
I am backing the review of sam m. and his account of what happened. The man in charge of hostel essentially sent a young man back into a possible life threatening situation with absoulutly no concern for human life. The man turned a new backpacker away from a place with open beds into the Pitch black darkness, pouring rain, cold temps, with no concern for his well being. I understand rules but safety and life should at least trump needing to have an online reservation. (Again more than 1/2 of place was available)
Thanks for the kind hearted man at the base that saw that safety was the priority.
Written October 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sam M
1 contribution
The manager of crestones
Sep 2018 • Solo
This review is more about the manager of the lodge (whoever was in charge that day 9/17/18). I walked/hiked from Rivas to the base camp (~25 km) and arrived at the base camp around 4:30 pm alongside a German couple I had met earlier that day and hiked the trail with. Upon arrival the park/base camp manager demanded I leave immediately because I did not have a reservation. I am 21 backpacking Costa Rica alone and did not know you needed to make a $18 park reservation online. He wouldn’t allow me to pay the fee there and said he wouldn’t accept me there even if i went online at that moment and paid the park fee. We argued with him for an hour to at least let me sleep there but it was to no avail, the man had no heart. He said I needed to leave the park immediately even though it would be dark in 30 mins and it was 14 km back to the start of the trail. The only member of the staff there with a shred of kindness was the front desk woman who made me a plate of rice and bowl of soup to eat for free before I started my journey back down the mountain (the man in charge didn’t even want me to eat). After 4 hours of walking in the dark and in pouring rain I made it 7 km to the middle checkpoint camp where the man who worked/lived there was kind enough to take me in and gave me a mat and blanket to sleep on, even though it was still inside the park boundaries and even though I told him that I had no park reservation, he saw his fellow man in need and didn’t reject me like the man at crestones bad camp did. To put another mans life in danger like the man in charge at crestones did is inhuman. I wish that I had gotten his name..
Written September 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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