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Chirripó National Park to reopen October 30

Chirripó National Park will reopen for tourists on October 30, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced Monday.

Visitors hoping to explore Costa Rica’s tallest peak should book their admission on SINAC’s online reservation platform. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, overnight availability at Crestones Base Camp is limited to 50% of the shelter normal capacity.

The Crestones Base Camp and the majority of Chirripó National Park’s trails have been off-limits to visitors since February 15.

In August, Costa Rican authorities inaugurated new base camp facilities, featuring more overnight accommodations for tourists with panoramic views of the nearby peaks. A water-treatment plant and infirmary comprise some of the other upgrades.

“We celebrate the inauguration of these important works that will undoubtedly help in the economic part of the community,” said Vice President Epsy Campbell during last month’s ceremonies.

Cerro Chirripó is Costa Rica’s tallest peak, rising 12,533 feet above sea level and offering incredible, panoramic views from the summit.

For most visitors, the hike begins in the small village of San Gerardo de Rivas, which overlooks the powerful Chirripó Pacific River. From the trailhead, the hike traverses 14 kilometers, mostly uphill, to Crestones Base Camp, which can now sleep 60 people.

Alejandro Zúñiga

It’s about 5.5 kilometers from Crestones to the summit, with the last stretch being a steep-angle climb to reach the very top.

Nearly 6,500 people visited Chirripó in 2018, according to the latest data from the Costa Rica Tourism Board, and the National Park is an important economic driver for the surrounding villages.

(Courtesy of Felipe López)


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