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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rica’s Chirripó National Park grows 500 hectares

Chirripó National Park is located in three provinces: San José, Limón and Cartago. It is named after its most prominent feature: Mount Chirripó. At 3820 meters above sea level, it is the highest mountain in Costa Rica and it is part of the Talamanca Mountain range.

The National Park will feature another great attraction: Mount Ena. The climb to Cerro Ena Refuge is about 14.5 km. The hike lasts approximately six hours one way. The views are breathtaking and, though it is a challenging walk, the surrounding natural scenario makes it absolutely worth it.

Mount Ena is located within the La Amistad Conservation Area, an international park shared between Costa Rica and Panama. The mountain is amongst the tallest in the country, at 3,126 meters above sea level. The Costa Rican government signed a decree and made the incorporation of the mountain to the National Park official.

Due to the unique flora and fauna found in the area, the park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1989. The community has cared for and preserved the natural state of Cerro Ena for many years. As part of Chirripó National Park, it will be operated by the Association of Ena Tourism. 

With this new incorporation, the authorities increased the Chirripó territory by 501.23 hectares, expanding it to a total of 50,625 hectares. They expect to guarantee the protection of the region’s paramo-like ecosystem and strengthen the areas adjacent to the national park. Threats such as hunting and forest fires persist there.

Another plan for the area, that motivated the incorporation of Ena into the reserve, corresponds to the launch of a research laboratory.

Ronald Chan, Director of Amistad-Pacific Conservation Area, indicated they ” are developing the corresponding processes in order to formalize the ecotourism activity generated at the site, through a use permit, with community organizations in the area, such as the Ena Tourism Association of San Jeronimo de San Pedro de Perez Zeledon.”

For those who wish to visit Mount Ena, there is currently a visitor’s trail and a very rustic lodge that will be improved. Authorities understand that, with Mount Ena being part of Chirripo National Park, it is likely the number of guests will increase significantly. This is why work is being done to improve the conditions for travelers.

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