Mount Chirripo – Costa Rica

  • February 16, 2019

Mount Chirripó is the highest mountain in Costa Rica with an elevation of 3,821 meters (12,536 feet). It is located in Chirripó National Park and is noted for its ecological wealth. The mountain was named “Chirripo,” meaning “land of eternal waters”, by native Americans because there are many lakes and streams around the mountain. The peaks of these mountains constitute sky islands for many species of plants and animals. Snow has not fallen on the peak in the past 100 years or so, but hail is sometimes reported. Chirripó is the 38th most prominent peak in the world. The park can be categorized into five ecosystems: lowland tropical wet forest, premontane tropical wet forest, lower montane wet forest, montane wet forest and subalpine wet forest (páramo). Most of the park consists of both primary rain forests and primary cloud forests. Around 9,000 ft (2,740 m) it changes to wet desert. Summiting the peak begins with a hike along a 16.5-kilometre (10.3 mi) uphill trail from the town of San Gerardo de Rivas to the park ranger’s refuge in the Los Crestones sector; that is followed by a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) walk to the peak.