Cerro Chirripó

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Cerro Chirripó
Cerro Chirripo Picture 1191 zoom in.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 3,820 m (12,530 ft) [1]
Prominence 3,727 m (12,228 ft) [1]
Isolation 878 kilometres (546 mi)
Coordinates 9°29′2.7″N 83°29′19.2″W / 9.484083°N 83.488667°W / 9.484083; -83.488667Coordinates: 9°29′2.7″N 83°29′19.2″W / 9.484083°N 83.488667°W / 9.484083; -83.488667
Cerro Chirripó is located in Costa Rica
Cerro Chirripó
Cerro Chirripó
Location in Costa Rica
Location Chirripó National Park, Costa Rica
Parent range Talamanca Range
First ascent 1904
Agustin Blessing
Easiest route Hiking

Cerro Chirripó is the highest mountain in Costa Rica, with an elevation of 3,820 metres (12,533 ft). It is located in the Chirripó National Park and is noted for its ecological wealth. The name, "Chirripo", means "land of eternal waters", named by local indigenous tribes, because there are many lakes and streams around the mountain[2]. The high peaks in this and La Amistad International Park host important areas of Talamancan montane forest and Costa Rican Páramo with high endemism and an extremely high biodiversity. The peaks of these mountains, because of their height, constitute sky islands for many species of plants and animals. Snow has not fallen on the peak in the past 100 years or so, according to the University of Costa Rica, but hail is reported sometimes.

The great height of Cerro Chirripó relative to its surroundings is also evidenced by its particularly high topographic prominence of 3,727 m (12,228 ft),[1] which makes it the 37th most prominent peak in the world.

From the summit, it is possible on clear days to see all across the country from coast to coast, from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea.[3]

Forest fires have occurred in 1976,[4] in the 1990s,[5] and in 2012.[6]

Climbing Chirripó is possible by obtaining a permit from the National Park office in San Gerardo de Rivas. From the trailhead, the summit can be reached via a 19.5-kilometre (12.1 mi) hike.[7]

Temperatures on the peak range from 4˚C-18˚C. Temperatures can drop to below freezing at night.


In 1904, Agustin Blessing Presinger made the first ascent to the peak. Since 1953, there have been five major fires in the area. The first official hiking trail was constructed in 1965 which led to a small sheet-metal hut 5 kilometers away from the peak. Today, the hut is replaced with a concrete refuge visited by 7000 people each year. In 1975, the Chirripo National Park was founded, enclosing in and protecting 500 sq kilometers of rainforest and mountains around the peak[8].

The Hike[edit]

The hike starts 1500 meters above sea level in the village of San Gerardo on the Talamanca Range. From the valley, the path rises through fields and woodlands before ascending through lush rainforest. The forest gradually converts into shrub land. The trail continuously ascends and descends through ridges and valleys until it reaches the final visitors' refuge at 3392 meters. From the refuge, there is remaining 2 hour hike. Once you cross the last ridge, there is a remaining 200 meters of steep path. The summit is a 6-meter wide platform of rocks[9].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Central America ultra-prominent peaks". PeakList.org. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  2. ^ http://www.hikingchirripo.com/all-about-chirripo
  3. ^ "Chirripó National Park". costa-rica-guide.com. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  4. ^ Harry Pariser. "First Fire". Explore Costa Rica. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Second Fire (Weak)". blog on wordpress.com. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  6. ^ David Delgado. "Brigadistas combaten últimas llamas en el Chirripó". Diario La Nación. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  7. ^ "notes on climbing Chirripo". peakbagging.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  8. ^ Hepworth, Adrian (2008). Wild Costa Rica: the wildlife & landscapes of Costa Rica. Mit Press. ISBN 9780262083836. 
  9. ^ Hepworth, Adrian (2008). Wild Costa Rica: the wildlife & landscapes of Costa Rica. Mit Press. ISBN 9780262083836. 

External links[edit]