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Adventure in the Cerro Chirripó

~ by Luis Gutiérrez Galera

It is still not dawn, and the mist is laying on the lush Talamanca mountain range; it is just before sunrise, but the adventurous tourists are ready to begin the walk to conquer the highest summit in Costa Rica. This journey will take about 8 hours, through paths that may prove to be a real challenge.

Some steep and moderate trails start to greet these hikers, while the contrast between secondary forests and moorland proves that Cerro Chirripó has begun. Colorful birds, small reptiles, and a shiny morning motivate adventurers, whose focus is one of the highest summits in Central America. After the first few kilometers, human strength starts to decrease, but the courage and adrenaline help hikers to keep moving.

Signs inform people about the particular names of the various areas on the mountain. For example, hikers find themselves in “Los Arrepentidos”, which means “the regretful ones”, which is one of the last uphills. At this point, the bravery of the first-timers and their desire to get to the top will certainly be tested.

When these adventures finally make it to the summit, victory can be celebrated, but hard work is still ahead. The amazing beauty of Cerro Chirripó brightens hikers’ eyes, when they witness the glacial lakes, and can also walk around the various savannas and hills.

Los Crestones cannot be missed; these are enormous rock formations which are 60 meters high (200 ft), and are a Costa Rican national symbol. Plus, from this point, visitors can see Caño Island in the southern area of the country, and of course, the breathtaking Chirripó, rising 3820 meters (12,530 ft). Such an altitude allows tourists to experience a once in a lifetime moment: admiring both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Conquering this natural wonder must be in everyone’s bucket list, and the gateway to such magnificence starts in the beautiful county of Pérez Zeledón.

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