Did you know that we are located at the foot of Mt Chirripó , the biggest mountain in Costa Rica? Second biggest in Central America? Thousands of outdoors enthusiasts visit each year to climb the mountain. From the peak you can see both oceans (Pacific and Caribbean), the ridge of volcanoes that run through Costa Rica and beyond, as well as lakes, incredible rock formations and the ‘paramo’ ecosystem typical of this elevation.
Costa Rica Holiday Homestay has recently begun helping our guests arrange their permits to hike the mountain which is a national park, and services such as overnight accommodation, meals, portering etc. If you are considering climbing Chirripó while you homestay with us here are 5 very important tips:
• Mt Chirripó is over 3,000 meters tall – a good challenge for mountaineers and hikers in good condition. You will enjoy yourself if you book to stay over one night, preferably two, as there is a lot to see and just climbing to the top and descending will take a lot of your allotted time.
• The experience of climbing Mt Chirripó varies throughout the year: from January to March we experience dry, sunny days with clear skies and very cold nights. Come prepared! From April to December there will be some rain of varying degrees but warmer temperatures at night.
• You MUST reserve permits to enter the National Park months before you arrive. See SINAC. We can make the bookings for you but likewise we need lots of time to be sure you get the dates and time you want. All bookings are now online. The process isn’t too difficult, but we’re here to help if it becomes mystifying!
• Also important to know is that you must arrive at least one day before your hike as you need to sign in at the National Parks Office before 4 pm the previous day. In fact we really recommend you arrive a few days ahead of your climb to acclimatize yourself to the altitude (San Gerardo is at 1,300 meters above sea level), take a few short hikes and gather your provisions. Likewise, you will need at least one night at your homestay afterwards to rest up!
• Most of our homestay families have years of experience hiking, guiding or portering on Mt. Chirripó. They are here to help you. They can prepare food for you to take with you and check your supplies so you don’t try and carry too heavy a load (pack light!).
Climbing Chirripó is an experience of a lifetime – it will take your breath away – and putting in some time to prepare thoroughly beforehand will make the hike all the more enjoyable.
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