Cerro Chirripo, Coast Rica’s highest point, is just one of the attractions that draws wilderness adventurers to what some consider the nation’s wildest park. The 11-mile hike up a steep mountain pass can prove a challenging climb for even the most experienced trekkers. Two permanent shelters along the way mean hikers can leave their tents at home, but travelers will still need to carry plenty of food and water for the demanding trail. Though the pass can be difficult, the views from the top—including the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea—are truly amazing.
For less-fit travelers and those in search of more leisurely strolls, the forests of Chirripo National Park offer plenty of opportunity to explore the unique flora and fauna indigenous to Costa Rica. Its scenic passes, lush pastures and minimal elevation gains are accessible for the entire family.
The high season is from December to April, but the rainforest is at its greenest between May and November. Maps and visitor guides are available for free in the park. Visitors must pay $7 to enter and an extra $3 to stay overnight. Chirripo is accessible by bus from San Isidro and leaves daily at 5 a.m. and 2 p.m.