The highest peak at 3,820 meters in elevation in Costa Rica is Cerro Chirripó, and lies in San Jose province in Chirripó National Park and the Talamanca Mountain Range.
Chirripó National Park has a reputation for its impressive biodiversity, and many of the mountains in the Cordillera de Talamanca are often considered islands in the sky. This is due to the unique characteristics of flora and fauna that make up the mountain peaks in both Chirripó National Park and the enormous La Amistad International Park shared by Costa Rica and Panama. It is also due to the numerous cloud forests that populate the area, and give the feeling that you are standing on a land separate from the world beneath.
In order to climb Mount Chirripó you must prepare in advance. The peak is not an easy climb, and you’ll need to be physically fit to attempt it. There is a reservation system and a fee included, and reservations must be made by phone call. A dormitory sits a little ways off from the summit, and many hikers prefer to stop there and rest up for the night before making the final assent.
From the top of Cerro Chirripó, hikers will be able to see both the Pacific and Caribbean on clear days. The views of the surrounding area are stunning by themselves, and possibly even more so at sunset. If you are an early riser, you can watch the sun rise over the Caribbean, also. Other sights from Cerro Chirripó include coffee and dairy farms, the other peaks of the Talamanca and looking south you’ll see Panama.
The Chirripó National Park plays host to five ecosystems that in ascending order consist of lowland wet tropical forest, premontane wet tropical forest, montane wet forest and subalpine forest. Traveling to the peak through the five different zones is incredible, but you would need to pack appropriately. The lower areas would require less clothing, and you would need to layer gradually as you make your way up. Everything that you bring in must be brought out as well, so all snacks should be prepared with that in mind.