Are you thinking of hiking Cerro Chirripo National Park? This is the highest mountain in Costa Rica at 3,820 meters (12,533 feet). This national park covers 50 thousand hectares (123,552.69 acres) of land. So if you are not sure about what to expect, go ahead and check out our following post: Complete Guide to Hiking Cerro Chirripo National Park, Costa Rica and then make your reservation for this amazing national park!
You’ll need to make your reservation with the local association (Consorcio Aguas Eternas). Reservations can be made up to 6 months before your desired hiking date. However, from my perspective, it’s not simple to make a reservation for Chirripo. And it could be worse when you live outside of Costa Rica.
What makes it so complicated? Well, here are some things that I noticed when I made our reservation:
1. Looking for availability
Booking your own spaces through the SINAC website can be a little bit frustrating. Actually, from our perspective, this website is NOT completely user-friendly. The main problem shows up at the moment when SINAC releases the spaces for the high season. Everyone logs on at once trying to get the spot they want.
For example: When I (Rodrigo) was planning to make the reservation for my group, the day that administration of the park (SINAC) released the spaces online, there were over 80 users connected! So the website kept crashing as I was trying to reserve spaces. I was like: What the heck is this?
So, I tried MANY TIMES before getting our 4 spaces (me, Ligia, Jafeth and Mainor). Mainly because I was trying to book for Semana Santa ( Easter). All the Ticos (Costa Ricans) definitely wanted to go the same days.
2. Completing the process
When you are making your reservation, you’ll need to have the complete name and ID or passport number of every person who is going. Unfortunately, I did not know this. So, while I was in the process of booking spots, I had to call everyone and ask for their personal information!
3. Final payments
This is the payment just for the entrance fee to the park! Many countries have different prices for an entrance fee to a national park depending on where you’re from. Costa Rica is no exception. The price for locals is ₡4000 colones ($8.00 US) per day and the price for foreigners is $18.00 US per day. However, this payment is not a problem because you can put your credit card number right away on the website and that will be processed.
The part where it gets a little inconvenient is at the moment when you need to do the payment for the accommodations and food at the base camp. But DON’T WORRY! Here are some helpful steps and tips for making your reservation successfully.
Steps for making your reservation for Cerro Chirripo
You have probably noticed that there is not much information on the web about making your reservation for Cerro Chirripo. We had to ask some friends and call Aguas Eternas Consorcio, which was frustrating for us because sometimes they did not answer the phone.
However, it doesn’t have to be so hard for you.
Step #1: Registering and doing the reservation
Instead of doing a huge explanation here about how to make your reservation on the website of SINAC Costa Rica, up to the moment where you can put the credit card number for the payment of the entrance fee, we will share the following video to help guide you through the process:
Step #2: Confirmation of spaces
As soon the payment is done on the website of SINAC, you’ll get an email confirmation sent to your inbox (of the email that you use for registration).
That should come from [email protected], and it looks something like this:
Step #3 & Last but least: Payment of lodging and food
Consorcio Aguas Eternas will send an email for processing the payment of your lodging and food at the base camp. Now, for those who have not arrived in Costa Rica, make sure to clarify this information with Consorcio and explain when you’ll be arriving.
Unfortunately, the website of Consorcio is not set up yet for the process the payment for people who are outside of Costa Rica. But, when we talked with the administration of Conosorcio, they said that they hold the reservation until the moment that the clients arrive in the country and process the payment then.
So it’s very important to communicate with them to make sure your reservation and payment goes through.
506: is the country code of Costa Rica*
Consorcio Aguas Eternas: (506) 2742-5097 ó (506) 2742-5200.
Email: [email protected]
SINAC email: [email protected]
By following these steps for doing your reservation successfully plus the tips in our post about Hiking Cerro Chirripo, anyone will be able to do this great trip.