Updated: March 5th, 2019

Cerro Chirripo in Costa Rica is the highest mountain with an altitude of 3,820 meters (12,533 feet) with a protected extension area of 50 thousand hectares (123,552.69 acres) of land.

This makes this place to be visited for many local and foreigners travelers. 

However, the difference between this and other national parks, it is that this summit cannot be reached just for the day (Well, there are some exceptions, and some people have done it in one day and maybe Alex Honnold will do it as well LOL) but I think is essential to be fit for that!

Now if you are considering to visit Cerro Chirripo National Park and expect to stay at the base camp for a least one night.

Here is where the reservations process comes across, so we will share with you the steps that you need to follow:

Important: The all reservation process is component by two different entities that need to be contacted:

SINAC: This is an institution from the government and the permits are bought through them. They manage the online permits for a few national parks in Costa Rica.

For the rest of national parks, they have rangers selling the permits at the entrance of each park.

Consorcio Aguas Eternas: This is a group of neighbors who agreed to administer the base camp, food, and other services.

You need to buy these services through them.

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.

But Consorcio Aguas Eternas has implemented an online system payment for those travelers who will visit Cerro Chirripo.

And this is the NEW step that we will talk about.

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!

Read more:

Complete Guide to Hiking Cerro Chirripo National Park, Costa Rica

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.

And unfortunately this website has not changed and if you see the below comments of this post, you will notice that people still have the same problem up today. 

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 ($7.00 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. (This used to be through a deposit in the bank account of Consorcio Aguas Eternas)

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 Consorcio Aguas Eternas, which was frustrating for us because sometimes they did not answer the phone.

However, it doesn’t have to be so hard for you.

Luckily, we did all this process ourselves and we already know the right people from SINAC and Consorcio Aguas Eternas who to ask for every new step in the reservation process.

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 serviciosenlinea@sinac.go.cr, 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.

This payment used to be through a bank deposit or transfer to Consorcios’ bank account.

They changed this and once you get your email from Consorcio, they will send you a unique link (user and password) for proceeding the online payment for the nights that you will stay at base camp, food and other services.

We have not used this new method but this is what we got told by Consorcio.

So it’s very important to communicate with them to make sure your reservation and payment goes through.

Main contacts:

506: is the country code of Costa Rica*

Consorcio Aguas Eternas: (506) 2742-5097 ó (506) 2742-5200.

Email: info@chirripo.org

Consorcios’ Website: https://www.chirripo.org/

SINAC email: serviciosenlinea@sinac.go.cr

SINAC’s website: https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/

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.

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Khaire Thabet
Khaire Thabet
2 years ago

I would like to climb Cerro Chirripo May first or second. I can not find way to make my reservation.
Please help.

Hunter Spurgeon
Hunter Spurgeon
2 years ago

In the availability page, where it says “Disponibilidad” does that mean remaining online permits available? And where it says “Visita diaria”, does it mean remaining in-person permits available?

Jan Wagner
Jan Wagner
2 years ago

Hello Rodrigo,
in case i manage to buy a permit online (6 months prior to my arrival) is it really possible to pay for the lodging when I arrive to Costa Rica in person at Banco National? Will the park hold and guarantee my reservation? Many thanks.

Andy
Andy
2 years ago

hi – I have made a reservation to enter the park for 2 days but when I email my reservation details to info@chirripo.org I do not receive a reply. Any idea how I can ensure I get a reservation at the base camp or do they usually take many days to reply?!

Thanks

AJ
AJ
2 years ago

Hello,

I just tried making reservations on the website and each time it told me that my payment did not go through. I checked my bank account and I see that I have been charged SIX TIMES! I have tried calling the office, but my call does not go through (I am calling from the United States).

Can someone please contact me as soon as possible to resolve this?

Matt Nichols
Matt Nichols
1 year ago

Hello,

I am trying to reserve a spot online for el chirripo but continually receive a message on the “purchase confirmation” tab that my information is invalid. I put the names of the party under “complete name” and the corresponding passport numbers under “identification.” Under the pay data I enter all the information except I am unsure what the ID number is for. I am not a Costa Rican resident and tried putting in my passport number. What is the ID number?

I’ve tried emailing SINAC multiple times but haven’t received a reply yet. Thank you in advance for your help!

Matt

Matt Nichols
Matt Nichols
1 year ago
Reply to  Rodrigo

Rodrigo,

Thanks for the reply and reaching out to SINAC. I will continue to watch for updates regarding their website and making reservations. I appreciate your help thus far.

Thanks,
Matt

Charlie
Charlie
1 year ago
Reply to  Rodrigo

Did you get any update on this Rodrigo?
I’m having the same problem, the website will not take my payment as it won’t accept any of the I’d numbers I’m trying.

Thanks,
Charlie

Charlotte Ditty
1 year ago

Hello! We have had the similar experience as AJ. We followed the instructions online for park entry permits. We submitted it but it didn’t seem to go through because we didn’t receive a confirmation number. We did that three times and our credit card was charged three times as well. We have sent multiple emails asking for a confirmation number, but no luck. We actually spoke to someone who said to email again with our names and passport numbers to get that confirmation number. Again no luck. We talked with Crestones base camp and they will not give us reservations to stay the 2 nights we need until we have that number. We are coming from the US just to do this hike. We have an 8 year old who is very excited. We do not speak Spanish very well so not sure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 year ago

Hi there Rodrigo

I was hoping you would be nice enough to see if you could somehow help me to book?
I realize you don’t work with SINAC…so any help you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.

I checked the availability of the days that I would like to go, and it looks like there are available spots.
However, when I try and add the admission…I get the following error message:
The purchase can not be processed because the number of admissions generates aggregate sector overload

Any thoughts?

Thanks so much,
Jonathan

PS….loving your blog thus far!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 year ago

Hi there!

I wrote a message earlier…but it doesn’t seem to have gotten through… hoping this isn’t a duplicate though!

Wondering if you would be able to help me out with a booking issue I seem to be having on the SINAC website.

I checked the availability of the dates that I would like to go, and it looks like there are spots available…. however, when I try and add the admission, I get an error message saying:
The purchase can not be processed because the number of admissions generates aggregate sector overload

Any ideas?

Thank you!
Jonathan

Andrea
Andrea
1 year ago

Thank you.
Your description helped us, yesterday we tried 10 times and did not go, now it worked. I am grateful for the description.
kindly regards from Germany

James Hall
James Hall
1 year ago

Hey Rodrigo!

I have recently reserved a park permit, and have received my authorization, reference, and terminal number via email. I followed up by emailing “info@chirripo.org” with my reservation details, the date I expect to enter Costa Rica and the date I could be expected to pay for lodging at Crestones base camp. I have not heard anything back, and I notice on the http://www.chirripo.org website that I have 48 hours from booking my permit to paying for accommodations or my reservation will be lost. Could you clarify this? Other than e-transfer or visa billing (and all I see is a bank number for a bank transfer), I don’t see how I can pay for lodging… Suggestions?

Thanks!

James

shafiq noorani
shafiq noorani
1 year ago

Hello and regards,
A friend and I are hoping to climb Chirripo starting March 1 and returning March 2 (2019).
I have tried the website for SINAC but it does not appear to be working. Additionally I have emailed them and called the office but no answer. Is there any other way around this to secure permits?
I very much appreciate your help!
-Safe travels,
Shafiq

Avery
Avery
1 year ago

Hello!

Looking to book a hike for May and it is saying the park is closed. Do you know anything about this?

thanks,

Avery

Libor
Libor
1 year ago

Hello, Rodrigo!

I have a same problem as James Hall mentioned earlier – we have paid the permit to the park and received the confirmation. After that I emailed the details to info@chirripo.org and informed them that we can pay for lodging next Monday once we arrive to Costa Rica, but got no answer from them yet, only an automatically generated letter that we have 24 hours to send a payment for lodging. I’m afraid our reservation will be canceled now. Would you perhaps know more?

Best Regards.

Hady Matar
Hady Matar
1 year ago

Do I understand it correctly that now I pay for Crestones online? I just reserved the ticket and then I emailed info@chirripo.org and infochirriposervicios@gmail.com asking them how do I pay.

Do I wait for a response? What else should I be doing?

Diana
Diana
1 year ago

Dear Rodrigo – this is all great information. We are staying at a Lodge in the park and they will be arranging permits and payments for us, but say we need to “Register and sign” with the park by 4:00 pm the day before we wish to hike. This is the first I’m hearing of this (and I’ve done a fair amount of research) and am hoping there is a work around as we will arrive to the area the evening before we want to start our hike. Any insight is welcome. Many thanks!

Nadine
Nadine
1 year ago

Hey Guys,
I am also having trouble paying for the trip. It always says my card is invalid.
I tried different cards, from credit to debit and different banks. I live in CR and have my accounts here in CR. Still the same.
I wrote sinac an Email, they told me to call 2742 5084, which I did and they told me this problem is not common and I can only make a reservation through this website.
I don’t know what to do. I tried it about 20 times, different days, different times different cards. Please help! Thanks in advance!

Britta
Britta
1 month ago

Thanks a lot for your advise, everything at the start worked very well! We would like to climb Chirripo in January 2021, staying one night in the albergue. I was fine with the registration process on the SINAC website and reached the reservation point. By selecting the requested date above I have received the following notification:
” The Parque Nacional Chirripó, Sector Sector San Gerardo is out of operation 12/06/2020 to 30/06/2021 by Por proceso de contratación de concesión de los servicios no esenciales del PN Chirripo. Please select another date outside this range.”
Could you tell is if there is any other way to climb the Chirripo or if this situation will change soon. The other possibility is that I was doing something wrong because if I check the “Availabilites” I noticed that many spaces are already sold so it seems to me that it will be open in January.
Thanks a lot in advance
Britta

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