Updated: October 2021
Cerro Chirripó 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 by many local and foreign travelers.
However, the difference between this and other national parks, 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 visiting 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.
Note: 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 offline/online permits for the national parks in Costa Rica.
CRC Chirripó: This is a local organization created by neighbors from San Gerardo de Rivas and surrounding communities. They managed things like lodging at Crestones Base Camp, food, supplies and horses haul gear up the mountain.
We (Ligia and Rodrigo) DON’T work directly with SINAC or CRC Chirripó. For this reason, we are NOT able to assist you with reservations at the last minute.
For example, Some readers have contacted us to book their permits for Cerro Chirripó and they contact us around 1 month before their arrival to the country which makes it too difficult to find space.
However, you can HIRE OUR Travel Planning Service and we can help you with reservations that want to be done with enough time ahead (Especially during the high season months). We will explain more about it at the end of this post!
1. Book your Cerro Chirripó Permit
SINAC changed the methodology for booking the permit. So, please be aware of this:
- Since COVID-19 has affected the travel industry, Cerro Chirripó is not the exception. Now, SINAC asks visitors to book their permits in groups of 4 people. Mainly, because each room at the Crestones base camp has 2 bunk beds. So, they want to guarantee that each room has a social bubble.
- If you are a group of 2 or 3, that will need to be explained to SINAC and they only have a couple of rooms available for the night that are for this amount of people. However, these rooms get full easily, so it could be that you won’t find availability.
- Reservations are NOT longer online and you need to call their number. If you are calling from outside of the country. Please dial the number +506 2742 5348.
- The reservations for January, February, and March will be open on different waves. You can see the following image from SINAC. Basically, the reservations for February 2022 will start to be accepted from November 15th, 2021, and March 2022 will start to be accepted from December 6th, 2021.
- 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 on your group.
- Finally, but not least be patient when you need to call their number. Recently, we did reservations for January 2022 and we had to dial their number over 100 times because it was so busy!
After your Cerro Chirripó permits are booked. You will receive an email from SINAC ([email protected]) like this. With your reservation number and the bank accounts where you need to deposit the total amount of the permits within the next 24 hours.
Otherwise, SINAC will cancel your reservation.
The amount canceled to SINAC for the right of admission covers only the right of daily income for each person to the Chirripó National Park established on the current decree of entrance fees.
2. Paying for lodging, food, and supplies
After you pay the permits with SINAC.
You will be getting an email like this, from CRC Chirripó.
In this email, you will get a link for their Ecommerce page where you can access only with your reservation number and a specific password that will be provided on that email.
Over there you MUST pay for the lodging with the next 5 days. Otherwise, the reservation will be canceled by CRC Chirripo and SINAC.
After that, you can pay for the food and any other supplies at any time before your entry day to the park.
Cancellations and Policies
- SINAC says: If for any reason you cannot attend, the user or users, will not have the right to change members on the reservation and will be entitled to a refund of the amount paid, as long as they manage at least 15 days in advance, a situation that can change according to the Decree of entrance fees to enter protected areas that are valid.
- CRC Chirripó says: We only process cancellations of reservations that have already been canceled by SINAC, for this it is necessary that they send us the official note, where they are told that it has been processed. a) If you request cancellation of reservation (as) between 90 or more and 60 days before the date of entry; We will reimburse you 80% of the amount deposited for accommodation and / or food. b) If you request cancellation of reservation (as) between 59 and 30 days before the date of entry, we will reimburse you 60% of the amount deposited for accommodation and / or food. c) f you request cancellation of reservation (as) between 29 and 15 days before your date of entry; We will reimburse you 30% of the amount deposited for accommodation and food. d) If you request cancellation of reservation (as) 14 days or less in advance, we will not be able to make the refund.
- Tourists entering by San Gerardo Sector, must register their entrance personally without exception in the Administration of the Chirripó National Park, located in San Gerardo de Rivas de Pérez Zeledón before entering.
- For those wishing to enter at dawn or in the early hours of the morning of the day of entry, you must register the day before from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon.
- Tourists must only enter the park by the sector authorized in the reservation process and on the specified date.
- The Administration of the Chirripó national Park will establish control devices which they consider appropriate to ensure the access to the protected area once the corresponding rights of admission have been canceled.
Main contacts at SINAC and CRC Chirripó
506: is the country code of Costa Rica*
CRC Chirripó phone: (506) 2742-5200.
Email: [email protected]
CRC Chirripó: https://www.chirripo.org/
SINAC email: [email protected]
SINAC’s website: https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/
The schedule to the public at the administrative offices of the Chirripó National Park, will be from Monday to Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 m.d. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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.
Do you need help?
We love to answer the questions from our readers through their comments and emails.
However, our time is limited and normally, we can not get into detail as much as we would like to.
For this reason, as we mentioned above, we provide a Travel Planning Service.
Our service has a cost of $50US per day of travel from 1 up 5 days. You can select only 1 day of Planning Service or 2 up to 5 days.
Or a total amount of $300 US from 1 up 15 days of travel.
With this service, we can provide you assistance for your Cerro Chirripo reservation and also, can assist you in planning the rest of your trip around Costa Rica.
If you want detailed information about CLICK HERE OR Contact Us if you have any other question about our service. (Don’t forget to check your Spam email after 24 hours since we normally respond during this time)