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.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Khaire Thabet says

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

  2. Hunter Spurgeon says

    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?

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello Hunter, where it says “Disponibilidad” that means the number of persons that can visit the park but at the same time the number beds that are available in the base camp. Where it says “Visita diaria” means the number of people that can access the park but they will not have space at the base camp and they cannot even buy food at that place. If you have any other question send us an email to info@exploretikizia.com we will happy to help you.

  3. Jan Wagner says

    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.

  4. Andy says

    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

    • Rodrigo says

      Hi, Andy.-That’s the correct email for making the reservation at the base camp. If you want, you can email us your reservation number so we can help you to find out, why they have not answered back to you. Regards.

  5. AJ says

    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?

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello, AJ.

      I am sorry to heard that, we don’t work directly with the national park office, however, let me see if can contact them. I will email you, so we can talk more about it.

  6. Matt Nichols says

    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

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello Matt,

      We don’t really understand what it happened with SINAC website. Since last week, we have received different emails and comment regarding the same error.

      We tried to contact them through the phone for asking about it but they didn’t answer our calls.

      The ID number could be your passport, drivers license or nationality identification.

      We will continue calling them and see if they explain to us what it is happening with their website. So we will let you know.

      Unfortunately, we don’t work directly with them since they are an independent institution from the government.

      Regards,

      • Matt Nichols says

        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 says

        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

      • Rodrigo says

        Hello Charlie,

        Hope you are doing fine.

        SINAC has available spaces until mid-October however, are you trying to book for another day?

        What’s exactly the error that you are having?

  7. Charlotte Ditty says

    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!

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello Charlotte Ditty

      Where you able to contact SINAC? Apparently, their help and customer service support email is reservaciones.chirripo@sinac.go.cr

      I contacted them 3 days ago and they explained to me that their website is working fine for now.

      Did you get your money back? Unfortunately, we are just a travel blog who provides helpful information about Chirripo and we try to do our best, answering comments and email. We don’t work directly with SINAC, so we don’t understand why their system is working so bad.

      About your kid of 8 years old, I will say that while I visited Chirripo back in April 2017, I didn’t see any kid hiking up to Chirripo that does not mean that it can not be done with a kid of that age. However, I think it will be a little bit difficult and exhausted for the kid. At least if he/she has a great condition.

  8. Jonathan says

    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!

  9. Jonathan says

    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

    • Rodrigo says

      Hey Jonathan,

      Hope you are doing well.

      Don’t worry about the duplicate message. Actually, we need to approve the comments before they go through, this happens because we get a lot of Spam comments on our website.

      I can try to help you to book your entrance for Chirripo but I will need to know information like:

      -Number of people
      -Names
      -IDs or Passport numbers
      -Dates (Nights at base camp)
      -Credit card or debit card number

      Unfortunately, I can not tell why SINAC’s website has a lot of errors. Many people have contacted us and eventually, we have told them that we can help with their reservations or they can contact SINAC through their email or phone.

      Let me know what you think about it.

      Regards,

  10. Andrea says

    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

  11. James Hall says

    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

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello James!

      Don’t worry about the 48 hours that they mentioned in their website for processing the payment for accommodation. I have asked them before about this and they have said that for reservation of foreigners works differently.

      If you give me your confirmation number, I can try to call them and make sure they got your email, so they can answer back to you and eventually you can continue talking with them.

      Let me know your confirmation number and when you sent the email to them.

      Regards,
      Rodrigo

  12. shafiq noorani says

    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

  13. Avery says

    Hello!

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

    thanks,

    Avery

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello

      Yes, the reservations are closed for now but apparently, they will open reservations again, tomorrow (March 27th, 2019)

      So, I recommend you to try again.

  14. Libor says

    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.

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello, Libor! They might not answer immediately but they answer all emails. Once you made the reservation on the SINAC website… SINAC have to send to them (Consorcio Aguas Eternas) your information and then they will send you an email to with a link and password so you can process the payment online too. If you don’t receive an answer immediately from them, don’t stress about a possible cancellation. Another way to contact them, it will be through their phone number (506) 2742-5097 , Regards

    • Rodrigo says

      Yes, you will need to process the payment online for logging and food. Wait for their response (that’s the only thing that you need to do)

  15. Diana says

    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!

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello Dea Diana,

      Glad this information is helpful for you.

      As per your above comment, it’s right! Actually, when we visited Chirripo, we had to register at SINAC’s office, the day before we wanted to start hiking up. (We registered the day before because their office opens at 8 am) and we wanted to start hiking up to the base camp at 5 am.

      The workaround will be to wait until 8 am the next day of your arrival, registered with them and then start hiking.

      Are you doing this hike by yourself or with a company? If you hired a company, I am not sure if they can do this registration for you.

      Regards,

  16. Nadine says

    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!

    • Rodrigo says

      Hello,
      We do not work with SINAC, we only provide the steps that people must follow to visit Chirripo.
      If the SINAC office tells you to keep trying. I will recommend that you do that … Unfortunately, there is not different step in which we can help you.
      Your website is really bad. I’m sorry about that!

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