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)
I would like to climb Cerro Chirripo May first or second. I can not find way to make my reservation.
Hello Khaire, send us an email to [email protected] and we can answer your questions. The website https://serviciosenlinea.sinac.go.cr/ is the one that you can use for making the reservation for the entrance and for check the availability.
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?
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 [email protected] we will happy to help you.
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.
Hello Jan, thanks for all your messages. I just answered your email that you sent to [email protected]. Let me know if you received. Regards.
hi – I have made a reservation to enter the park for 2 days but when I email my reservation details to [email protected] 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?!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
Hello Charlotte Ditty
Where you able to contact SINAC? Apparently, their help and customer service support email is [email protected]
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.
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
Thanks so much,
PS….loving your blog thus far!
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
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
-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.
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
So glad that you could make your reservation for Chirripo! Regards, Rodrigo
I have recently reserved a park permit, and have received my authorization, reference, and terminal number via email. I followed up by emailing “[email protected]” 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?
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.
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!
Looking to book a hike for May and it is saying the park is closed. Do you know anything about this?
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.
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 [email protected] 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?
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
Do I understand it correctly that now I pay for Crestones online? I just reserved the ticket and then I emailed [email protected] and [email protected] asking them how do I pay.
Do I wait for a response? What else should I be doing?
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)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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
“By following these steps for doing your reservation successfully … anyone will be able to do this great trip.”
This seems a silly comment. Who is going to phone up 100 times to make a reservation, especially from abroad? And you don’t even know if you are going to be able to make a reservation when you finally get through. I’d like to go this month (February), but I bet there’s no availability now, if the beds were made available in November.
I could set out some steps for setting a new world record in the 100m, and say that by following the steps successfully anyone could set a new record. Only the steps would be impossible to follow successfully. It would be stupid.
“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!”
This doesn’t seem very welcoming of Costa Rica. Although I was thinking of making a visit, I’m having second thoughts, as climbing Chirripo was the main thing I was thinking of doing. Why has booking been taken offline, to everyone’s inconvenience?