Costa Rica: Climbing up Chirripó, the Country's Tallest Peak

The tallest peak in Costa Rica is the Cerro  Chirripó, at 3820 meters (12,533 feet) above sea level. Throughout the years, it has drawn many locals and foreigners to climb up to the summit: these next few videos bring us two very different experiences. One of the first expeditions back in 1960, and a modern day hike to the top.

In the Hikes of Courage: Climbing Chirripó in 1960[es] documentary, a team of young men and women set out on a lengthy expedition to reach Costa Rica's tallest peak. We follow their progress in car, ox-carts and horseback until they start their week long trek up to the summit.

This expedition was special because it was only the second time reaching the summit was documented through signatures on a mailbox left at the top: those signatures would be evidence for the next mountaineers that the previous team made it to the top. Also, it was the first time women were documented reaching the summit. Narrated by one of the expeditionaries, meteorologist Rodrigo de la Ossa, the story is full of anecdotes on the journey which is now done through another, shorter, path.

Cerro Chirripo summit image CCBySA Peter Andersen

Cerro Chirripo summit image CCBySA Peter Andersen

Currently, the hike up Chirripó is about 19.5 Km long (12.1 miles), with a mandatory overnight stay near the summit at a lodging station. This next subtitled documentary uploaded by tetsuo1337 shows their experience climbing up to the summit in 2010.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3 includes a sunrise at the summit, where on a clear day both the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea can be seen. In this case, they also get to see the smokestack blowing out of the top of the Turrialba Volcano.

Part 4 and 5.


1 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.