Make a Reservation!
If you would like to make a reservation, ask a question or send us a comment please fill out the form below.
For reservations, please tell us the reason for your visit.
Exploring the many other trails and waterfalls in the area?
Enjoying the excellent birding?
Restoration and rejunvenation?
Are you thinking of hiking Chirripo?
specify dates of your stay and the number in your party
How to get here
By car: (4 wheel drive recommended)
Be aware that drive times in Costa Rica are much slower than where you are from. You can expect your average speed to be no more that 45 kph (less than 30 mph). The expected travel time from the airport in Alajuela (SJO) to San Isidro de el General is about 5 hours by way of the Cerro de La Muerte. This is a winding and often perilous highway, so please do not be in a hurry.
An alternate route, via the Coastal highway, takes about 5.5 hours. The roads are better and this route avoids San Jose traffic.
Cerro de la Muerte Route:
...(((Important: many online navigator systems will instruct you to leave Highway 2 beyond Villa Mills. Don't do it!! If you're a bird, it's quick. If you're in a car, it's a rocky, muddy, time-consuming track that will add at least an hour to your journey--especially terrible in 2-wheel drive cars. Please help by inputting your edit to the wiki-maps so that future travelers can aviod the hazard. ))).
Head toward Cartago where Highway 2 begins. Continue over the pass toward San Isidro de el General. Be sure to note the "paramo" as you crest 11,000 ft elevation. Paramos is a south American "tundra" comprised of "Chusco", a short bamboo like plant. This is the habitat found around Basecamp Crestones and Chirripo Mountain. For directions from San Isidro to San Gerardo, see blow.
Head west from the airport on Highway 1 to the Tucares/Garita exit. Follow the flow of traffic until you reach Highway 27. This is a toll road and you will need about $10 worth of Colones in change. There will be 5 toll booths.
Head west 45 kilometers to the Coastal Highway 34 exit.
Head south on to Dominical.
Take Highway 243 west to San Isidro de el General.
From San Isidro to San Gerardo de Rivas:
Going south on the Inter-Americana from San Isidro del General, look for the Chirripo Nat'l Park signs and signs to San Gerardo. Turn left at the traffic light at the Maxi Pali (about a kilometer from downtown). Continue to Rivas (10 km). 100 meters past the Rivas church , turn right. Follow the sign to Chirripo National Park and San Gerardo de Rivas (about 10 Km).
In San Gerardo, continue past the church. Continue straight at the junction, crossing the Quebrada Chispa (Chispa Creek) and then past the Talamanca Reserve Resort. Cross the Chirripó River bridge, then continue up the steep hill for about 500 meters. We are located just past the Uran hotel. We are the last hotel in San Gerardo, the closest to the Chirripó trailhead. Total drive time from San Isidro is one hour.
From San Jose to San Isidro de el General you can take either the MUSOC bus which has the most frequent buses (either every 30 minutes or every hour between 5:30 am and 5:30 pm), or Tracopa (which has less frequent service) from east of the MUSOC bus station. The travel time is 3.5 hours. Be sure to take an early enough bus to make the connection from San Isidro to San Gerardo de Rivas.
San Gerardo de Rivas buses leave from the Mercado Central in San Isidro. The San Gerardo de Rivas bus leaves at 5:45 am, 8:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, or 5:30 pm Monday through Saturday (Sundays and Holidays (8:30am, 11:30 pm, 2:30pm or 6:00 pm on Sundays and Holidays). Time: 1 hour.
DO NOT TAKE the late bus at 8:00 pm because everything is closed by the time you arrive including us. Our reception closed at 8:30 pm.
If you plan to hike Chirripó the following day, get off the bus at the park office (located at the beginning of the village) to present proof of payment and sign in. Otherwise, get off at the last bus stop (at the soccer field). There is a grocery located here if you need to stock up. From here the hike up to the park entrance and Casa Mariposa is a beautiful walk crossing the Chispa and Chirripo River bridges. The last 300 meters is steep and is a good preparation for Chirripo and Cloudbridge hikes. It is also a great opportunity to see highland bird species and our wonderful little pueblo.
(Be aware there are no local taxis though it is worth asking at the porters office, 50 meters east of the church, if someone there would serve as a taxi).
If you can leave unneeded items in storage In San Jose or San Isidro and bring only what you need for the mountains it will be easier getting around. Rolling suitcases are not very useful here as even the cars have trouble with our rocky roads. In San Isidro, the ice cream store next to MUSOC bus station offers bag storage service.
See this link for a great country wide bus schedule: Bus Schedule (please note, San Gerardo times on this schedule are not correct! see below!)
Note San Gerardo bus times are currently as follows:
SI - SG 5:45 am, 8:30 am, 11:30 am, 2.30 pm, or 5:30 pm Monday through Saturday (8:30 am, 11:30am, 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm on Sundays and Holidays)
SG - SI 5:15am, 6:50 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00pm or 6:45 pm Monday through Saturday (7:00 am, 10:00am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm on Sundays and Holidays)