Nature everywhere; dreamy beaches and azure waters; gastronomy, traditions and culture; and of course, the Ticos, hospitable and smiling people. With this background, there is no one who can resist traveling to Costa Rica, the country of Pura Vida.
But, in addition, if you have any doubts about whether Costa Rica can become the first in the ranking of your travel list, we give you 6 reasons with the tallest mountain peaks in the country:
Located within the Chirripó National Park, in the Talamanca mountain range, the Chirripó Grande hill is the highest mountain peak in the country at 3,819 meters high. In this mountain range, which is the largest in Costa Rica, is one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity in the country. To go through it, you have to travel to San Gerardo de Rivas from where the route begins. During the tour you can enjoy lush vegetation, incredible views and thousands of species of exotic birds that live there. It is culminated by Cerro Chirripó, the highest point in Costa Rica, from where you can see the Caribbean and Pacific coasts just by turning your head. From Chirripó you can enjoy beautiful glacial landscapes that offer U-shaped valleys, lagoons and terraces.
Without leaving the Cordillera de Talamanca, is the Cerro Buena Vista massif with an altitude of 3,491 meters. Legend has it that the pioneers of the Valle del General used it as a natural route and due to the low temperatures (between 1º and 13º) many died on the way. For this reason, today it is better known as Cerro de la Muerte. The vegetation that can be found on the route is mainly extensive forests of oaks and holm oaks that rise towards the sky between fogs, mentally transporting us to landscapes typical of stories. At the highest levels, the moors take over the landscape. If we are attentive we can admire the emerald flight of the mythical Quetzal through the mist.
The mountain of Tremor and Thunder in indigenous language. Behind this poetic name, there is the highest volcano in Costa Rica with 3,432 meters. Easily accessible, the massif, which has five impressive craters, is an hour and a half drive from San José. Reaching the top has a reward because when the fog clears, from this impressive vantage point, the view of the two Pacific and Atlantic oceans unfolds before the visitor; A large part of the national territory of Costa Rica will be visible at your feet, and if you have a small telescope you will be able to see Lake Nicaragua. Some of the most important rivers in the country are born here: the Reventazón, the Sarapiquí, the Toro Amarillo and the Sucio, some of them also mythical for lovers of adventure sports such as rafting.
With its more than 2,700 meters of altitude, the Poás volcano is another of the great peaks of the country. The National Park that bears his name was founded in 1971 and is located near the capital of the country, so its visit is comfortable, even more so, considering that its accessibility is excellent for everyone up to the crater viewpoint. It actually consists of three craters: the main one, which is active, is one of the largest craters in the world with more than 1,300 in diameter and 300 meters deep. An acid lagoon occupies its center making it a geyser-like crater. Sometimes the clouds cover the top, but it is a spectacle to see how the mist dissipates, making the view unfold before us as if by magic.
The Botos crater also has a lagoon; it is green in color due to its sulfuric acid content and is surrounded by cloud forest, giving it great beauty. The third crater has extensive eruptive flows. The surrounding flora and fauna are also impressive, such as the poor man’s umbrellas with their enormous leaves or the tree ferns that transport us to prehistoric landscapes. To round off the visit, it is worth trying the delicious volcano strawberries that can be eaten as they are or prepared in smoothies with local milk.
The Turrialba Volcano, with its 3,340 meters of altitude, is the most unruly in Costa Rica and lately it monopolizes the news due to the columns of ashes that it expels since the month of May. It is the second highest volcano in the country and with the Irazú volcano it forms a single system. It is an oval-shaped stratovolcano formed thanks to explosive and effusive lava events.
The fact of being the most active volcano has as a counterpart, that its soils are tremendously rich, which is why they are of great importance for the cultivation of all kinds of vegetables and the raising of cattle for their pastures. On its slopes is the Guayabo National Monument, one of the most important archaeological sites from the pre-Columbian era in the country and worth visiting.
With its almost 1,700 meters of altitude, this volcano is not one of the highest peaks in the country nor does it claim to be. However, its proud silhouette is the best known of all the volcanoes in Costa Rica. All the adjectives fit him: imposing, majestic, gallant… his profile rises from the plains that surround him like the bell tower of a cathedral. Like the two sides of the same coin, the difference of its slopes is impressive: a curd of dense evergreen rain forests; the other, covered by the spectacular crust formed by the lava flows from its last eruption in 1992.
There are very simple routes that take us to their feet to admire the force of nature, both destructive and life-generating. The park is home to almost 80 species of mammals, more than 50 amphibians, birds and reptiles that we can admire walking the trails that the park has. A very special inhabitant is a spectacular ceiba tree specimen that is over 400 years old.
At the foot of the volcano and taking advantage of the resources it generates, there are hotels with spas and hydrothermal complexes that are the best way to relax after the adventure of touring the peaks of Costa Rica.