At the top of Cerro Chirripó - Chirripó National Park
At the top of Cerro Chirripó - Chirripó National Park

The Central Volcanic Cordillera run across central Costa Rica. These towering peaks are part of a volcanic mountain range that was formed millions of years ago, and contain four of the Pacific Ring of Fire's most active volcanoes: Barva, Irazú, Poas and Turrialba. If you want to see Costa Rica from a different perspective, this impressive mountain range offers breathtaking views of the country's Central Valley. Come with me to explore the Central Volcanic Cordillera!

Back Side of Irazú Volcano
Back Side of Irazú Volcano

Cerro Chirripó

At 12,533 feet, Cerro Chirripó or Chirripó Peak the is the highest mountain in Costa Rica. Spanning both Chirripó National Park and La Amistad International Park, Cerro Chirripó offers intrepid tourists some of the most incredible views in Latin America. The hike to the summit is arduous and not to be taken lightly.

Winds of up to 100 miles per hour have been reported at the peak, and temperatures can vary drastically, depending on the season and time of day. The main trail to the summit is around 11 miles long, with an elevation gain of almost 11,000 feet, making it one of the toughest climbs in Costa Rica. The view from the peak, however, is spectacular, and on a clear day, you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, making the difficult hike well worth the effort.

Spectacular View from Irazu Volcano National Park
Spectacular View from Irazu Volcano National Park

Irazú National Park

Towering high over the province of Cartago, Irazú National Park is home to the tallest volcano in Costa Rica. Standing 11,260-feet tall, Irazú Volcano offers commanding views of Cartago, in addition to providing adventurous travelers with the chance to see one of the country's most active volcanic craters, Diego de la Haya. Over time, the volcano's fumarolic activity and gas emissions have turned the lake at the center of the crater a green color, making it an impressive sight!

To reach the summit of Irazú, you can either hike along one of several trails or rent a four-wheel drive vehicle and drive to the top. However you get up there, the views are truly breathtaking. Don't forget to bring a jacket, though - at that altitude, the temperature can be quite chilly, even during the dry season.

Costa Rica's Central Volcanic Cordillera offers spectacular views of the rugged countryside and the opportunity to see many of Costa Rica's most exotic species of plant and animal up-close. If you're looking to get back to nature and take in some of the most remarkable sights in Central America, hiking the peaks of the Central Volcanic Cordillera is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Irazú Volcano Crater
Irazú Volcano Crater