The southern Talamanca Cordillera


From the talamalka word meaning “place of blood” in the language of the Miskito Indians, the Talamanca region stretches from the Atlantic coast to the cordillera that runs from the central valley to Panama. The region possesses numerous summits of more than 3,000 meters of which the highest, Chirripó, reaches its peak at 3,820 meters. The region also harbors the magnificent La Amistad International Park, the largest in the country, where the great felines of Central America, such as jaguars and pumas, still live.

San Gerardo de Dota, the kingdom of the Quetzal

The banks of the Rio Savegre and the steep slopes of the Talamanca massif have for a long time rendered the region inaccessible.
Nowadays, south of the Cerro de la Muerte, San Gerardo de Dota is a small rural village renowned for a center for mountain research and, more specifically, observation of the Resplendent Quetzal on the outskirts of the Los Quetzales National Park. Situated at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 meters the park is crisscrossed by torrents and lakes and has a variety of hikes to offer.

Chirripó, atop Central America

The Chirripó National Park covers a total of 50,150 hectares situated in the heart of the Talamanca Cordillera. 263 amphibian and reptile species as well as 400 species of birds (including the resplendent “Quetzal”) have been identified in the park. The greatest concentration of tapirs in the country is also to be found here. Jaguars, pecari and a large number of monkeys have likewise been recorded. The ascent of Mount Chirripó, the highest peak in Central America, is no mean feat. It entails a climb of 3,819 meters….and temperatures of as low as 9° have been recorded at the summit!

La Amistad Biosphere Reserve

Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, La Amistad International Park protects territories spanning parts of Costa Rica and Panama, hence its name.
The park is considered the most extensive mountain and tropical forest ecosystem in the country including humid, pluvial and cloud forests. Due to its broad biodiversity it comprises an extraordinary number of habitats resulting from the different altitudes, soils, climates and topographies.

Our hiking trips in the Talamanca Cordillera

• Ascent of Mount Chirripó (3 or 4 days)
• Between mountains and the ocean (6 days)
• The Quetzal route trek (4 days)
• The Shaman trek (4 days)
• Between land and the sea (14 days)

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