Chirripo National Park is located about 150-km (94 mi) south of San Jose and
covers 43,700-hectares (108,000-acres) of land and is Costa Rica's principal
mountain national park. The landscape of Chirripo National Park is diverse and includes flat lands, oak
forests, fern groves, swamps, cloud forests, lakes and peaks that reach 3,500m
(12,500 ft). Mount Chirripo is the highest peak in Costa Rica.
A series of glacial lakes have given the park its name "Chirripo" which
means eternal waters. Chirripo National Park is not unique in vegetation to the rest of Costa
Rica but it has oak trees that tower over the canopy. And, the plants that grow
up the trunks of larger trees do exceptionally well in this climate.
Unfortunately, the Chirripo National Park cloud forest is being destroyed by clearing for agriculture.
Chirripo National Park is home to several endangered bird species — the
resplendent quetzal and the harpy eagle. The
bird watching in this national park is outstanding. In addition to birding,
there are reptiles and mammals such as the spider monkey,
capuchin, rabbit, coyote, green spiny lizard and the alligator lizard.