San Gerardo de Rivas

San Gerardo de Rivas is a small town in the Talamanca Mountains in the South Central region of Costa Rica. It’s very close to Costa Rica’s highest mountain, Cerro Chirripó, and travelers often use this village as a home base when hiking the mountain.

San Gerardo de Rivas
South Central
San Gerardo de Rivas
South Central, Costa Rica, Central America


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San Gerardo is located 12 miles (20 km) east of San Isidro de General. The town is mainly used as a jumping-off point for exploring the Chirripó National Park. The park’s main office is located in San Gerardo—you can talk to rangers and find a wealth of information here. The town itself is tranquil and has places to get supplies for your trip.

San Gerardo is located in the upper reaches of the Río Chirripó and has views of the Talamanca Mountains. This area is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, as you’ll enjoy a beautiful setting and have easy access to natural areas. There are cloud forests, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, and even hot springs to visit.

At 12,532 feet (3,820 m), Cerro Chirripó is the tallest mountain in Costa Rica and the second tallest in Central America. The Chirripó National Park has trails that pass cloud forests, rivers, and lakes—a rugged and lovely landscape. Do note, however, that this is also one of coldest parts of the country, so be sure to bring a jacket.

You don’t have to climb Chirripó or go to the park to experience nature. Another option is the Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. This 700-acre (285-ha) private nature reserve works to protect biodiversity and reforest areas that have been converted to cattle pastures. It’s a good place to explore walking trails and see local flora and fauna.

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