Hiking The La Amistad National Park

The 18th most popular hiking trail in Costa Rica.

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Southeast of San Jose and southwest of Cahuita, the La Amistad National Park lies on the Talamanca mountain range. The most popular trail is the Transcontinental Trail, which is a 70km route with about 2,700 meters of elevation change. This challenging trail begins in Ujarras about 9km from Buenos Aires. It runs 70km up along the Cerro Abolado and down out to Caroma. It takes about 11 days to complete the trek. The hiking route is not well marked and the topo maps with the trail shown are mostly inaccurate. You will definitely need a local guide and they can be difficult to find.

There are three ranger stations throughout the park and the roads to each are marginally passible (definitely 4WD required). There are trails leading from each ranger station, but the trails are unmarked and not maintained. The easiest station to get to is the Progreso station and there is a 5km trail from the station leading up to Las Tablas.

To reach the La Amistad National Park is a difficult journey. The best access point is the town of San Vito.

Overall, La Amistad National Park is the 18th most popular hiking trail of all 20 hikes in Costa Rica.


Local Contact(s):  Costa Rican Tourism (866) 267-8274.

Recommended Book:  "Costa Rica's National Parks and Preserves" from Joseph Franke

Recommended Map:  "Costa Rica Adventure Map" from National Geographic

Base Camp:  Wilson Botanical Gardens (506) 773-3278

Luxury Loding:  La Amistad Lodge, Mellizas (506) 289-7667

GPS:  8.9186, -82.8019

Date Published:  12/26/2015

Date Updated:  7/23/2016

ID:  21908


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For hiking the La Amistad National Park in Costa Rica, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.