The starting point of the walk “Valle del Silencio” is located at the Altamira station, which is the official entrance to La Amistad International Park. From this point, the trail has an approximate length of 15 km, and it takes eight hours to reach the shelter on average. However, to make a complete tour of the minimum time estimated is three days for the trek.
Trails and relief
The geography of the trail is quite irregular; therefore, you will find sections with steep slopes. Overall, the path “Valle del Silencio” demands the effort to walk for 15 km through a path that varies from 1,370 meters to 2,500 meters above the sea level. Besides, this trail can be difficult for some visitors due to the steep slopes and uneven terrain.
Let’s start the journey!
The walk starts at 5:00 a.m. Early departure to avoid the hottest hours. It is useful to keep a walking stick for the trek, which will be your best friend for about 8 hours! Being “La Amistad”a protected park, it is forbidden to cut branches.
Along the trail, you can observe several signs that guide us within the park. Many colleagues have spent long hours in the construction of these signs that tell us the names of the place we are, and the distance that remains to our final destination. The first stop, after 2 hours, is Casa Coca where you will take a break and light breakfast (fruit, bread, coffee). Moreover, The journey between Altamira and Casa Coca is adorned with wild fruits, strawberries and blackberries, due to temperature and altitude.
- Casa Coca: 1,900 m.a.s.l.
For many years, Casa Coca was the refuge of a farmer who established paddocks around. Currently, livestock and deforestation is prohibited. Gradually, Casa Coca and its surroundings have been regaining their previous conditions and the forest has regenerated abundantly. The tres close to Casa Coca are usually visited by the earwig hawk. After this stop, we will continue to the Cerro Franztzius.
- Frantzius hill: 2,134 m.a.s.l.
Cerro Frantzius owes its name to Dr. Alexander Von Frantzius, a German, who performed alongside Carl Hoffman a series of biological explorations in Costa Rica between 1847 and 1869. Therefore, we can say that these scientific works are part of the beginning of the systematic studies on Costa Rican’s biodiversity.
In Cerro Frantzius we take a short break to regain strength and continue to Cerro Quemado.
- Cerro Quemado: 2.250 m.a.s.l.
The name of Cerro Quemado emerged from a fire that suffered this hill more than 20 years ago. In some parts of the way, we have the opportunity to observe some communities in the city of San Vito from the distance. Certainly, this hill maintains an excellent view to appreciate the beauties inside and outside the park.
From Cerro Quemado until next sign, we will pass through a spectacular forest of oaks where it is possible to see quetzales, so you need to walk very carefully and quietly, trying to identify them among the oldest oaks. Also, we will hear finches and birds bell, and we will have many chances to observe hummingbirds. In this forest, people have observed troops of spider monkeys , tapirs and jaguars’ footprints. Henceforth, we expect one of the toughest stages of the path. . At a distance of 2.4 km, it will be necessary to climb slopes up to 300 meters high; therefore, we should not rest until the end of the long slope.
- Limit between the Pacific and the Atlantic: 2,250 m.a.s.l.
We have reached a point known as “Cuesta Divisoria de aguas” (watershed acclivity). It is one of the most interesting parts of the walk because as the sign says “some water runs to the Caribbean and others to the Pacific slope.
- Terbi River
At this stage of the route in the trail Valle del Silencio, we will go approaching the Terbi river, which indicates that we are very close to the final destination.
This river originates in the forest vegetation. The rain water accumulated in the leaves, moss and other vegetation falls, dropwise, to form the Terbi river. Actually, this river is a living example of the great importance of forests as inexhaustible sources of water. Use the andarivel carefully, this avoids the danger of going through the rocks, since many are slippery. This is a lovely esplanade where a large number of quetzales can be seen.
- The refuge: final destination at 2,500 meters
After the hike of about 8 hours, we arrive at the shelter to enjoy a delicious lunch. The surroundings of the Refugio are really privileged, since they are located in a very remote and isolated area in the forest, at night you can hear different kinds of animals. It will be easy to listen and observe frogs. Remember that the Refuge is in very wet area. In the afternoon, after lunch, we can go to watch birds such as quetzals and trogones. Those who wish can stay resting, reading or playing board games. Dinner and overnight at the Refuge.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
6:30 a.m. Breakfast at the Refuge. 7:30 a.m. Garden Walk. Nearby, 4 km from the shelter you can see a Garden located in an area of peatland ecosystem where grasses and shrubs predomínate. Also, this place is influenced by floods throughout the year. The Garden owes its name to the colors and shapes of their plants because they resemble a natural garden, from here we can see the beautiful hill Tararía, which has a very different vegetation, and people cannot see it in other zones of the country. Lunch pick nic in the Garden. In the afternoon, we can go for a walk nearby the trails to observe quetzals or enjoy the tranquility of this wonderful forest. Dinner and overnight at the Refuge.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
7:00 a.m. Breakfast and departure towards Altamira 8:00 a.m.
- The return on the third day
The third day, we will go back through the same route but now on the way down from the shelter to the village of Altamira. Finally, the same stops will be used and we will be able to observe camly the beauty of Valle del Silencio trail.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
What to bring?
- You will need to bring hiking shoes (water proof recommended or an extra pair in case they get wet), warm clothing, bottle of water, sunblock, flashlights, and mosquito repelent.
- Local guide.
- Admission to La Amistad National Park.
Note: Chirripo.com reserves the right to change or omit portions of any itinerary due to bad weather or rain conditions.
|Number of people reserving||2||3-4||5-8|
|Price per Person in US$||$370||$330||$260|
*Group rates upon request.