The Chirripó Challenge

Take on the challenge

Join us in our new bespoke Raleigh Challenge in Costa Rica climbing Mount Chirripó, “the land of eternal waters”, where the journey is just as special as the destination. Named for its many lakes and streams, the spectacular views of both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans from the peak is an experience you’ll never forget.

Challenge yourself to this special adventure and your fundraising with directly support reaching communities from the most remote indigenous communities in Costa Rica – where nearly a third live in poverty, rates of infant malnutrition and mortality are significantly higher than the national average, and they remain the most marginalised members of society. Your fundraising will allow us to work with the community to build vital educational and health infrastructure, providing children with the best chance for quality education and a good start in life, ensuring they are not forgotten.

The Chirripó Challenge at a glance

  • A 7-day experience with moderate difficulty in April 2020.

  • Summit the highest peak in Costa Rica – the tallest point between Guatemala and Colombia, trekking through the rugged and remote Chirripó National Park.

  • It’s the optimal time to climb with clear weather and stunning views of both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans as you summit.

  • Guided by members of the Raleigh Costa Rica society, you’ll be hiking side by side with young leaders who have worked on the indigenous school projects your fundraising will be supporting.

  • You’ll spend a day recovering and recuperating on the beach, relaxing by the Pacific Ocean.

A group of volunteers on trek take some shade

Any questions? Contact us!

How your adventure begins

This fully inclusive adventure to Costa Rica will begin as soon as you register. You will receive a fundraising pack, training guide and kit list. Upon arrival in country you will be met by the Raleigh Trek Leaders at the airport to join the rest of the team.

Whether you’re joining the challenge on your own or with others, you will instantly made to feel welcome and part of the Raleigh team. We will spend our first night in a hotel in San Jose getting to know each other and getting ready to take on our adventure as a team.

What your adventure could look like

  • Day 1 – Arrive in San Jose.
  • Day 2 – Bus to the foot of the mountain – San Geradro, Chirripó.
  • Day 3 – Trek to Los Crestones Basecamp – halfway there!
  • Day 4 – Early start to summit Chirripó at dawn.
  • Day 5 – Descend the mountain from Los Crestones via Sabana Los Leones.
  • Day 6 – Recovery day at the beach, returning to San Jose for our final evening together.
  • Day 7 – San Jose and departure.

What’s included

  • A unique Raleigh trek sports T Shirt.
  • Raleigh international insurance and medical cover.
  • Access to Raleigh medics and field staff while taking part.
  • English speaking local Raleigh alumni guides.
  • All accommodation.
  • All meals, except in your free time.
  • All participant and luggage transfers to and from San Jose airport.
  • Invitation to a Chirripó Challenge briefing event at Raleigh’s Head Office in London.
  • Full list of vaccinations.
  • Pre-departure support.
  • Post trek online photos and stories.

When to go

You will be trekking at the best time of year in Costa Rica, with excellent weather ensuring you get full visibility out across from the mountain as you hike. You will also need to bring some warm clothes as the temperatures drop in the evenings especially after trekking all day in the sunshine.

A first hand account

Volunteers walking up a road during the Dragon Trek

“It’s not an easy hike but so, so worth it – it’s such an immense experience! The summit is incredible, it was clear, and we could see the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean ocean, mountains in Panama and the Turrialba volcano smoking. There are near and distant lakes, beautiful green mountain tops all around and clouds below in the distance. It’s very humbling being up the top – you have a big sense of achievement with the accomplishment of what you’ve overcome to get there.”

– from James in Costa Rica


You’ll also need to factor in:

Flights to San Jose, Costa Rica.
Vaccinations – we’ll advise you what you need to get up to date.
Spending money.

Please note you will need a good level of fitness to be part of the challenge and will undergo a medical check before being accepted onto the challenge.

Where will my fundraising go?

Completed Costa Rica School

The indigenous community in Costa Rica has the highest rates of illiteracy in the country and highest rate of school dropout, with only 39% in 2016 recorded as graduating from secondary school. Schools are often hours away, preventing girls from being allowed to attend, and changing weather can prevent children who are from their studies due to treacherous and hazardous conditions. Your money will build schools and develop education programmes specifically for the indigenous community, giving them the accessibility to education they need to ensure they have a more equitable and prosperous future.

You’ll be supporting our work

How you’ll help

Volunteers walking up a road during the Dragon Trek

Raleigh International creates youth-driven change that lasts. We believe that when local communities and young people work side by side to create positive change, it empowers them. And it’s the energy and motivation of empowered people that creates lasting change. But we can’t do it without you.

We have been running programmes in Costa Rica since 2001, where the indigenous population are almost completely excluded from decisions regarding the country’s political social, and economic development. Children suffer from education levels significantly below the national average, with poor infrastructure and provisions of basic services such as education and healthcare. You will be directly contributing to Global Goal 4: Inclusive and equitable quality education for all, providing crucial funds to our work building community resilience to economic, social and environmental challenges.


Case Study – Floribeth

Floribeth, teacher

“With Raleigh’s continued efforts and the hard work of its volunteers, we can build the school up and provide the necessary tools for children of all ages to attend and learn. This is for the longer-term benefit of the community – we must invest in education for our children.”

– from Floribeth in Costa Rica

Any questions?

Get in touch with Jess Middleton, Raleigh’s Senior Alumni Engagement Officer, on or 020 7183 1290 if you have any questions.