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sirena station to Carate hike

billings, mt
Level Contributor
161 posts
134 reviews
sirena station to Carate hike

How strenuous is the hike? I understand it is 17 km (roughly 10 mi) and crosses 2 rivers. Someone said it take 14 hours. Is that because it is such a strenuous trail? Or does crossing the rivers take a lot of time? Or do you stop a lot to see the animals(best of the reasons I can think of). We did 9.4 miles in the mountains here in Montana last weekend with 1000 ft elevation gain in 6 hours. I was very tired by the end of the hike and my 68 y.o. husband (who wasn't the least bit tired) wonders if I can do the Sirena to Carate hike. I am 61 but not in nearly as good shape as he is.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
7,542 posts
149 reviews
1. Re: sirena station to Carate hike

BIgger problems would be heat and humidity and sun. Plus, you have to time the river crossings perfectly. If you get there at the wrong tide, you're stuck.

A guide is an absolute must. It's not an option to get stuck out there by yourselves, from a survival point of view.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
51,615 posts
108 reviews
2. Re: sirena station to Carate hike

It is nice hike...of course depends how fit you are...but agree 100% most of the problem...we encounter with some hikers is the problem they have with humidity and heat...

Now dyas you will need a guide...any way is not good idea to even try it without one!


Cambridge, United...
Level Contributor
19 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: sirena station to Carate hike

The problem is not actually with the river crossings but a stretch of coast (near La Chancha) that is impassable for a period of time depending on the height and timings of the tide.

The rivers (Madrigal and Claro) can generally be crossed at high tide no problem (for all but the highest of tides), provided there has not been any recent rain, however it is of course best to aim for lower tide.

The timings of the tide pretty much determine how you can approach the hike. THere are times you have to walk fast to pass La Chancha (about 9km from Sirena, 7km from La Leona) before you can relax and take it easier. Other times you can afford to go much slower so it depends on the dates you do the hike.

As above have said, the heat and humidity will pose the biggest challenge, not the length or terrain of the hike.

It's a great trail for wildlife, with good chance of puma too. You should find time to spend time with whatever animals you come across.

THe trail is 17km Sirena - La Leona, and then another 3 km to Carate. The hike can be done in 5 hours, but generally around 8-9 hours is typical, depending on how many breaks you take and how much wildlife you see. It can also be nice to spend a final night in one of the lodges between La Leona and Carate.

Note there are other ways to reach Sirena - boat (from Drake Bay) or charter plane (from PJ/Carate/Drake) - allowing you to explore the network of trails around the station.

4. Re: sirena station to Carate hike

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