In order to enter or cross the indigenous reserves you need the blessing of the people who own them. There’s no official “permit” but we hired two baquianos (indigenous guides) and a local porter for each trekker which provided implicit permission according to our head guide.
Entry permits for La Amistad International Peace Park are $10 per day for non-residents and may be obtained from the Pacific or Atlantic office. Back country camping requires special permission in advance and may be charged an additional $6 per person per night.
Área de Conservación La Amistad Caribe (ACLAC)
Limón, Barrio Los Corales, 50 metros sur del Registro Civil
Teléfono: 2758-6612 / 2758-6509. Fax: 2758-6631 / 2758-6632
Área de Conservación La Amistad Pacífico (ACLAP)
Pérez Zeledón, Daniel Flores, Barrio Villa Ligia. 100 metros Este y 100 metros Sur de la UNED
Teléfono: 2771-3155, Fax: 2771-3297
How to Find Trekking Guides
Very few people attempt this trek. In fact I’ve been told that no gringos have done it since our crossing in 2012. Whether that is accurate or not I don’t know but there definitely aren’t enough trekkers to create full time jobs in the region.
Both slopes of the Talamanca mountain ranges produce very high proportions of guides relative to the local population but very few remain in the region. Most, out of necessity, follow the tourists and therefore the jobs to popular parks like Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Arenal or Carara. The first guide we ever used in the Talamanca mountains we met on the Osa peninsula. We arranged to take a trip with him at Tapanti-Macizo de la Muerte National Park when he went home on vacation from his regular gig in Corcovado.
If you don’t want to wander around the Osa looking for a mountain guide the suggestions below will come in handy.
ACTUAR is an association of local guides and community tourism projects. They do not have a pre-packaged tour across the southern Talamancas but they do have a great trek down the Savegre valley. They also have excellent contacts along both sides of the Talamanca corridor and may be able to arrange a visit to Amistad.
Another possible resource is the rangers at the regional offices listed above. The parks does not provide trekking services or guides but many of the rangers are locals and may be able to put you in contact with any guides that are working in the area.
Omar Zuñiga is a guide who focuses on the peaks of the Talamancas and has an active facebook page.
Trekking Adventures is a relatively high priced guide and outfitting service. They do not offer this particular route on their standard menu but they have the expertise, guides and equipment to do it as a custom trip.