The Crestones Hills of the Chirripo National Park were declared as a national symbol on April 6th, 2011, by the Legislative Commission II (Comisión con Potestad Legislativa Plena II), under the law project No. 17437, as a symbol of the natural wealth of Costa Rica, in order to raise awareness of the natural and economic value that can benefit the country when promoting its natural beauty.
This initiative was launched in July 2009, by the then Liberal Deputy Edine von Herold, and then led by the PAC Deputy Gustavo Arias Navarro, as not only an example of the variety of tourism opportunities that Costa Rica offers, but also as part of the nation’s identity and to represent the richness and conservation efforts that have been achieved as a country. The same was sanctioned by the president Chinchilla and his minister Teofilo de la Torre on April 28th, 2011, and was published in the official newspaper La Gaceta under Law No. 8943 that declared it as such until September 5th, 2011.
Los Crestones hills were formed by a folding process of the crust, resembling gigantic and impressive “fingers” of rock up to 60 m (197ft) high, consisting of igneous material. One of the most outstanding formations is the “Aguja” (the needle), which is over 60 m (197ft) high. From that point, visitors can see the magnitude of the landscape that surrounds the southern region of the country, particularly, Caño Island, the breathtaking mountains of the cordillera, like the Chirripo Hill, the Ventisqueros Hill, as well as the Sabana de Los Leones (Sabana of the lions), The El General Valley, an overview of the Pacific Ocean and it’s also an excellent natural observatory, rich in landscapes and incredible sunsets. Crestones Hills are located at 3,720 m (12,204ft) high in the Talamanca Cordillera, one of the longest in the country, with about 190 km (118 miles) in length, specifically in the Chirripo National Park, declared World Heritage by UNESCO and this protected area is part of the International Biosphere Reserve La Amistad-Pacific Conservation Area, that Costa Rica shares with Panama.
This is the first time that a tourist site is declared as a national symbol. That designation has been made just with flora and fauna of the country, or items like the typical oxcart and the independence torch. This designation was because it also empowers public institutions to promote this destination as a “country brand”. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education is authorized to incorporate it into their educational programs linking this symbol as a central focus of civic education as a means of transmitting knowledge, values, customs and cultural, moral and behavioral awareness to the student.