Cerro de la Muerte

Driving the wild Cerro de la Muerte road

Cerro de la Muerte is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.341m (10,961ft) above the sea level located in the province of San José in Costa Rica. It’s the highest point in the Costa Rican section of the Inter-American Highway, the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway.

The road to the summit is paved, filled with steep curves and potholes. The name of the pass means "Mountain of Death", since many travelers succumbed to the cold and rain in the past. This part of the highway has excessive potholes, steep, narrow curves, and plenty of fog, going through different various climates and temperatures. The summit provides exquisite panoramic views of the Cordillera de Talamanca. On a clear day visitors will be able to look out across the lush jungle to see the Pacific Ocean in the background. The drive is riddled with blind corners, hair-raising cliffs and careless drivers who take huge risks to overtake slower road users.
Located in the Talamanca range, the road is usually open all year long. But flash floods and landslides as well as narrow curves and steep cliffs make the pass extremely dangerous. The pass is located on the way from Cartago towards San Isidro de El General, in the southern part of the province of San José. The scenery at the top of Cerro de la Muerte is breathtaking. The peak can be extremely windy, and warm clothes are important for the high altitude. A small gravel road south of the pass climbs up to the real peak, at 3.470m (11,384ft) above the sea level, with its cluster of telecommunications aerials.
Pic: Gianfranco Vivi


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