San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Another U.S. tourist dies hiking trail in Costa Rica

U.S. citizen Paul Thomas Walter, 62, died of a heart attack March 13 while hiking on a trail near Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park. He was one of two U.S. hikers who died on trails here that day in unrelated incidents.

According to a statement from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), Walter and his wife left their hotel last Friday morning in La Fortuna, in Alajuela province.

When Walter began feeling ill on the trail, his wife and other hikers tried to assist him and called the Red Cross. However, rescue crews found him dead upon their arrival, OIJ stated.

Analysts at the National Forensics Laboratory in Heredia province confirmed that Walter died of a myocardial infraction at around 11:20 a.m.

Another U.S. man, Michael Lee Kathrein, 62, died under similar circumstances on the main trail in Chirripó National Park, Costa Rica’s highest mountain.

Officials of the National System of Conservation Areas said Kathrein had not registered with park administrators to enter the area, as regulations require.

Contact L. Arias at

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62, hiking Costa Rica’s highest mountain, and failed to register at park entrance……..what could possibly go wrong?! Something in the back of my mind tells me that this man was NOT in a physical condition to take on that hike!

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Might be time to have park rangers that have a medical background in the area. Just a thought.

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