Explore the pristine Cloud Forests and spot the elusive Quetzal in San Gerardo de Dota!
Visiting San Gerardo de Dota
San Gerardo de Dota is a tiny town at the bottom of the Talamanca Mountain Range in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica, very close to San Jose. With an altitude of 2200 meters, San Gerardo de Dota has a fresh and clean air, lush green rainforest and incredible biodiversity. Nestled in the valley of the Savegre River, San Gerardo de dota has managed to stay quite a secret. As a result, visitors are still scarce; you won’t find large crowds of tourists here.
However San Gerardo is a great place to visit if you’re looking for peaceful rainforest hikes and birding! It’s the perfect place for ecotourism. San Gerardo de Dota is the home of Los Quetzales National Park. In addition to seeing quetzales you’re also likely to spot tanagers, hummingbirds and woodpeckers. This quaint little paradise is supported by many organizations and private owners who hope to maintain the untouched beauty and biodiversity found in San Gerardo de Dota.
Los Quetzales National Park
Los Quetzales National Park is 12,355 acres and home to three different kinds of rainforests and 14 ecosystems! It is the ideal place for a birding vacation in Costa Rica. You’ll see the Resplendent Quetzal in addition to woodpeckers, trogons and hummingbirds. The biodiverse area is also home to sloths, pumas and some of the most astonishing flora and fauna in Costa Rica.
The Savegre River is a great place to go fly fishing between May and June and lure fishing between December and March. The sparkling river is home to lots of fresh trout ready to be caught. You can also go white water rafting on the Savegre River near Manuel Antonio.
Visit between April and May:
Quetzales breed April-May so it’s a great time to see dozens swooping through the tropical cloud forest!
Dress in layers:
San Gerardo de Dota is near cloud forests and mountain ranges, making it a bit chillier than other Costa Rica destinations. Be prepared for cold evenings and pack a few sweaters.
San Gerardo de Dota is a great place to try some traditional Costa Rican food. Eat a fresh plate of gallo pinto or a hearty casado while you watch hummingbirds buz around nearby flowers. You’ll also find vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in addition to cafes and a pizzeria. Stop by Comidas Tipicas Miriam for traditional Costa Rica cuisine or Cafe Kahawa for a cup of coffee and a vegetarian friendly lunch!
Where to Stay
You’ll find the hotels in San Gerardo de Dota peaceful and in harmony with nature. Try the Savegre Lodge, Natural Reserve and Spa for a sustainable birding vacation. Or reserve a room at the Mirador de Quetzales to feel at home and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
San Gerardo de Dota is only 2 hours San Jose. Simply take the Pan American Highway south to the Cerro de la Muerte and run right. My Costa Rica can help you get there by shuttle, private transfer or by renting a car!
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San Gerardo de Dota Map
Only 2 hours from San Jose, San Gerardo de Dota is a great place to spend a few peaceful days watching Quetzales!