Costa Rica’s Southern Zone

Its worth the Drive

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Costa Rica’s Southern Zone

The southern zone of Costa Rica is truly unique. Here you’ll find some of the quietest cloud forests and rainforests in the country, rich with incredible flora and fauna. There are also significantly less tourists in the Southern Zone thanks to the chiller climate. What the Southern Zone lacks in tourism though, it makes up for in incredible birding, hiking and wildlife. It’s home to the famous Talamanca Mountain Range, San Gerardo de Dota and Cerro Chirripo–the highest point in Costa Rica! If you’re looking for a quiet Costa Rica vacation that will get you in touch with nature and is perfect for bird watching, come to the Southern Zone.

Top Destinations

San Gerardo de Dota

San Gerardo de DotaSan Gerardo de Dota is a hidden jewel of Costa Rica’s southern zone. It is a small town at the bottom of the Talamanca mountains in the Savegre River valley. If you’re looking for a peaceful birding vacation, San Gerardo de Dota is for you! 

 

Los Quetzales National Park

QuetzalLos Quetzales National Park is an incredible Costa Rica national park that has 14 ecosystems and three different rainforests. In addition to seeing a quetzales you’ll also spot woodpeckers, sloths and hummingbirds. 

 

Cerro Chirripo 

Cerro Chirripo, Southern ZoneIf you’re looking for a challenging adventure, prepare for a hike to the top of Cerro Chirripo. Cerro Chirripo is the highest point in Costa Rica and you can hike it–as long as you are prepared. Reservations are required and there’s almost always a waiting list! 

Facts

Southern Zone Tours

Costa Rica Birding ToursFind the best birding in Costa Rica by touring the gorgeous rainforests near San Gerardo de Dota! 

 

 

 

Southern Zone Weather

Cloud Forest San Gerardo de DotaThe weather in the Southern Zone is still tropical, but maybe not the tropical you will find on popular Costa Rica beaches. The cloud forests and rain forests in southern Costa Rica tend to be damn and moderately tempered. Be prepared for some slightly chilly nights by bringing extra sweatshirts and warm socks!

Southern Zone Nature

PumaSouthern Costa Rica is incredibly diverse. You’ll find hundreds of bird species, sloths, monkeys and maybe even a puma!

Getting There

Closest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)

private transfer drivers and busesGetting to Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is fast and easy. Only a few hours from the capital city, San Jose, you can take the Pan-American Highway east and arrive in no time. My Costa Rica can help you set up a shuttle or private transfer. You can also rent a car. 


Map of Costa Rica’s Southern Zone

Map of Costa Rica's Southern Zone

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone - Get Info

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone Map

Click to Enlarge Costa Rica’s Southern Zone Map

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone Vacation Packages

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

20
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Extended Costa Rica Southern Package

Extended Costa Rica Southern Package

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.

Cities

San Isidro Costa Rica

San Isidro Costa Rica

Visiting San Isidro de El General San Isidro Costa Rica is a little agricultural town in Southern Costa Rica that serves a...

San Gerardo de Dota

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 South...

National Parks

La Amistad International Park

La Amistad International Park

Visiting La Amistad International Park La Amistad International Park is the largest national park in Costa Rica at 479,000...

Cerro Chirripo

Cerro Chirripo

Visiting Cerro Chirripo Part of the Talamanca Mountain range, Cerro Chirripo is one of the most exciting tours to do in th...

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone Hotels

Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

3
5
From: Under $125
Savegre Lodge Natural Reserve & Spa

Savegre Lodge Natural Reserve & Spa

3
4
From: Under $125
Trogon Lodge

Trogon Lodge

3
From: Under $125
Hacienda AltaGracia

Hacienda AltaGracia

5
From: Over $300
Las Cruces Biological Station

Las Cruces Biological Station

3
From: Under $125
Saladero Eco Lodge

Saladero Eco Lodge

3
From: Under $125
Mirador de Quetzales

Mirador de Quetzales

4
From: $125 - $200
Talari Mountain Lodge

Talari Mountain Lodge

3
From: Under $125
Bosque del Tolomuco

Bosque del Tolomuco

3
From: Under $125
Hotel Suria

Hotel Suria

3
From: Under $125
Costa Rica Regions and Destinations Map

Southern Zone

Why Visit?

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is where you’ll find the tallest mountains, pristine cloud forest areas, and a virtually unexplored paradise. Find a large variety of birds and just an endless array of biodiversity.  


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Central Valley

Why Visit?

Costa Rica’s Central Valley is home to the capital of San José and the Juan Santamaría International Airport. Steeped in History & Culture, many people use the capital as the jumping off point for their vacations.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Northern Zone

Why Visit? 

Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is home to the country’s most famous Volcano and Cloud Forest Areas.

You will be amazed at the wildlife and all the biodiversity.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Osa Peninsula

Why Visit?

The Osa Peninsula is truly an unexplored paradise and a must see for nature lovers. If you are looking to get off the beaten path and explore – this is the spot for you.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Guanacaste

Why Visit? 

Guanacaste is home to Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations and all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking for a beach vacation, this is your destination for sun, sand, and surf.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Nicoya Peninsula

Why Visit?

The Nicoya Peninsula is still largely undeveloped and home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. Known for it’s laid back surfer vibe and boutique beach resorts.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Central Pacific

Why Visit?

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast is home to some of the closest beaches from the capital of San José, which are easily accessible from the highway.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Caribbean

Why Visit?

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is a rich cultural area offering a laid back tropical atmosphere. Experience what Tico Time truly is on this Afro-Caribbean influenced area. 


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Nicaragua

Why Visit?

Nicaragua is a unique country full of culture and historical parts. You can see a lot of the old part of the colonial age including the cobblestone streets and old forts. 


Top Destinations

Panama

Why Visit?

Panama is a totally different level of destination. It has so much to offer. You can experience history and modern architecture all in one in Panama City with skyscrapers and the old part of the city. 


Top Destinations

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