In San Gerardo de Dota you have got the chance to spot the magical quetzal from up close. The quetzal was regarded as a holy bird by the Maya in Mexico and nowadays it is the national symbol of Guatemala.
The quetzal is without a doubt one of the most special wild animals you will encounter in Costa Rica. Therefore, we highly recommend booking an early-morning tour with a professional guide to have the best experience to spot the quetzal in Costa Rica.
It’s a must to book a birdwatching tour with a professional guide. He or she will take you exactly to the places where you will have the highest chance of spotting a quetzal in real life. Apart from the quetzal, it is likely to see the woodpeckers, hummingbirds and the small green toucan flying by. The area around San Gerardo de Dota is also great for horseback riding or hiking in the cloud forest. You won’t get bored for sure!
San Gerardo de Dota is a charming village in one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica, just 85 km from San José. From the capital you travel towards the Cerro de la Muerte, the mountain range that separates the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Just before the highest pass (3300m), you enter a beautiful green valley, that was formed by the river Savegre. Here you find the town of San Gerardo de Dota.
Furthermore, the area is known for its tasty apples and itis trout breeding. Keep in mind that it can be (very) warm in the valley during the day, but in the evening after sunset, the temperatures can drop and it is advisable to bring an extra sweater with you.
Tough ride there, but nice stay and great hiking around the lodge. We felt very welcome here.
Our stay in San Gerardo was one of the absolute highlights of our trip. We hiked to a nice waterfall and explored the area around the hotel. In addition we also spotted the quetzal, which was great!
If you spend the night in San Gerardo, do plan at least once to have dinner with Doña Miriam. She is a great cook and runs a small restaurant from her living room, where she serves you the most delicious, freshly caught salmon trout.