San Gerardo de Dota


Welcome to the land that time forgot!  The alpine hamlet of San Gerardo de Dota is nestled along the headwaters of the Savegre River at an elevation of 7200 feet in a deeply incised gorge with mountains shooting up on three sides and a river falling off the world to the west.  This region is so isolated that not even pre-Columbian cultures peopled its remote environs.  Following internal migration along the newly carved Panamerican Highway, the Chacón family set out on foot from nearby Santa Marta to settle San Gerardo in the 1950’s.


Today’s seven kilometer, hand-built, access road drops from the highway turnoff from the Páramo at 11,000 feet into one of the most stunningly beautiful gorges anywhere.  The oak forests are home to the resplendent quetzal, tapir and jaguar, and the handful of mom-and-pop eco lodges all boast trout fishing ponds, though the river itself now hosts an exotic “natural” population.  With an endemic biome unlike anywhere else, this low-cost destination is one of the only places in Costa Rica where your lodging will feature propane-fired space-heating and extra blankets for the chilly nights.  Popular with bird-watchers and Europeans in particular, San Gerardo is a de rigueur mountain destination.

Hiking, bird-watching, trout-fishing, canyoning, and tippling wine beside a roaring mountain river round out your activities here.  An incomparable detour off a highway connecting Kotzebue and Patagonia, this is a must-see one-two day experience for anyone seeing the Southern Zone by rental car!



Savegre Mountain Hotel



Dantica Cloud Forest Lounge

El Manantial




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