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The sleepy hamlet of San Gerardo de Dota is about three hours south of San José and is famous among the world's birdwatching community, with year-round sightings of the resplendent quetzal.

This is a much quieter alternative to other areas of cloudforest in Costa Rica. It is a very peaceful, fairly isolated place and any visit here should be to focus on the beautiful environment and birdlife — purely enjoying your surroundings in simple but comfortable cloudforest lodges.


Activities that can be arranged include walking, horse riding and trout-fishing trips, making San Gerardo de Dota a wonderful place to stay for a couple of nights.

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Suggested itinerary featuring San Gerardo de Dota

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in San Gerardo de Dota, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of San Gerardo de Dota

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near San Gerardo de Dota

    Our expert guides to exploring San Gerardo de Dota

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting San Gerardo de Dota, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate San Gerardo de Dota at its best.

    • Wildlife vacations in Costa Rica
      Two-toed sloth, Costa Rica

      Wildlife vacations in Costa Rica

      Wildlife vacations in Costa Rica

      From birds to basilisks, Costa Rica specialist Holly lets you in on the country’s wildlife highlights. She also explains where exactly to go to increase your chances of observing all Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity.

      8 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for San Gerardo de Dota

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit San Gerardo de Dota. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing San Gerardo de Dota

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting San Gerardo de Dota, and which use the best local guides.

    • Quetzal Walking Tour
      Resplendent quetzal, Costa Rica

      Quetzal Walking Tour

      Quetzal Walking Tour

      The famous resplendent quetzal is seen in San Gerardo de Dota year round but April and May are the best months to spot the striking birds.

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