San Gerardo de Dota

"rustic house in forest"

San Gerardo de Dota is a small, picturesque town located in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica, approximately 90 km south of the capital city, San Jose. The town is situated in a lush, verdant valley surrounded by cloud forests, rivers, and waterfalls, making it a popular destination for ecotourism and especially birdwatching. The valley is crossed by the Savegre river, known to be the cleanest river in the country and probably the cleanest in the entire region of Central America.

The area is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the famous Quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Visitors can go on guided hikes and birdwatching tours to spot the Quetzal and other wildlife such as toucans, trogons, and hummingbirds. The special thing of San Gerardo de Dota is that the Quetzal can be spotted at any time of the year, which is not the case in other cloud forests like Monteverde.

The town itself is small and tranquil, with a few restaurants and lodges that offer comfortable accommodations for visitors. The San Gerardo de Dota community is known for its friendly and welcoming nature, and visitors can experience a more traditional and tranquil Costa Rican way of life in the forest.


Plan your visit

How to get there:
San Gerardo de Dota is a very good stop to visit if your coming from San Jose or the two beach towns of Manuel Antonio/Quepos and Uvita. The journey in car from San Jose takes only 2 hours. If your planning to visit either Manuel Antonio or Uvita driving to San Gerardo de Dota is a very good option. The journey from Manuel Antonio to Dota is a little less than 3 hours and from Uvita to Dota is 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you don’t have a car the only option you have with public transportation is to take a bus that departs from San Jose.

Bus options from San Jose:
The buses from San Jose are managed by MUSOC and you can purchase your tickets online. Tel.: 2222-2422. The bus is not direct and has many stops in the way. The stop for San Gerardo de Dota is called “Entrada a San Gerardo” and is located in the entrance of the town. From there you can take a taxi to your hotel or lodge. The price for a one way ticket is $9.6 USD.

Departure time options from San Jose: Almost every hour starting at 4:30am to 5:30pm but changes every day so check online
Return time options from San Gerardo de Dota: Almost every hour starting at 4:30am to 5:30pm but changes every day so check online



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