About 80km south of San José, a turn-off leads to the lovely hamlet of SAN GERARDO DE DOTA – you’ll need a 4WD to get here, since the road down from the Interamericana is treacherously steep in parts. The village enjoys a spectacular setting along the Río Savegre, with lush valley walls looming on either side of it. Though it has long been known by ornithologists for the staggeringly high number of species found in the area, particularly the striking resplendent quetzal, it has always had a bit of a forgotten feel to it, and makes an ideal base for visiting the nearby Parque Nacional Los Quetzales.

There’s not much to the village itself, beyond a preponderance of apple and peach trees. Other than making trips to the Parque Nacional Los Quetzales, the most popular pastime around here is fishing – lure fishing from December to March and fly-fishing mostly in May and June; Hotel de Montaña Savegre rents out equipment and is a good choice for fishing outings on the river.

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