On a precipitous ridge south of town, this budget lodge is named for a chunk of wood that resembles a pelican—one of dozens of idiosyncratic sculptures carved out of tree roots by owner Rafael Elizondo. Above the restaurant, which has a gorgeous view of the valley below San Gerardo de Rivas, are economical, small rooms, recently remodelled to include private baths. More comfortable options include the private wooden cabins, two with kitchenettes, that sit near the pool.
A new apartment is spacious and fully equipped. The owners are eco-conscious, and they can arrange everything for a climb up Chirripó. The driveway up to the hotel itself is quite steep, and a 4WD vehicle is advisable.