South Pacific Coast Places

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San Gerardo de Dota

Bird-Watching

This area is a must for bird-watchers, who flock here with small package tours. Individual birders can choose from a roster of expert local guides; check with your hotel for recommendations.

Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa. With the best bird guides in the area, including veteran birder Marino Chacon ($75 for a half day), this hotel organizes hiking tours in the surrounding mountains. Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa, off the Pan-American Hwy., San Gerardo de Dota. 2740-1028. www.savegre.co.cr.

Although you can see many birds from your cabin porch, most bird-watching requires hiking, some of it along steep paths made extra challenging by the high altitude (from 7,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level). Come fit and armed with binoculars and layers of warm clothing. The early mornings are brisk up here, but you'll warm up quickly with the sun and the exertion of walking.

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