South Pacific Coast Places

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San Gerardo de Dota

Hiking

Some of the best hiking in the country is in this valley.

Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa. The Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa runs a daylong natural-history hike (about $110 for up to eight people, including transportation and a packed lunch) that starts with a drive up to the páramo (high-altitude ecosystem) of Cerro de la Muerte. The trail begins at the cluster of communication towers and descends through the forest into the valley. Miles of prime bird-watching/hiking trails wind through the private forest reserve. Night temperatures on the slopes of Cerro de la Muerte can approach freezing. Pack accordingly. Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa, off the Pan-American Hwy., San Gerardo de Dota. 2740–1028. www.savegre.co.cr.

Río Savegre. The most scenic and interesting trail in the area is the one that begins at the Savegre Hotel, Natural Reserve & Spa and follows the Río Savegre to a spectacular waterfall. To get to the trailhead, follow the main road past the hotel to a fork, where you veer left, cross a bridge, and head over the hill to a pasture that narrows to a footpath. Although it is only 2 km (1¼ miles) each way and there are some steps to help you negotiate the steepest parts, the hike can be slippery, especially near the bottom, and takes about two hours. Do not attempt to swim in the pool below the waterfall. The current is very swift and dangerous. San Gerardo de Dota.

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