Old Jan 24th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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We're spending 2 nights at Vista del Valle in March and we have almost 2 full days to scout out the area and we'd like to look for quetzales. Does anyone know where the closest cloud forest environment would be from Vista del Valle and, if possible, app. driving time driving time? We'd like to combine quetzales, some waterfalls, and hummingbirds on a day trip. (Please no Zoo Ave jokes). We tried w/o any luck at Poas on our last trip-Thanks marc
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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I think the Los Angeles cloud forest area would be doable from there as a day trip. It probably is 1 and a half to 2 hours from where you will be.

Search the web for hotel Villablanca and/or the Los Angeles cloud forest and you should be able to find the information you need.

Enjoy your trip.
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 06:44 PM
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Hi Marc,

I just returned from C.R. and saw numerous quetzales. There were 7 to 8 in a tree at a time, the males flew from tree to tree, we heard the mating calls. It was absolutely spetacular. The area is San Gerardo de Dota which is south of Cartago, my guess is that it would be no more that 2 hours from San Jose. (It is south on Hwy 2, towards Mount Chirrpo.)

We stayed at Trogan Lodge which is very beautiful and the food is great. The staff is very pleasant. We were told that the quetzals are there all year.

Have fun.

Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:31 PM
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I would like to confirm Audreys account of the Quetzals in San Gerardo de Dota. We stayed at the Chacon familys lodge a little further down the road. Fairly basic cabins but a nice group of people. The Quetzals are seen at a private finca. There is a small donation to help them pay for planting the avocado trees and maintaining the place. As we were getting out of the car in the parking lot one flew overhead. We were able to just sit and watch them for several hours in one area. We have been to several cloud forests to watch them and as you have probably is hit or miss seeing them most of the time. Not so in this place.
As you turn off the highway and head down into the valley it is like entering another world. A truly beautiful place all around. If you stay overnight and want to take a horseback ride and hike there is a waterfall at the end of the road.
Regarding length of time to get there..we landed at the airport at 1:30 and were there well before dark.
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:34 PM
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Thanks Iza and Audrey. Los Angeles Cloud Forest it is. Audrey-You're right, though. We stayed Albergue de Montana/Savegre--The Chacon family inn at San Gerardo de la Dota two years ago-quetzales were all around that January--same general vicinity, but we're going to be NW of SJ this time.
Old Jan 25th, 2003, 07:37 PM
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Sorry Sue--didn't see yours. Seems like we should have run into each other by now--Osa, Chacon, etc. We must use the same guidebooks(including Fodor's, of course)
Old Jan 26th, 2003, 11:02 AM
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Hey Marc,
I actually did meet someone from another board last year in San Gerardo de Dota.
Quite possibly some day we will cross paths. Fodors is a great guide.
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