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MonteVerde or Gerardo de Dota..Help!

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Apr 22nd, 2011, 10:31 AM
  #1
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MonteVerde or Gerardo de Dota..Help!

We are heading back to CR for the 4th time this winter. We have have not been to Monte Verde, but I fear it might be too touristy. So, I found this other place,, San Gerardo de Dota but It is hard to get to... We will be traveling from the Junquillal on the Nicoya Pennisula then back .
Can anyone suggest where to stay near Monte Verde.. has anyone been to San Gerrado de Dota.. worth the trip? How many nights at either place?? I was thinking three.Thanks
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 06:11 PM
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We really liked Fonda Vela. They have some newer junior suites that are nice and affordable. They have pretty grounds and a good restaurant on site. Our room was comfy and had a small frig and a bathtub. It's one of the hotels closest to the reserve. We stayed three nights, but could have done two if we rushed it. Really enjoyed the guided hike in the reserve where we saw quetzals and a lot of wildlife, also ziplined, and then did a guided night hike at Hidden Valley which was great.
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 07:06 PM
  #3
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thanks.. I will take another look at Monte Verde.. It is easier and would kill to see a Quetzal... con mucho gusto
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Apr 22nd, 2011, 08:49 PM
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Actually I got to see 3 quezals in San Geraldo de Dota on my two night visit and none in Monteverde on my 3 visits there. If you want to go off the beaten track Tapanti cloud Forest satying in Orosi (I like Sanchiri Lodge) then continue to San Geraldo de Dota 1.30 drive for the Quezales. From San Geraldo de Dota it is 1.5 hours drive to the Pacific (if you are heading to the beach, Marino Ballena in Uvita again off the beaten track. Monteverde is also very nice but very popular.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:23 AM
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fondavela.com

my fav

hotelbelmar.net

Sapo Dorado

my top 3 lots more to do at

monteverdeinfo.com Dota El Toucanet is great there

but remote hard to get to not much to do but birding

Pefer MV
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 01:28 PM
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I did not think it was hard to get to Gerardo de Dota.

Where did you get that info?

Savegre Lodge a nice place.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 02:49 PM
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I agree with mlgb, it is actually easier to get to San Geraldo de Dota than Monteverde! There is a paved road all the way and 1.5 to 2 hours from San Jose. Savegre Lodge is indeed very nice!
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 05:07 PM
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In fact, after ex-hurricane Tomas last November, San Gerardo de Dota was one of the few places I could actually get to. I drove myself, but you can also take a public bus, the Lodge will drive up to the main highway and pick you up with prior notice.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 08:55 PM
  #9
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Hello,
I should have been more specific. We will be traveling from the Pacific Coast (a small community south of Tamarindo). I thought about flying to San Jose (from Nosara) picking up a car then heading to San Gerardo de Dota. Or traveling back to Liberia getting a car and heading to MV. I really don't need a car for the first 12 days. After the outing to MV or San Gerardo we will drive back to the Pacific side. I love the area on the Pacific but woulfd like to spend a few days in a place that I have not yet seen.
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Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:04 PM
  #10
 
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If you continue down to Dominical and then up the Cerro de la Muerte you can get to San Gerardo de Dota without going back through San Jose.
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Apr 25th, 2011, 10:14 AM
  #11
 
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I enjoy both MV and San Gerardo de Dota, but I think it's important to know what activities you are interested in. MV, although isolated and hard to reach, certainly offers more options in and around the town of Santa Elena. You can go ziplining/hanging bridges at Selvatura, night hikes, visit waterfalls, coffee tour, numerous restaurants, hikes at both MV and Santa Elena reserves. I recommend Arco Iris Ecolodge.

San Gerardo de Dota is a stunning cloud forest area with birding and hiking the main activities. It is rather remote, town is very small, but access is easy via the Inter-american Hwy. When we stayed at Savegre Lodge (highly recoommended) all we had to do was walk out of our cabins to see male and female quetzals in the trees.

Both are great areas, but quite different in what they offer. Enjoy!
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Apr 25th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Totally agree with colibri - it depends on what you're looking to do. Are you avid birders or looking for a wider range of activities?
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Apr 26th, 2011, 02:12 PM
  #13
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Hello,
Thank you for all your help. I have decided that we would enjoy both places. Since we are picking up a car in Liberia I have decided on MV this time. We are not full time birders.. but we do love to hike.. although MV sounds a little crazy it is easy to get to from Guanacaste.. and it will take 4 hours to get back to Guanacaste when we leave. I plan on going to the other one on trip number 5! I know I would love the remoteness. Thanks again
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Apr 26th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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The reserve is pretty; I think you'll like it. Definitely hire a guide; ours spotted a quetzal in the parking lot before we even started our tour. We saw another one eye to eye while ziplining - hope you get to see one. I'd definitely recommend the night hike at Hidden Valley too - we saw a sloth, a fox, raccoon, coatis, a porcupine, and some other cool things like insects and a tarantula.
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Apr 26th, 2011, 04:10 PM
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San Gerardo is my favorite of the two, birder's paradise! And it is NOT hard to get to, just a little off the tourist trail. We like the fact that there isn't much to do there. We bird, hike, relax, 2 nights is a good amount of time. At Monteverde, I'd stay at least 3 nights to really enjoy the area. Savegre Mountain Lodge is also our favorite. Marino Chacon is a fabulous birding guide--everyone who enjoys birding should go out with Marino at least once! Book him in advance when you go!

Logistically, MV is the better choice for you (at least with regard to driving time) since you will be spending more time on the Pacific.

We have friends who are renting a place at Junquillal for the year. They love it there. Enjoy your travels!
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Apr 26th, 2011, 04:45 PM
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We saw lots of stuff in MV (4 Quetzel!!) howler monkeys, armadillo, coatimundi, agouti, tons of birds including two toucans, a kinkajou.....BUT....truthfully, the way we saw so many animals was to go on the off the beaten track reserves. We loved MV but it is hard to see animals in that dense forest. The night hike was amazing and we saw a lot and learned alot but for us, we sometimes just wanted to go into the woods and be alone and find things for ourselves (which we did).

We really enjoyed Los Pinos. It is NOT luxurious but it is not Americanized either so for us it was the right fit (I was tired frankly of rude Americans assuming that everyone speaks English and assuming everyone is there to serve them!). Los Pinos has a basic kitchen, clean comfortable bed and what we really loved is that we had an outdoor space where we ate dinner and drank wine and spotted some amazing birds (a Mot Mot among others). Guests are allowed to pick anything from the greenhouses so we made a great fresh tomato and basil sauce.

Although we are not zip liners....we did go to Selvatura at the end of the day and it seemed that this was a quiet time. Again, saw some incredibly colored birds and butterflys. And if I were a zipliner, this is where I would do it.
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Apr 27th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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PS there is trout fishing at San Gerardo de Dota, isn't there?
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Apr 27th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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Yes, trout fishing and lots of trout eating!
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Apr 27th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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Even though MV gets it's fair share of tourists,you really won't get a "touristy" feeling unless you go to the main drag in the town of Santa Elena or visit the cloud forest reserve on a busy day.You have many good choices for hiking, lots of good restaurants and alot of other possibilities to fill your time.Hiking is great at the Cloud Forest reserve,Santa Elena reserve, Santurio Ecologica,Childrens Eternal forest and a number of the lodges have their own trail systems to hike.For restaurants you might try:

El Marquez-good seafood,tican owned- in Santa Elena.

Chimera- a small tapas restaurant-great food but it was a little pricey.

Pizza de johnny- really nice place with fantastic pizza- a great place to hit after
a long hike.

Panaderia Jimenez- Santa Elena bakery- IMO much better than Stella's. (sorry!)

Restauranta Maravilla- a busy place with really good casados at a reasonable price.

If you are interested I have copies of trail maps from several of the reserves at:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1077454...09Monteverde#- Maps are at the end.
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Apr 27th, 2011, 06:11 PM
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Not sure if the first link is correct http://picasaweb.google.com/artiejay...LHHuZrEu7CjBg#
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