Osa peninsula to Savegre?

Old Sep 15th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Osa peninsula to Savegre?


Can anyone give some advice about driving from the Osa Peninsula to the San Gerardo area? We are planning to stay around SJ for two nights, drive down the Pacific coast, stay in Dominical for one night (check out MA along the way), then down the Sierpe for 3 nights at La Paloma. I wanted to spend our last night at the Savegre Lodge on the way back up to SJ. What is the best route? Should we go back through Dominical? How is it driving over the Mountain of Death? Has anyone ever taken a bus or taxi? We are not so sure about driving through the mountains. Thanks!
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Oooh, I'm so envious. Someone else will tell you whether it's shorter to go back thru Dominical or just get back on Interamerican to ultimately go to San Gerardo. But, in any case, we drove from SJ last year to Savegre and then to Dominical and then back. We found the mountain road to be in good shape. But it's a two laner and it often gets foggy there in the afternoon. So complete your drive up there in the am and you should be fine. It's a lovely drive down into San Gerardo and you will LOVE Savegre if you haven't been before. We were 6 feet away from a female Quetzal on our way into the lodge and then the male flew in as well! What a way to start our visit! You didn't say what time of year you're going. When we were in Savegre and Dominical it was late May/early June. Though we had plenty of dry day times to tour, we had some very rainy nights and several of the bridges between Manuel Antonio and Palmar were washed out. The road south from Dominical is wide and well paved. The road north from Dominical to MA is unpaved and slow going. In fact, we skipped MA altogether when we heard a bridge washed out - and extended our stay in Dominical at the very wonderful (though not fancy) Pacific Edge. Have a great trip!
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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We drove up to San Gerardo last Feb. from Dominical. The road over the mountains wasn't difficult though we had blue skys the whole time. The road from Dominical to San Isidro had more potholes. The road from Dominical to Sierpe was freshly paved and smooth sailing. The road down to San Gerardo is often recommended 4WD but we had no problem with our Corolla in the dry season.
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for the info. We are going the second week of November, so it is the end of the rainy season. Do you think there may be more problems with the mountain roads at this time of year?
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Old Sep 17th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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We've done this route by auto and also by bus. We were on the Dominical-San Isadro-San Gerardo de Dota road in July. Absolutely no problems. You can also go from Palmar Norte to Buenos Aires, then north to San Isidro, continuing northward to San Gerardo. That would afford you a different route since you will already have been on the other road from Dominical down to Sierpe.

Can't say which is longer/shorter because bus rides are always longer than cars, but just looking at the map, I'd guess north to Dominical would be just a little bit closer. Not enough to affect your decision.

You might enjoy traveling in an area where you've not been before--we always try to take in a new road if it is a viable option. From San Isidro to Savegre is the highest part of the Cerro de la Muerte, and that is the part you will want to travel early in the day (before noon). There are decent hotels in San Isidro, so if you need somewhere to stay in order to be on the highway in the morning, there or Dominical would work well.

I think we left Dominical about 7:00 a.m., had a bite of breakfast in San Isidro (went to an ATM and an internet cafe also) and arrived Savegre by 11:00 a.m.

You'll love Savegre--as Glover said it is very beautiful. Cool (definitely will need a jacket that will offer a little warmth), with apple and peach orchards, gorgeous cloud forest.

Hopefully you will schedule a birding expedition with Marino Chacon ahead of time--wonderful guy whose family owns the place. He is just outstanding in his enthusiasm for birdwatching. Whether you are experienced or a novice, you'll be in for a treat!

When we were there in July, there was a ceremony with several dignitaries from the government dedicating this area of land as a national park-- Las Quetzales Parque Nacional! It was an exciting day for all involved.

You'll be amazed at how freezing cold the air is between San Isidro and the turnoff to Savegre (at the 80km mile marker), but once you descend down into the valley, it will warm up a bit. Enjoy!
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