Los Santos Forest Reserve: It comprises some 63,000 hectares of primary, secondary, coffee and pasture cloud forests. The characteristic landscape of this space shows us a mosaic where natural and cultural ecosystems coexist, nuanced by a high biological diversity, which encompasses a natural flavor along its many routes. All visitors will be able to explore the different paths of the Savegre, a set of attractions, ranging from the clear and sonorous waters of the mountain torrents, the peaceful and majestic woods. There are also daily activities in the picturesque rural communities’ married to the forest. This area includes one of the most biologically diverse places in the country, and constitutes, among other functions, a key link between Manuel Antonio and Tapantí national park. The trails are narrow, with slippery stretches or that require attention for the abundance of obstacles such as rocks, mud, dense vegetation, as well as precipices or ravines. The land is scarred. It is likely that the guide will wield to use his machete to clear the path a bit. Several shallow but flowing streams cross our paths; generally this difficulty is chore rewarded by the abundance of multiple waterfalls. This area is literally an oasis of great importance for the conservation of hydrographic basins and preservation of biodiversity. It is a habitat for the quetzal and other beautiful birds like the trogon. Also for hummingbirds, turkeys, multicolored butterflies, frogs, white and red monkeys, peccaries, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, coatis, mountain mice and felines such as jaguars, cauceles and breeding lions also abound. Tapirs whose footprints attest for their search for the so-called tapir culantrillo, an omnipresent plant in this area. There are also snakes such as the Toboba, the Kera and the coral. As to flora, the reserve contains very tall trees and many epiphytic plants (orchids, bromeliads and ferns). Here you will find dear and trees such as oak, myrtle, magnolia and jaul. There are also species such as murta, tirrá, guaba, quina, bacillus, papayillo, cucaracho, quizarrá, duraznillo, picarillo, palm hearts, straw stick, arborescent ferns, taco de mico, copey, cirrí cañuela, parrot, cypress, poor parasol , cedrillo, arrayancillo, candelillo and male nance. The forest is characterized by high humidity and cool temperatures, and by being frequently covered with clouds.
Arrive individually to the town of Copey de Dota where you meet your guide in the restaurant of Cedrela Ecolodge.
Warm welcome and small talk about the community. Accommodation at Cedrela Ecolodge with dinner included.
We will begin with a breakfast at Cedrela Eco Lodge at 6:30 am, ready to depart with backpacks to depart at 7:00 am off to San Carlos de Dota by private transportation. Our starting point of this hike near San Carlos is the imposing mountains of the Los Santos Forest Reserve. The hike begins in a cloud forest with large areas of oak trees with incredible views of the majestic mountains on the other side of the national park. After a few hours of walking we will take a break to enjoy the scenery and eat a box lunch to continue the walk for approximately five hours breathing the fresh and pure air of these impressive mountains. A delicious lunch will be served at our today’s accommodation, the Pangolin Lodge. It is a very serene place to enjoy sunsets and fantastic views.
Distance 14 kms
Duration of 5 to 6 hours
Altitude from 2.745m to 2.500m and 2.700m
Lodging, lunch, dinner and breakfast at Pangolin Lodge
We start with a delicious breakfast at 6:30 am with our backpacks ready to start the hike at 7:00 am, passing through the cloud forest and breathing the fresh air of the morning. We enjoy the beautiful outlooks towards the beach and sightings to the great variety of birds that can be observed in this area. After 4 hours of walking we will be having our delicious lunch while admiring the beautiful view across the little town of Providencia de Dota from the unique ‘La Piedra viewpoint’. We will also be able to observe more closely the great mountains of Los Quetzales National Park continuing the walk for another 1 ½ hours. Next time to settle in at the calm and cozy La Rivera Lodge adjacent to the very important tributary of the Savegre river.
In the course of the afternoon, get to see a bit more of little Providencia town where your guide provides an interesting historical overview of the community.
Distance 15 kms
Duration from 6 to 7 hours
Altitude of 2.700m to 2.745 and 1.600 to 1.800m
Lodging, lunch, dinner and breakfast at Rivera Lodge
Once again an early to take advantage of the natural beauty that awaits us. After breakfast packed backpacks by 7:00 am. Our first impressions will be the views of the community settled into these picturesque mountains while walking along the little road. Get to know the local folk, famous for their warmth and welcoming. After an hour of walking through the mountains we spot the imposing mountains of the Los Santos Forest Reserve.
Our pleasant descent continues until we reach the Savegre river. From there, we follow the rainforest replete with myriad species of birds and animals common to these mountains. A short climb to reach the Salitre waterfall with crystalline and pure waters born in the high mountains of the saints forest reserve. Following the gentle ascent, we are privileged to view the imposing Cerro de la Muerte right from there. Pure air and precious mountain scenes of the Los Santos Forest Reserve let us dream of what is waiting for us next. Having built up an appetite we next partake of a typical Costa Rican lunch before continuing to hike to the Chaman Lodge, an ideal place for relaxation, a place with beautiful vegetation in its surroundings .
Distance 13 kms.
Duration of 5 to 6 hours
Altitude of 1.800 meters above sea level at 1.500m to 2.000m and 1.800 meters above sea level
Lodging, dinner and breakfast at Chaman Lodge
Breakfast starts at 6:30am and our hike can begin by 7:00am with our backpacks ready. A quick and short descent will lead us to Felingo gorge to be followed by an ascent until arriving at the Boquete where we will have a great view of Manuel Antonio beach and the little town of Quepos. Then we descent towards winding streams, followed by another climb to the top. A perfect place to see the basin of the Savegre River and its mouth on the beach! Here we enjoy a lunch wrapped in banana leaves a very typical tradition in Costa Rica! Continuing we descend 400m from our 1800m altitude. Here we arrive at Jilguero Lodge, a cozy place, where the singing of the goldfinch dominates. The lodge’s name derives from it!
Distance 13 kms
Duration of 5 to 6 hours
Altitude of 1.800m to 1.550 to 1.700 to 1.550 to 1.800 and 1.400m
Lodging, dinner and breakfast at Jilguero Lodge
The aroma of fresh coffee beckons you to a tasty breakfast. Backpacks ready, out hike continues by 7:00am passing through the completely virgin mountains of the Moon with an array of orchid species and diverse vegetation. It is the hilly countryside, an impressive place that abounds with nature from its very entrance towards the magic caverns. It is an impressive place that boasts with nature at the entrance. There, a rich and delicious lunch is served before you will whiteness a unique and most certainly new experience. After this unforgettable adventure we will resume our walk until we reach the Rio hostel on the left bank of the Savegre River, the cleanest in Central America according to the WHO
Distance 14 kms
Duration of 7 to 8 hours
Altitudes of 1.400m to 400m
Lodging, lunch, dinner and breakfast at Albergue el Rio
As our today’s hike is less challenging, we catch an extra hour of rest. Departure 7:45 am followed shortly thereafter by a cable system that safely and securely allows us to traverse the Savegre River where we begin at 430 m, ascent towards Rancho Tinamú. Thinking back on all the kilometers left behind, the imposing forests of the Santos Forest Reserve change.
Arriving at Rancho Tinamú we partake of a delicious lunch before embarking on the afternoon’s activities. There we find an organic farm which features chickens and pigs for example. What could be more exciting than an evening featuring a frog tour?
Distance 5 km
Duration of 3 to 4 hours
Altitude of 400m to 900 and 830m
Note: This day is complemented by activities such as a visit to the Olla de Bruja waterfall, natural clay mask among others.
Lodging, lunch, dinner and breakfast at Rancho Tinamú
Breakfast served at 6:00 am, backpacks ready at 6:30 am. This morning takes us to the massive 2 student school in the little town of San Isidro de Dota! Despite the town’s small size it has already earned a 3-star ecological blue flag. Of course, the students as well as their families participate in all these actions involving recycling and maintaining the natural resources. The organically grown vegetables are also served at school.
Walking between paddock and secondary forest areas we will pass through Cerro Nara named after an indigenous chief who lived in the area. This sector has been declared as a water protection area since it has one of the most important aquifers in Costa Rica. So continuing on the hike, we will pass through the Los Campesinos Reserve, dedicated to vanilla and cocoa cultivation over the past many years. The growing interest in the tourism industry and the necessity of conservation of this reserve is the population’s utmost motivation and goal. Once on the site, we will have lunch in the restaurant of the reserve in front of a beautiful waterfall. In the afternoon the impressive suspension bridge awaits us with the bucolic sounds of the flowing water beneath. By the end of the day while enjoying dinner we will listen to the Funders stories.
Distance 15 kms
Duration 6 to 7 hours
Altitude of 830 m to 900 to 600 and 225 m
Lodging, lunch, dinner and breakfast at Albergue Los Campesinos
Our last day of this fantastic voyage has come! Be ready for breakfast at 5.30am with your backpacks ready at 6:00 am. Then, start to Brisas del Nara, a tour between forest areas, waterfalls and a beautiful river that invites you to take a shower in crystal clear waters. With a bit of luck we observe a sloth or a titi monkey, too! The Brisas del Nara Restaurant is our final point.
Distance 9 kms
Duration from 2 hours to 2:30 minutes
Altitude of 225 msnm to 200 msnm.