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CHECKLIST

SAN GERARDO DA DOTA

COSTA RICA
LOCALE

Altitude (m):2200
# Species*:161
# Excl Vagrants*:161
# Endemics*:1
# Near Endemics*:35
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Cloud forest, highland deciduous forest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

San Gerardo de Dota is a true "Shangri-La" deep in the Talamanca Mountains of southern Costa Rica. The small village is a center for apple and peach farms along the Savegre River. It also attracts fly fishermen and birders from all over the world.

Among birders, the area is treasured as the best place in Costa Rica to see arguably the world's most beautiful bird, the extraordinary Resplendent Quetzal. Quetzals nest in the cloud forests covering the valley walls and are easily seen during breeding season. They're also reliably seen at other times of year, though the males have lost their long central tail plumes by June and are less easily found. The cloud forests also harbor a fine mix of high elevation specialty birds reminiscent of western Panama. A visit to this area is high on the wish list of every knowledgeable birder touring Costa Rica. Around the lodges high elevation hummingbirds are attracted to feeders. These include Gray-tailed Mountain-gem, Scintillant Hummingbird, and Volcano Hummingbird among others.

LOCATION OF SITE

San Gerardo de Dota is located in the Talamanca Mountains about 3-hours from San Jose up the winding Highway 2, which eventually leads south toward Palmar Sur and San Vito in southern Costa Rica. The turnoff at kilometer marker 79 winds down a steep, hair-pin curve road for about 9 miles to the village of San Gerardo de Dota, which is nestled in a steeply walled river valley.

OTHER LOCALES