When trying to give an accurate picture of what to expect when traveling it can be as helpful to describe what isn’t in an area as it is to describe the highlights of a region. Below are a few things not to expect around San Gerardo de Dota and San Gerardo de Rivas/Chirripó National Park.
The Talamanca Mountains sneak onto the top ten must see list for Costa Rica by virtue of being one of our personal favorites and certainly not because of their popularity with travelers. You won’t find any crowds here.
Big Luxury Resorts
A couple of the eco-lodges have more than twenty rooms but for the most part they’re small, cozy and a little bit rustic. If you want your cloud forest experience to include an indoor heated pool and choice of international cuisine then Monteverde is a better choice than the Talamancas. There aren’t many restaurants either but they do have the best fruit smoothies in Costa Rica.
Warm Tropical Nights
When the sun is out during the day it can be hot in the mountains, but because of the elevation the nights can be downright cold (even below freezing on the top of Chirripó). If your goal is to get away from the northern winter and don’t want to see a jacket or turtleneck for the duration of your vacation you may want to skip the San Gerados.
There are many great hiking trails in the region but no campgrounds to speak of. Although the trek up Chirripó includes at least one overnight stay you are not allowed to camp in the national park (mainly due to fire danger). The refugio is unheated, very rustic and usually satisfies most desires for roughing it without actually sleeping on the ground.