My girlfriend and I took a three week birdwatching trip to Costa Rica and this was our seventh (and essentially last) stop. Paraiso del Quetzal is basically just a few cabins and a dining area built onto a gorgeous hillside at about 9,000 feet on the Cerro de la Muerte. The cabins are rustic and small but functional. Some might find them a little too funky, but we found them cozy and charming. Food is fresh and delicious, and served in a dining room overlooking the valley below, with a nice fire billowing from the handmade fireplace. The birdwatching and hiking around the lodge are fantastic, though the weather can be a bit of a challenge at times--expect sun in the mornings and the likelihood of fog and misty rain in the afternoons. (We stayed during the dry season, so be especially prepared for rough weather in the rainy season.) It's chilly up there, so bring a coat, warm hat and gloves for comfort. Our cabin had six thick blankets on the bed, plus a heater and four extra blankets, and it was still a little chilly at night.
The happiest memories we have of the place are of the warmth and hospitality of the Serrano family, particularly Jorge (the grandson of the founder), who basically kept us company during most of our stay. (There were no other guests at the time, so I'm sure he's less available when the place is busier.) Jorge shared stories of the area, took us birdwatching in the morning, and was in all respects a fantastic host and guide.
For birdwatchers, I absolutely recommend this spot if you're looking for the Quetzals or any of the other high elevation Costa Rican birds. Fiery-throated Hummingbirds are basically guaranteed to be around the feeders near the dining room, and the Quetzals are easier to locate here than in San Gerardo de Dota. And Paraiso del Quetzal is far quieter and more peaceful than SGDD. Just be prepared for a significantly more "rustic" experience than that offered by Savegre, Dantica or Trogon Lodge in SGDD.
In short, we had a lovely stay here and would absolutely return. (Pura Vida, Jorge! Y Gracias.)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Paraiso Quetzal Lodge has been recently selected by the European Association of Friends for Nature (EAFN). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paraiso Quetzal Lodge Costa Rica/San Gerardo De Dota