Hotel Savegre

• Introduction:

Hotel Savegre is one of the classics among the Costa Rica birding lodges, located in the beautifull cloudforest scenery in the heart of the Talamanca mountains. Hotel Savegre can be found om most Costa Rica birdwatching itineraries because of the unique avifauna found in its surroundings. The hotel has been run since its inception by the friendly Chacón familiy, pioneers in the area who do a great job offering a top-quality service that goes hand in hand with the environment.

• Location:

Hotel Savegre is located 89 kms south of San José connected  by  the modern Interamerican Highway south for about 80 kms, folowed by an unpaved steep downhill towards the town of San Gerardo de Dota. Underway you will pass by some of the most stumming mountain scenery of the country, which makes this a very rewarding trip.

• Facilities:

Hotel Savegre offers 41 rooms: 21 standard and 29 Junior Suites all surrounded by beautifull gardens and at the edge of the cloudforest. There is a good restaurant combining international cuisine with the best of traditional Costa Rican dishes. The recent addition of a spacious lounge with cozy sitting areas near a fireplace and a well-stocked bar is the ideal place to relax after a day of birding. There is an extensive trail system with 30 kms of well-maintained trails through their own private 400 ha nature-reserve bordering Parque Nacional Los Quetzales. These trails are exclusively accesable for hotel guests. The “Del Rio Spa” offers an extensive menu of services including massages, body wraps, exfoliations and facial treatments and has a sauna, steambath and 2 jacuzzi’s.

• Birding and wildlife attractions:

Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

San Gerardo de Dota is known as the most reliable place in the country to observe the Resplendent Quetzal, probably the most famous bird of Costa Rica and maybe of the entire Western Hemisphere. It is often found feeding in a fruiting wild avocado tree, the quetzal’s favorite food. Besides quetzals other large frugivores like Black Guans and Emerald Toucanets can also be expected here. Another aspect the San Gerardo de Dota area is famous for is the uniqueness of its avifauna. Many of the birds that one can see here are endemic to the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama and can not be found anywhere else in the world. In the flowery garden right in front of your room one can already do some easy birdwatching. Especially early morning around 6:00 pm many birds gather around the lightposts to feast on the moths sitting around them. Here you can see Yellow-thighed Finch, Collared Redstart, Yellow-winged Vireos, Sooty-capped Bush-tanagers, Silver-throated Tanagers, Flame-colored Tanager and Slaty Flowerpiercers. Acorn Woodpeckers are very common in the trees surrounding the restaurant. At the sugarfeeders all day long one can enjoy intense hummingbird activity with Green Violetears, Magnificent Hummingbird, White-throated Mountain-gem, and the tiny Scintillant and Volcano Hummingbird. Stripe-tailed Hummingbird can be seen often fouraging around bright flowers in the hotelgarden. Large groups of Sulfour-winged Parakeets are seen frequently flying through the valley; Red-tailed Hawks and Swallow-tailed Kites  often soar above the hotelgrounds . A walk along the pitoresque Savegre River can produce American Dippers, Torrent Tyrannulet and Louisiana Waterthrush (during northern winter). The forest trails allows you to penetrate the beautifull inside of the cloudforest. Birds are a bit harder to spot here and most move around in mixed species flocks including Spot-crowned Woodcreepers, Ruddy Treerunners, Tufted Flycatcher, Mountain Elaenia, Brown-capped and Yellow-winged Vireos, Ochraceous Wren, Gray-breasted Wood-wren, Yellow-thighed Finch, Collared Redstarts (very common), Flame-throated Warbler, Black-cheeked Warbler, Sooty-capped Bush-tanager, Black-faced Solitaires and Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrushes. A little harder are Streak-breasted Treehunters, Buffy Tuftedcheeks, Hairy Woodpecker, Spotted Barbtail, Golden-bellied Flycatcher, Olive-striped Flyacatcher and the timid Chestnut-capped Brush-finches. Highly reccomanded is a visit to the “los robles” trail where one can walk in an impressive old oak forest with giant oaks of which some are more than 60 m tall. The scenery is already a great attraction here, but this forest is also known to hold some of the local specialities like the tiny Costarican Pygmee-owl and the rare Silvery-throated Jays, and the  Spotted Woodquails…