Archive | Wildlife

Nature attractions and where to see them in San Gerardo

5 important tips if you want to climb Chirripó

Did you know that we are located at the foot of Mt Chirripó , the biggest mountain in Costa Rica? Second biggest in Central America? Thousands of outdoors enthusiasts visit each year to climb the mountain. From the peak you can see both oceans (Pacific and Caribbean), the ridge of volcanoes that run through Costa Rica and beyond, as well as lakes, incredible rock formations and the ‘paramo’ ecosystem typical of this elevation.

Costa Rica Holiday Homestay has recently begun helping our guests arrange their permits to hike the mountain which is a national park, and services such as overnight accommodation, meals, portering etc. If you are considering climbing Chirripó while you homestay with us here are 5 very important tips:

• Mt Chirripó is over 3,000 meters tall – a good challenge for mountaineers and hikers in good condition. You will enjoy yourself if you book to stay over one night, preferably two, as there is a lot to see and just climbing to the top and descending will take a lot of your allotted time.

• The experience of climbing Mt Chirripó varies throughout the year: from January to March we experience dry, sunny days with clear skies and very cold nights. Come prepared! From April to December there will be some rain of varying degrees but warmer temperatures at night.

• You MUST reserve permits to enter the National Park months before you arrive. See SINAC. We can make the bookings for you but likewise we need lots of time to be sure you get the dates and time you want. All bookings are now online. The process isn’t too difficult, but we’re here to help if it becomes mystifying!

• Also important to know is that you must arrive at least one day before your hike as you need to sign in at the National Parks Office before 4 pm the previous day. In fact we really recommend you arrive a few days ahead of your climb to acclimatize yourself to the altitude (San Gerardo is at 1,300 meters above sea level), take a few short hikes and gather your provisions. Likewise, you will need at least one night at your homestay afterwards to rest up!

• Most of our homestay families have years of experience hiking, guiding or portering on Mt. Chirripó. They are here to help you. They can prepare food for you to take with you and check your supplies so you don’t try and carry too heavy a load (pack light!).

Climbing Chirripó is an experience of a lifetime – it will take your breath away – and putting in some time to prepare thoroughly beforehand will make the hike all the more enjoyable.

Email us at for more information and support.

10 Reasons why Costa Rica Holiday Homestay is right for you

Dona Leyla's pioneer home is a local treasure

Dona Leyla’s pioneer home is a local treasure

Here’s 10 reasons why Costa Rica Holiday Homestay can promise you a vacation to cherish:
1. You want to learn Spanish – no way better than to live with a family!
2. You want to explore Costa Rican cloud forest – in San Gerardo it’s all around you – wake up and see it all!
3. You have children and you want them to meet children from another country and learn another language – welcome to our family homestays!
4. You want to climb Mt. Chirripo – we can help you with your planning and provide you the best base for your climb and security.
5. You want something different – experience the real Costa Rica by living in a traditional village with a campesino family instead of a hotel.
Cosy in the kitchen at Dona Leyla's

Cosy in the kitchen at Dona Leyla’s

6. Get back to basics – a vacation to rediscover cultural values – the family, living close to the land and…living with less.
7. Pick your own dinner! Our meals are composed of produce grown in our backyards: vegetables, fruits, poultry and local trout. Our Sunday farmer’s market even offers local cheeses and chocolate!
8. Support and more in making your plans for your Costa Rica vacation! We take time to answer all your questions and help you plan the best experience ever.
9. Local transport provided to all your activities and on arrival and departure.
10. Your stay supports a local family and keeps traditional villages like San Gerardo alive.

We promise you a warm and genuine welcome – Bienvenidu a San Gerardo de Rivas!

Fresh, local food always available

Fresh, local food always available

Bird-watching time in San Gerardo de Rivas with Costa Rica Holiday Homestay!

Resplendent quetzal

If your holiday plans include seeing some of Costa Rica’s famous bird life now is a fantastic time to visit! Birds are everywhere searching out nesting material or food for their young and the lively birdsong at 5 am promises yet another wonderful day for bird-spotters. Costa Rica Holiday Homestay works with guide and ornithologist, David Elizondo who has led hundreds of successful birding tours locally. Whether you want to spot a quetzal (recently two pairs have been seen frequently in Cloudbridge Reserve), or are more interested in hummingbirds, tanagers or parakeets or some of the exotic migrants that visit this area (orioles for example) there are so many to see. Recently CRHH guest Wendy spotted 26 different species during her 3 hour tour and was thrilled to see flocks of sulfur-winged parakeets, red-headed woodpeckers, mot mots and emerald toucanets to mention just a few. Contact us to make your reservation and we will ensure you get the best possible opportunities to see many species during your homestay holiday here. 



En esta época del año es especial para salir a caminar, disfrutar del aire fresco y la naturaleza en general.
Uno de los tour mas bonitos para aprovechar al máximo es el de observación de Aves.

Le llevaremos a encontrar las aves en su lista y ayudar con la fotografía de aves o paisajes. Este es uno de los puntos de privilegio para ver el quetzal, tucán, jilguero, trogon collarejo, pava negra, gavilán penachudo y muchas otras especies únicas a corta distancia, aproximadamente 230 especies de aves reconocidas entre los 1200 a 3820 m.s.n.m. Puede elegir entre las siguientes opciones de visita: Limite del parque, Caminata Libre, dentro de la Finca El Pelicano y Reserva Cloudbridge.

Eso si, hay que levantarse temprano para no perder detalle alguno.






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