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san gererardo station sunset 
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San Gerardo Station

San Gerardo Station

Destination: Monteverde

At a Glance

    • Secluded trails
    • Views of Arenal Lake and Volcano
    • Home cooked meals

San Gerardo Station is hidden in the folds of the Children's Eternal Rainforest on the Caribbean slopes of the continental divide. This remote eco-paradise has six miles of trails and some of the best views in Monteverde; sunrises that set the sky ablaze with Arenal Volcano backlit on the horizon and Lake Arenal reflecting the amber morning light.

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Trails at San Gerardo are rife with an untouched quality that you won't find walking through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Six trails weave through primary and secondary forest cutting through the thick undergrowth of the premontane, wet rainforest (dense, rainforest that grows on the sides of mountains).

To get to San Gerardo, you'll need to travel from Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, drop off your car in the parking lot, pack your bags and trek two miles down a trail into the reserve – or alternatively hitch a ride on an ATV ($30 per person). Keep an eye out for a sign pointing toward the station and veer off to the left down a hiking trail into the forest before emerging in San Gerardo's small clearing.

Rooms

It's not the Four Seasons, but at least there's running water, warm beds and home-cooked meals included in the room rate. The station has six rooms, $52 per adult and $38 per student, each furnished with two sets of bunk beds and a private bathroom – plus three meals a day included in the room rate. Located on the second-story patio, every room shares panoramic views of Arenal volcano, Lake Arenal and the surrounding rainforest.

Services & Amenities

Giovanni and his wife Ivania are the caretakers at the San Gerardo station. Giovanni spends his days working on the station as a handyman, farmer, receptionist and rainforest guard. Despite all his duties, he still finds time to offer guests night hike tours (free of charge) and happily dispenses advice about the trails. His wife, Ivania, cooks three meals a day and they are good. In the mornings she serves Costa Rican breakfasts of scrambled eggs, Gallo Pinto (mixed rice and beans), fried plantains, cheese, toast, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. At lunch and dinner huge plates of burritos, tamales, salads, potato chips, rice and beans. Everything is fresh, homemade and a pleasant reprieve from standard hotel restaurants.

San Gerardo Station in Pictures