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Los Santos
General information


It is located in the southeast region of Costa Rica, in the district of Copey, canton of Dota, in San Jose. It is 70 km away from the capital.
Conservation Area:
Central Pacific conservational Area (ACPC)
62700 hectares
When to go?

Dry season: December to April
Rain season: May to November, with a decrease between July and August (San Juan little summer)

Conatct information
(00506) 2256-0917
Regional Office:
(00506) 2541-1555
(00506) 2200-5354
Send mail
Web Page:
Visit Wen Page
¢no se cobra entrada / free entrance
¢no se cobra entrada / free entrance
$no se cobra entrada / free entrance
$no se cobra entrada / free entrance
Camping permissions:
General information
Los Santos Forest Reserve has towns and plantations, and protects a great biodiversity. It includes an important hydroelectric zone, home to the beautiful quetzal.

Los Santos Forest Reserve is located in a very important area for hydrographic basins (rivers Naranjo and Savegre), and is one of the most biologically diverse places of Costa Rica.
It is mainly covered by very humid tropical forests, pre-montane pluvial forests, low montane pluvial forests and montane pluvial forests. It is also a key link between the national parks Manuel Antonio, Chirripo and Tapanti.
Its territory is shelter to Los Quetzales National Park.

The average annual rainfall is of 1.800 mm. The average temperature ranges between 12°C and 28°C.
Dry season: January through April
Rainy season: May through December

Los Santos Forest Reserve has a great biodiversity of flora species. Here you can find: oak trees, alder trees, the rock tassel fern, the arrayan mora and the magnolia.

There are also species like the murta, the Mexican elm, the guaba, the quina, the horquetilla, the papayillo, the cucaracho, the valerian root, the duraznillo, the picarillo, the palm tree, the palo de paja, the mountain palm tree, the copey, the cańuela, the lorito, the small cypress tree, the sombrilla de pobre (beggar’s umbrella), the small cedar tree, the arrayancillo, the candelillo, the nance macho and many ferns.
Among the species you can observe, there are: mammals like peccaries, tapirs, mountain goats, coatis, armadillos, foxes, raccoons, coyotes, weasels, porcupines, squirrels and felids like the jaguarundi, the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the margay.

You can see birds such as the quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), the black guan (Chamaepetes unicolor), partridges, doves, goldfinches and clay-colored thrushes.
In the rivers you can find otters and trout. There are also snakes like the jumping pitviper, the side-striped palm pitviper and the coral snake.

Services and facilities on the Park
The reserve includes development zones like lodges, restaurants and cabins, among others.

Inside the Park:
Walk through the trails
Enjoy the panoramic views
Observe different birds
Observe quetzals
Visit Los Quetzales National Park

Outside the Park
Horseback riding tours
Walks through the cloud forest
Trout fishing
Coffee tasting
Visiting “trapiches” (sugar cane processors)

Los Santos
  • Recomendations
  • Interesting data
Tips para el viajero
Access recommendations
There’s no entrance schedule, the timing is up to you.
There’s no entrance fee.
Some roads that part from Santa Maria of Dota allow you to enter the reserve.

General recommendations inside the reserve
There’s no infrastructure, and also there are no park rangers in charge of the reserve.

Clothes and accessories recommendations
Bring comfortable clothes and shoes, ideal for walking.
Bring sweater, raincoat and camera.

Stay recommendations
There are places to stay in different areas inside the reserve.

Recommendations for a responsible tourist
Please do not litter.
Do not take with you any flora or fauna species.

Recommendations with the animals
Some animals may be hard to find because of their nocturnal habits, their reproductive or migratory behavior and the forest's density.

Datos interesantes
Datos interesantes:
Interesting sites
It has trails surrounded by centenary trees of native species, where many birds live. Along this way you can get to know one of the most hidden places of the tropical forests.
Ventana Viewer: it was named by the Nubotropica Foundation; from here you can observe part of the beautiful zone of Los Santos.

Nubotropica Foundation
It is a NGO created for the protection and conservation of Los Santos Forest Reserve. It was founded in 1996 by the Township of Dota, MINAET, ITCR, UCR, UNA, ICT and local chambers.
It is composed by community leaders, and formed the Sustainable Development Center of Los Santos (CEDESS), which carries out: Education for Sustainable Development, Investigation and Production, and Sustainable Services.

Origin of the name
The name of “Los Santos” was given because many nearby towns were named after a saint, for example: Santa Maria, San Marcos of Tarrazu, San Pablo of Leon Cortes and San Gerardo of Dota, among others. Naming towns after saints used to be a tradition many years ago.

Los Santos
como llegar?
How to get there?
Tracopa (San Jose, Street 5, Avenues 18-20)
From San Jose to San Isidro del General:
Every day: 5:00am, 6:00am, 7:00am, 7:30am, 8:15am, 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00md, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm and 6:30pm
From San Isidro del General to San Jose:
Every day: from 5:00am to 8:30pm (every hour)
Website: http://www.tracopacr.com/rutas.html
Office phone number: (506) 2221-4214, (506) 2771-0468

From San Jose, take the South Pan-American Highway on the route #2 towards San Isidro del General. Along the way there are many exits that will guide you to different entrances of the reserve:
Exit in El Empalme, in direction towards Copey, passing through Jardin, San Rafael and Santa Marta.
Exit after Salsipuedes in direction to San Gerardo of Dota.
Exit in La Ese towards Santa Eduviges.

Other kind of transportation


Los Santos
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