Cerro Dantas Wildlife Refuge
San Rafael, Heredia, Costa Rica
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Cerro Dantas is a private wildlife reserve located in and acknowledged as a member of the Area de Conservación Cordillera Volcánica Central (ACCVC). Base camp sits at approx. 2050 m asl, with access to the site starting as a paved road, turning to gravel road, and eventually becoming a trail through the forest for the terminal two kilometers. With a car, Cerro Dantas is accessible as a day trip; you can do it via bus as well, but the last stop is still a 5km hike up to the reserve, followed by a 5km hike back down to catch the last bus leaving Monte de la Cruz at around 6pm.
The station has dorm rooms with full electricity, bathrooms, showers, and a kitchen. The road/trail leading up to Cerro Dantas passes through pasture, reforestation, and old growth by way of Cerro Chompipe. Once at the station, a system of trails radiates out from the comedor, a few of which ascend to even higher elevations. Many interesting animals can be seen in the reserve, including what is said to be the highest concentration of tapirs (dantas) in Costa Rica. The avifauna flourishes around the station and in the forest. Winters can be quite wet and chilly up there, so bring a jacket and mud boots.
Black-speckled Palm Viper (Bothriechis nigroviridis), Costa Rica
Bothriechis nigroviridissidestriped palm pitvipercerro dantas wildlife refugecosta rica