Cerro Escondido Lodge is open year round.
Nestled in the heart of the Karen Mogensen reserve, lies the beautiful “Cerro Escondido Lodge”, where you will be welcomed like family by our friendly and dedicated Costa Rican hosts.You will stay in rustic mountaintop cabins, each with a private bathroom and a terrace with beautiful views of the forest. The cabins are powered entirely by solar panels. We recommend staying a minimum of 2 nights in order to soak up a sampling of what the nature reserve has to offer. Each morning you will awaken to the symphony of tropical birds and howler monkeys calling you to an early morning hike. Upon your return a morning breakfast feast will await you.
DiningMeals are served at Gavilan Blanco dining area-- Typical Costa Rican dishes and vegetarian options are available in the reserve. All fruits and vegetables are fresh, locally grown, and served at the lodge. While rice and beans are a Central American staple, the cooks offer so much more than that. Born and raised close to the reserve, Mery is an expert in the local cuisine and her husband Arnulfo is a renowned nature guide
Groups and children are welcome!Please contact the lodge to inquire about pricing for large group discounts. There are environmental education activities for children available as well, and the "Cuerpoespin" rancho is open for those interested in environmental education. Contact us for more information regarding group reservations and previous environmental education projects.
VolunteerYou can stay with us as a volunteer for a minimum of 22 days. Volunteers live with a local family, where they can learn Spanish and all about the wildlife we are protecting. You will work in a friendly atmosphere and learn about the ways of the local Costa Ricans (Ticos)! For a daily fee of US$20, volunteers are provided with all their basic needs. If you are interested to work as a volunteer, please contact us.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to do at ASEPALECO’s nature reserve. You can learn, investigate, rest and enjoy the forest all year round. Our hospitality reflects the good naturalness and ease of the Ticos, who are honored to share the splendor of the best infrastructure there is--Mother Nature!
Horseback RidesWondering how to get to the cabins? There is the possibility to ride through the forest on horseback from Montaña Grande. Friendly and knowledgeable local guides are available to lead the way.
HikingWith guided tours guests can hike through the protected tropical forest to the famous Velo de la Novia Cascada (Bride's Veil Waterfall), Tres Rios (Three Rivers), the lookout tower and much more. In fact, the nature reserve provides 22 km of well-maintained hiking trails. On these tours, visitors get the unique chance to view tropical birds, howler and white faced monkeys, green tree frogs, white bat species and more. All guided tours at Cerro Escondido help support and maintain the ecolodge and the surrounding wildlife.
Venado and Chira Island ToursLocal networks are established for community led ecotourism to visit the islands. Visits can be organized with local fisherman and a boat tour to stay for the night or even just a quick day trip to the islands and mangrove channels. Contact us ahead of time to organize a tour.
What to bring:
Please keep in mind that the yearly average temperature is 81°F (27°C), and that the cabins are located in the middle of a protected forest. Therefore, we recommend that all guests bring...
Raincoat (rainy season from may-november)
Hiking boots (Prepare for many river crossings)
Toiletries (Because we do value the sanctity of the natural world, please bring only biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and conditioners)
Several changes of light, comfortable clothes (clothing may get wet/dirty)
Towel (lightweight for trips to the river or waterfall)
Any needed medicine
How to get here:
The easiest way to get to ASEPALECO’s ecolodge is to fly into Liberia and drive two hours to Jicaral, or take local buses that leave from the bus station in Liberia to Nicoya, and then take another bus from Nicoya to Jicaral. From the center of Jicaral, the office is located about two blocks from the main church on the same side of the road. Once you reach the office, transportation can be provided to get to the small town of San Ramon del Rio Blanco. From their the adventure begins with a 1 hour hike to the Cerro Escondido Ecolodge. It’s important to note that hiking to the ecolodge is the best and most common way to get there. Transportation by car is unavailable during the rainy season, but could be potentially arranged in case of emergencies from December to April.
The other option is to fly direct into San Jose. From San Jose, you can choose to rent a car or use public transportation. Either way, you will need to get to the office in Jicaral and then drive or take a bus to San Ramon of Rio Blanco. From there, you’ll take the same trek (about 1 hour on foot) through the protected forest to reach the ecolodge. For those who enjoy horseback riding, you can enter the reserve by horse via the Montaña Grande community. Please book ahead of time!
You can also take a bus (from San Jose), taxi or direct shuttle (from the airport) to Puntarenas. In the crossing from Puntarenas to the Nicoya Peninsula, you can travel on the comfortable "San Lucas" ferry (Ferry times leave three times daily), from which you will have the opportunity to admire the Gulf of Nicoya´s natural beauty. Upon arrival to Playa Naranjo, buses are available to Jicaral where you can find the office of ASEPALECO to check in before heading to San Ramon del Rio Blanco.
To get to Jicaral by bus (for those who would prefer not to take a ferry), you can take a bus from the airport to San Jose, and then a Taxi to Terminal 710. From Terminal 710, you will need to buy a bus ticket to Jicaral (the ride takes about 5 hours). There is also a taxi service between Jicaral and San Ramón del Rio Blanco (15km).