1. Embark on a Birdwatching Adventure at Los Quetzales National Park
Nestled 32 km from the heart of Santa María de Dota in the Copey district, Los Quetzales National Park is a haven for nature lovers. The cloud forests here are home to a plethora of flora and fauna, including gigantic trees shrouded in lichen and wool and the famed quetzal bird (Pharomachrus mocinno). Explore its two trails – a 900-meter cemented path and a 4-km natural trek – and immerse yourself in the park’s stunning biodiversity. Don’t forget to check out its 979 plant species and 65 butterfly species!
Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
Tickets: ₡1,000 for local adults, ₡500 for kids aged 6-12, $10 for foreign adults and kids. Seniors above 65 enter for free.
2. Dive into History with a Trapiche Tour
Discover the age-old art of ‘trapichada’ in Los Santos, a process that extracts sugarcane juice to produce ‘tapa de dulce’. These traditional mills, some still powered by oxen, form a vital part of the region’s cultural heritage. A few noteworthy trapiches to visit include Trapiche Santa Cruz de León Cortés and Trapiche de Don Roy Hernández.
3. Travel Back to 1948 with a Historical Tour of the Civil War
Delve deep into Costa Rica’s past at the Monumento a los Héroes Caídos de la Guerra Civil in Santa María de Dota. This cornerstone, sculpted by renowned artist Luis Umaña Ruiz, pays tribute to the heroes of the 1948 Civil War. Enhance your experience with the Ethno-cultural Tour: War of 1948, which traverses key communities from this historic event.
4. Sip & Savour: Indulge in Tarrazú Coffee & Regional Delicacies
Tarrazú is synonymous with exquisite coffee. With the prestigious “Café Tarrazú” seal, this region boasts top-quality beans. Embark on coffee tasting tours at Coopedota and Santos Tour in Santa María de Dota and get acquainted with the entire coffee journey – from bean to cup. Also, tantalize your taste buds with regional specialties like Borrachos, La mestiza, and locally sourced trout dishes.
5. Shop Authentic Local Handicrafts with a Touch of Los Santos
The Colectivo Artesanal La Granea showcases a rich tapestry of crafts inspired by coffee culture, natural beauty, historical events, and rural traditions of Los Santos. Their unique offerings range from apparel accessories, clay containers, coffee storage boxes, decorated food trays, and more. Dive into their world and take a piece of Los Santos back home.