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The Unicorn Lodge in the Cloud Forest of San Gerardo de Dota

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Property type house


About the property

House, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath. Sleeps up to 6.

The Unicorn lodge is nestled among ancient oaks along side the pristine Savegre River in the cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota. Our area is famous for its dense concentration of the Resplendent Quetzal which is sought after by bird watchers from all over the world. We have had breakfast on our front deck with these magnificent creatures several times. There are several high end eco-resorts in our magical valley, but we have the only fully equipped homes in the area. We have an additional villa(Dreamwater Villa) on the property as well.

The lodge has 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths, and an sleep 4-6 comfortably. The Savegre River is just off the front deck and was called 'the cleanest river in Central America' by National Geographic. We are located just 75 miles from the airport in San Jose or about a 2 hour drive

More Details

Ryan Huett
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 12, 2018

Why Ryan Huett chose San José

The valley in San Gerardo de Dota is one of Costa Rica's best kept secrets. It is one of the most pristine environments anywhere on the planet. The area is world renown for its birdwatching, but offers amazing waterfalls and ancient forests nestled into an unspoiled cloud forest at 7500 ft elevation.


San José House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Telephone
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 1.5
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Double Beds (1), Twin or Single Beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1)
  • DVD Player
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • cinemas
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing
  • swimming


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(16 traveler reviews)

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The Unicorn Lodge in the Cloud Forest of San Gerardo de Dota
average rating of 4.75 based on 16 reviews
Panama City Beach, FL

Beautiful location but lacking amenities

  • 3 of 5

Although the property is very beautiful it is lacking the small details that we expect when booking through HomeAway. There is wifi (unless it's raining), hot water, and the kitchen is stocked with dishes. There are some dvd's but unless you bring your own player there is no way to watch them. The computer there doesn't work, there is no mouse and the screen is broken. There are books to read if you like middle school text books or cookbooks from the 1970's. Most of the other books had water damage. The fireplace is nice but inadequate to heat the place. You have to buy your own wood which the caretakers can provide. We had to move the couch in front of the fire to stay warm. There are two small space heaters provided which we used to take the chill out of the bedroom. The hiking trail behind the house was washed out and impassable. One of the other trails to the big waterfall was also damaged. We were able to get to the fall but it's not for the weary.

We never received the email from the owner with important information like directions to the cabin, even though we messaged twice asking for more info. We were able to find the turn off the main highway using the Waze app. There is one small sign on the entire road , right before the driveway, that says Unicorn Lodge , if you blink you miss it. We were able to get Ryan on the phone after we pulled into the drive and he confirmed we were in the right spot. The caretakers came out to greet us and showed us to the house. They do not speak English but are very nice and helpful people.

Overall we enjoyed our time in the area but for the price we would not stay here again. A deck of cards, a board game, even a pen to play tic tac toe would have been nice. Better communication from the owner before we arrived would have also helped.

  • Submitted: Nov 30, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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San Diego, CA

Beautiful spot!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed here for 2 nights with our three kids after trekking through the middle of nowhere for 10 days in extremely remote places. This was the perfect ending. Unfortunately, the coordinates led us off track and we got lost for several hours because of that but, once we finally arrived, it was very relaxing! Ryan responded to my message for help right away and helped us get back on track. Within 30 minutes of our arrival, Emi helped us get dry firewood and a bottle of wine and secure our tours for the next day. We ate at many of the restaurants that were recommended and were not disappointed. We took a short quetzal bird tour where we saw several birds, a horseback ride and hike to the falls! All of these things were affordable, relatively short activities suitable for all of us. The hike to the falls was described as relatively easy, but, I would caution taking small children or stop at the first set of falls. The big fall at the end was gorgeous, but the hike was a challenge and the very end was impassable due to fallen trees. Overall a great stay!

  • Submitted: Aug 20, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great location, lacked amenities

  • 4 of 5

The house was very neat and in a great location. We caught lots of Rainbow Trout fly fishing in the river just off the back door (lots of little fish and a couple of monsters in the river), hiked to a couple of nearby waterfalls, and saw tons of neat birds. There were also some great restaurants within a couple of miles including Miriam's and Pizzeria Joannes Paulus run by Victor (much better than the hotel restaurants). Our group of 5 had a fantastic time. Note however that the temperature stays 50-60F with rain in the evenings, the house gets chilly, not all of the electric blankets seem to work, the small heaters don't give off much heat, and the wood for the fire place is water logged and very, very, very difficult to start (you need to bring fire starting materials if you want to have one). Also be prepared for no couch in the house and a minimum amount of kitchen supplies and amenities.

  • Submitted: Jul 11, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for your review. I am so glad you enjoyed the amazing beauty of the area, and the great trout fishing. We are going to add gas heaters this winter to help with the chilly nights during the wet season, and I am sorry the temps were a bit low for you. Thanks again
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Unique and magic

  • 5 of 5

Amazing location in a beautiful hidden away valley. Well equipped cabin with a fantastic location. Saw Quetzal early morning from cabin as promised. Loved our stay.

Tip: If you want to use fire place bring some dry kindling and wood. Fire wood is very damp and it took us an hour to get it going. But cabin really nice with fire.

  • Submitted: Jun 2, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Talk about Paradise!

  • Submitted: May 29, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Paradise in the Mountains

  • 5 of 5

My wife & I spent 3 nights at the Unicorn Lodge, and loved every minute of it. The location was a great respite to the hot weather along the Pacific coast (we visited the Tarcoles area prior and the Osa Peninsula after our stay at the Unicorn Lodge), with somewhat chilly nights and cool days. Great birding around the lodge and along the many trails in and around San Gerardo de Dota. A great place to relax and just "chill".

  • Submitted: Mar 9, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Located in the pristine cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota.....this area is often called the best kept secret in all of Costa Rica. One of the few places on the planet to view the Resplendent Quetzal, San Gerardo de Dota is truly a must see on your visit to this amazing country.

San Gerardo de Dota is located off Highway 2, about 2-3 hours from San Jose and 2 hours from Dominical. Like everywhere in Costa Rica, signage is not the best; however, there is a small sign at the turnoff. It helps to keep a lookout for kilometer markers. San Gerardo de Dota is located at kilometer 80.

Once you turn off Highway 2, you’ll descend into the valley for about 15 minutes, maneuvering down several steep switchbacks before arriving at the village. Just one main road runs through town so there’s little chance of getting lost.

Leave early in the day: Driving after dark on Highway 2 is not recommended. The road is windy and steep and visibility can be very limited when it rains or the cloud cover increases.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $10

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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