San Isidro Costa Rica is a little agricultural town in Southern Costa Rica that serves as the gateway to the Osa Peninsula on the South Pacific, Chirripo, and La Amistad International Park. Home to 45,000 people, San Isidro is the capital city of the Perez Zeledon Canton. Although many people just stop in San Isidro for a casado on their way to another tropical destination, there are some cultural events worth seeking out. Visit in February and check out the Fiesta de la Diablos and the Cattle Show.
Cerro de la Muerte
Cerro de la Muerte, literally meaning “mountain of death” was so named because of the difficult treks people had to make through this place in the past. Today, there a roads, making it much safer. Cerro de la Muerte is one one of the coldest points in Costa Rica reaching temperatures as low as -6 degrees Celsius. The cold is worth it though, when you see the view from the long road. Make sure to bring a sweater and a camera so you can get out of the car and take pictures!
San Gerardo is a small town at the bottom of the Talamanca mountain range. It’s a great place to access Los Quetzales National Park, where birding is incredible. You’ll spot the Resplendent Quetzal, trogons, hummingbirds and woodpeckers. You can also access the Savegre River. Go fly fishing for fresh trout!
Cerro Chirripo is the highest point in Costa Rica and you can climb it! Located in Chirripo National Park, Chirripo part of the Talamanca Mountain range. The hike is challenging and popular. You must reserve a spot and prepare for 2 or 3 days hiking. The view at the top will be worth it though!
For a great day trip, head to Corcovado National Park in the Osa Peninsula. Corcovado National Park alone has 5% of the world’s animal population. It’s the idea ecotourism destination. Go hiking or camping and look for monkeys, sloths, frogs and more!
Visit in February:
February is when the little town comes alive with festivals and cultural events!
Bring warm clothes:
On your way to San Isidro, you’ll pass through Cerro de la Muerte. The higher elevation makes the area quite chilly!
Visit the Farmer’s market:
There’s nothing quite like a tropical farmer’s market! Find fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and artisan crafts!
Where to Stay
Many people stay in San Isidro for a night or two on their way to Corcovado National Park or Chirripo National Park, so you will be able to stay at some comfortable hotels, for example, stay at the Hacienda Altagracia, Sueños del Bosque, Savegre Lodge, or Trogon Lodge. San Isidro is a great place to relax, get away from some of the touristy crowds and just enjoy small-town life and nature.
San Isidro is along the Pan-American highway. If you’re coming from San Jose you’ll pass through Cerro de la Muerte. We recommended taking a shuttle bus or private transfer to go through Cerro de la Muerte. It’s steep and there are some potholes throughout. My Costa Rica is happy to help you arrange a private transfer or shuttle bus!