A nice way to explore the nature around Dominical and in your own way is hiking. Nearby Dominical there are numerous hiking trails where you can enjoy the rainforest and wildlife.
The full hike to Chirrip├│ will take a whole day. It is possible to climb to Mount Chirripo, as a trail leads to the summit. This trail is 16-km (10 mi) long and easy to follow. It does not require technical climbing ability but requires reasonable fitness. Visitors need advanced reservations to book the hostel, but you also can make the visit with an experienced tour guide. This can be booked with your own travel agency, because the guide knows much about the environment and can give you much more information and show you places you normally wouldn’t see.
If you are more for shorter trips, near the park entrance at San Gerardo is an area for short walks. You can walk through this park and see several waterfalls without making the full trip.
Getting from Villas Rio Mar?
It is takes around 1 hour and half; we are located 66 kilometers from Chirripo National Park.
There are buses leaving to San Isidro from Dominical at 6:30am and 7:00am and then you should take a taxi to get to the entrance of the park.
What to bring: Hiking shoes, sun block, insect repellent, binoculars, hat, cotton clothing, camera and plastic bags for your camera, rain gear, food, water, sleeping bag.
You must be fairly fit to attempt this climb. It is long, in sections steep, and the weather can change drastically between base and peak.
You can explore Chirrip├│ in one day, however most people prefer to spend the night in the dormitory lodge two thirds of the way up, before making an hike to the peak.
Have a suitable backpack and pack sensibly.
This place is great for short walks. Here you can see a large number of animal species and variety of birds especially in the morning.
Nature Trails in the Hacienda Bar├║ National Wildlife Refuge ÔÇô The nature trails at Hacienda Bar├║ pass through a wide variety of habitat including primary forest, secondary forest, swamp forest, wetlands, pastures and tree plantations. Some of the trails are short and some long. Some go to the beach and some to the mountain. All of the trails have informative signs with information about the flora and fauna. They will show you a wide diversity of tropical nature.
Butterfly Garden — In the Hacienda Bar├║ butterfly garden you will see a representative sample of local butterflies along with some basic information about them. You will walk through the lush tropical vegetation that provides food for the butterflies and the medium on which each species deposits its eggs. In the laboratory you will see how the eggs hatch, the larvae eat and grow, and the pupas transform into butterflies.
The self guided attractions at Hacienda Bar├║ are free for lodge guests. For outside visitors the rate is $6 for the whole day.
Getting from Villas Rio Mar?
It takes about 10min, Villas Rio Mar is located only 5 km away, a taxi will charge you around 10 dollars each way.
What to bring:
Hiking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, binoculars, hat, cotton clothes, camera and plastic bags for your camera and rain gear in rainy season.
This is a short walk along the Bar├║river about 4 miles away. Especiallywhen you go jogging in the mornings or evenings when the weather is not that hot, you can see a lot of vegetation and some birds. There are some sides of the river where the water is not as deep and you could swim but this is not recommended because in some areas of the river there are crocodiles that are usually in the morning taking a sunbathing.
This road is located just in front of the hotel, and you only need comfortable clothes and tennis for walking.
For those who like to enjoy the majestic flight and colorful plumage of birds, Hotel Villas Rio Mar is the perfect place because it is surrounded by beautiful gardens which make a wonderful setting where you can enjoy a daily spectacle of nature. There are also 630 meters long of self-guided walking trails which leads into a based platform 3 meters high to facilitate bird watching.
You will enjoy watching some of the more beautiful birds of Costa Rica such as:
Costa Rican Swift
Clay-colored Robin (National Bird of CR)