Not to be overlooked while in pursuit of Chirripo, the charming and traditional villages of San Gerardo and Canaan are wonders in their own right. Stunning hikes along the prominent ridges and rivers allow views as far as local city San Isidro, and wildlife abounds along every road. Take a dip in the rushing rivers, visit the soccer fields where small games take place, meander and explore the many micro-businesses each town has to offer. Friendly San Gerardans are good communicators, eager to try their English, and truly appreciate any effort you can make at Spanish. Casa Mariposa will share a map of the area and help you plan your day out 'on the towns' or we can arrange a horse tour of the area.
Local folk artist, Carmen Monge, displays her portraits of "the old way of life" in Costa Rica at Arte Mia. She and her daughters also craft original and lovely souvenir items.
Be sure to plan a visit to the Queso Canaan dairy for home-made Swiss-style cheeses and yoghurts. Next door you'll find the Samaritan Chocolate organic chocolate artisan who also makes delicious vegan and rich dairy ice creams.
Across the street is Bastu Gastro-Pub. Yes! And the Batsu beer is first rate-- As is the bread they bake at the adjacent La Estrella Bakery (on weekends).
Close by is the new Dome Butterfly Garden. A tranquil meditation garden full of flowers, fish ponds, butterflies, dragonflies and a place to witness the mystical emergence of butterflies from their chrysalides.
Take in a home-made gelato, a yoga class or a concert at the lively Café Alegria near the Butterfly Garden.
San Gerardo village boasts a wonderful botanical garden and restaurant called Jardines Secretos. The plant collections are stunning and the food is the best traditional cuisine around.
Just up the road is the Gourmet Restaurant featuring a Costa Rican fusion menu using fresh and locally sourced products.
Don't miss Robinos Café for fresh pastries and lovely pastas, the family-owned Trout Farm Restaurant Cocolisos for the best fresh-caught trout lunch you've ever had, and the rustic local watering hole--the Roka Dura Bar.
The Garden House Bird Observatory on the way to Cloudbridge Nature Reserve offers an afternoon coffee with the local birds.
Don't miss the valley for the mountain!