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San José to San Isidro

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The market town of San Isidro de El General, 136km southwest of San José, sits amid a lush agricultural landscape, and makes for a welcome respite after negotiating the rigours of the Interamericana, also known as Hwy-2. The Interamericana winds its way about 2000m up from the bowl of Cartago’s enclosing valley to the chilly heights of the 3491-metre Cerro de la Muerte (“Mountain of Death”) pass. En route, it passes turn-offs for the beguiling mountain village of San Gerardo de Dota and Costa Rica’s newest national park, Parque Nacional Los Quetzales, one of the few places in the world where you stand an excellent chance of spotting quetzals in the wild and a must-stop for birders.

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