Blogs from Monteverde, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


Monteverde - the cloud forest. Well... we didn’t see any clouds. I guess that’s what you get coming in the ‘dry’ season. On the bright side, we had beautiful vistas looking down into the valleys below. The guidebooks lead you to believe there’s wildlife everywhere and you can walk the trails and see all kinds of things in the forest. That’s my bad... because obviously I would laugh if people thought they could come to Canada and walk in a national park and see bear, moose and caribou casually strolling along. We took the advice of our host Jonathan at the B&B - he hadn’t led us astray yet! He recommended we not go to the cloud forest national park reserve. He said it’s busy there because everyone wants to go to the cloud forest. He ... read more
Dave being Dave.
Curi-Cancha reserve
Selvatura hanging bridges

We started our trip up in the mountains, in the cloud forest at Monteverde. I had heard I could see nine species of hummingbirds in the cloud forest, and that was enough for me. Mom has never objected to a birding trip. There are a couple different roads up to Monteverde, which I didn’t bother to research. I grew up driving old logging roads in Washington and Idaho. However, I will say that parts of the road from Rancho Grande, labeled 606 on the map, are pretty rough and have some steep drop offs. I wouldn’t recommend it for people not used to unpaved mountain roads. On the way back down, we took 605 through Sarmiento and it was lovely. Mostly paved and with fewer drop offs, it has beautiful views of the Gulf of Nicoya ... read more
Monteverde Reserve
Violet Sabrewing

Tues 4-Wed 5 December - Day 39 to 40 - Santa Elena Travelling back through the old town of Quepos, once a very important port for the exportation of bananas we then ascend a steep and bumpy mountain road that offered great views over lush green hills that flatten to meet the Pacific Ocean. On the way we stopped at the crocodile river and had a short coffee break. After 3 ½ hours we reached the small town of Santa Elena, nestled up in the clouds and established by American Quakers in the 1950's. After dropping our bags off at the Don Taco Hotel which was at a top of a hill overlooking the town, we visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in search of the mysterious endangered Quetzal, a very rare and timid bird with incredibly ... read more
TreeTop Bridges Walk  Monteverde Costa Rica (5)
TreeTop Bridges Walk  Monteverde Costa Rica
Monteverde Cloud Forest National Park Costa Rica -Quetzal (52)

This morning we left the hotel at 7:00am to head to Monteverde Cloud Forest (a tropical rainforest). There is all kinds of plants, birds and mammals (sloth, monkey, ocelot, and pizote) that can be found in this rainforest. The drive took about 3.5 hours and the last 1-1.5 hours was uphill, curvy, bumpy (partly unpaved) road. The parking lot at the reserve was full, but the adventure tour company had room in their lot and were shuttling people the last kilometer to the reserve. The tickets were $22 for each adult. We started our walk towards the waterfall and It was a beautiful easy walk. We could hear so many different birds singing. This took around 45 minutes. We then headed towards the other side of the park and the suspension bridge over the cloud forest. ... read more

Freitag den 27. April wurden Rebecka und ich um 8h20 von unserem Shuttle nach Monteverde abgeholt. Zuerst fuhren wir 1 Stunde mit dem Shuttle von La Fortuna zum See, dann 45 Minuten mit dem Boot über den See, gefolgt von 5 Minuten mit unserem Gepäck zum nächsten Shuttle wandern, und dann nochmal 90 MInuten mit dem nächsten Shuttle nach Monteverde. Das Shuttle war ziemlich voll, aber die Fahrt war ganz ok und die Landschaft super schön. Der Busfahrer stoppte sogar einmal an einem besonders schönen Ort damit wir Photos machen konnten. :-) Die Straße vom See nach Monteverde erinnerte uns sehr stark an Guatemala, sehr schlecht, viele Löcher und unglaublich holprig. ^_^ Der Busfahrer ließ uns bei 100% Aventura raus, wo wir eine Ziplining Tour gebucht hatten. Wir kamen genau pünktlich zum Start der Tour an ... read more

On Friday, April 27th, Rebecka and I were picked up by our shuttle to Monteverde at 8:20AM. First, we had 1 hour in the shuttle to the lake, then 45 minutes on the ferry (more a boat than a ferry), followed by a short 5 minutes hike to the next shuttle, and then 1h30 more in another shuttle to Monteverde. The shuttle was quite full, but it was ok and the landscape was beautiful. :-) The bus driver even stopped once to let us take pictures of a particularly beautiful spot. The road from the ferry to Monteverde reminded us a lot about Guatemala, the road being really bad and bumpy. ^_^ The bus driver let us out at the 100% Aventura park. That’s where we had booked the canopy tour. We arrived just in time ... read more

We left SJ at about 9:45am (ish) in our rental car to head out to Santa Elena in the Monteverde area. A lot of travel sites recommended renting a 4-wheel drive vehicle for getting around Costa Rica, so we did. A substantial Nissan Xterra that looked sufficiently roomy...until of course we brought our luggage out. After some Tetris-like manoeuvring (which involved sacrificing some leg room for extra trunk space) we got all our gear in and hit the road. It was here I noted that I also forgot the clip (3) to mount my iPhone. Sheesh. On our last trip, T et moi used a great offline navigation app to get around and are doing the same this time, but no clip means the navigator holds the phone for the driver the whole time. With T ... read more
This patch of road looks decent
An agouti is by the front of the car
Mmmmmm coffee

After a bone jarring drive, especially for those in the back seat, we reached Monteverde. The surprise here was that the weather battering the US had reached this far south and the winds were howling and clouds covering the mountains. The rain in the upper elevation was being blown down into the town and so, while you might be standing in sunshine, there was always a mist--and this is supposed to be the start of the dry season! Of course, we were hungry and so headed for the recommended Taco Taco and were treated to the best plate of tacos I have had. Then off to the lodge. After being given incorrect directions to our lodging, we stopped at a hotel and were provided with a detailed map which we would need to find the place. ... read more
Red eyed frog
Climbing the Strangler Fig
Don't quit your day job

Ok so I'm writing this a little late but the final month has been a busy one! My first stop in Costa Rica was Monteverde. I had a few connections on my way from Nicaragua and the last one involved a three hour wait for the afternoon bus. I met some German travellers and we tried hitchhiking but it didn't work so we gave up and played cards using one of our backpacks as a table. We also saw a massive iguana who looked hungry so I gave him some leftover chicken. Monteverde was a lovely place, very much geared towards tourists but it didn't feel too busy when I was there. I went to Santa Elena, Curicancha and Monteverde cloud forest reserves. They were all very beautiful and reminded me how much I love being ... read more

This morning, after breakfast, the group headed to Don Juan Coffee Plantation to learn how Costa Rican coffee is produced. At the plantation, we discovered the difficult economics of growing coffee. Much work is involved but very little money is made in coffee production. During the coffee harvest from November to February, ripe coffee cherries are hand-picked. Each cherry contains about one to two coffee beans. Workers get paid based on the weight of coffee they pick. Most of the coffee pickers are from the neighbouring country Nicaragua, and receive minimal earnings for their hard labour. Furthermore, coffee farmers receive very little income to justify having a coffee plantation. Most of the money goes to the big corporations that buy the coffee and sell it for 3-4 dollars a cup. Farmers have to support themselves by ... read more
Canopy Tour Monteverde
Coffee Tour Monteverde
Coffee Tour Monteverde

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