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

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Curi Cancha reserve is about 3KM from Monteverde Cloud Reserve. Most people skip it because they think the two are similar but I had read it has really good bird life, so I decided to visit it. Which meant walking the 3KM to get to the reserve and then doing the trails inside the reserve. The entry fee is $20 and the reserve shuts at 3PM, so important to time things well. I did couple of the trails inside Curi Cancha, but hadn't seen any birds or animals and it was appearing as if my decision wasn't a smart one. Then I stopped at a view point where I noticed some butterflies and I was watching them and suddenly I noticed hummingbirds. I have never seen one up close and this one was particularly close, fearless, ... read more
Curi Cancha trail map
Life on life
Agouti


I landed in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. I had kept a few days just to recover from my long flight, see the city a bit which I did (it has some great museums, but since am into that much, I didn't do any). I explored San Jose like a local (well as much as I could), ate at Sodas (these are small local joints, tasty and cheap food, you will find mostly locals eating there). The dish that is most well known in Costa Rica is Gallo Pinto (pronounced as Gajo Pinto), which is made from rice, black beans, served with an egg (scrambled/poached) and can have add on of ham or other stuff you want and sweet plantain (tastes like banana, it's not banana though). Overall San Jose was a good stopover ... read more
Selina Monteverde Entrance


Monteverde (translates to Green Mountains), at an altitude of 1300 meters or so is known for its Cloud Forests. I had decided to hike in Monteverde Cloud Reserve and Curi Cancha Reserve. From the parking lot, the entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest is 1.4KM, there is a bus that leaves from parking every 10-15 minutes to take people. I decided to walk it though. My first few hundred meters on a flat road, my lungs were beginning to burn, I was breathing heavy. I realised the issue. The air is crisp, pure, cold. I am not used to that living in Mumbai. After a few minutes, my lungs got used to that and started enjoying the walk. I had pre-booked my ticket to Monteverde Cloud Forest (US$ 25 per person for foreigners). Monteverde has multiple ... read more
Monteverde Cloud Reserve - Trail Map
Monteverde Cloud Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Reserve


After another rubbish night’s sleep in the rubbish bed, we get up and go for breakfast. The toxic pineapple juice makes a return appearance. He also brings a jug. I hear ‘agua para ti’ (water for you) so attempt to dilute my juice. Apparently, he said ‘agua para té’ (water for tea) and it is boiling water, which causes the fluorescent yellow liquid to bubble alarmingly. This morning is a toss up between another cloud forest reserve and Selvatura for a 3 km treetop walkway consisting of 8 bridges, the longest being almost 200 metres long. I’m terrified of heights and very much prefer to have my feet firmly on the ground, so my choice would be the cloud forest. However, my running club is doing a series of challenges this month, and one requires other ... read more
Embarking on bridge no. 1
Still smiling
Bridge No. 4


Not the best night’s sleep as the bed is small and uncomfortable. We get up and have breakfast - which reviews describe as ‘simple but tasty’. They’re half right! It comes with ‘juice’ of some undeterminable fruit (it tastes like flat Vimto). We ask the proprietor what flavour it is. He doesn’t know either, goes and checks the packet and returns to tell us it’s ‘grape’. The old man asks for different juice and a new packet is duly opened – this time it’s ‘pineapple’ and drinking it makes my eyes water. Breakfast is scrambled eggs on toast – no plantain :( After breakfast, we head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It’s only 2 miles away, but a few hundred metres higher in elevation, which brings us up into the clouds. We have to park a ... read more
Sendero Nuboso
Sendero Nuboso
Sendero Nuboso


Today we have a 3 hour drive to Monteverde. First, time for a buffet breakfast at Coco Viquez; pancakes with plantain and pineapple again – yay! With a month of our trip left, I’m already starting to panic about sourcing my plantain habit when we return to Bournemouth. We take one last walk along the beach before checkout. After the chaos of the weekend and hoards of day trippers, it’s quiet today. The only evidence of the weekend crowds are the bags of garbage left behind being picked over by vultures. We join the handful of American snowbirds taking a morning constitutional. The sea is like glass this morning (a kind of greenish-black glass). It’s hard to believe I nearly got taken out by a wave yesterday. Once I have laid out yesterday’s laundry on the ... read more
Lizard
Pancakes
Mmm - garbage


Blue is the favorite color of both me and my dear Mom. How many of you know your Mom's favorite color? Anyway, the point I want to make, is that during some of my travels, I have seen the bluest of blues. It never occurred to me, to make note of the "bluest blues" on my travels. The first moment came while at Monteverde, Costa Rica. I woke one morning, sat on the deck with my coffee, and gazed west to the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, it hit me. This was the bluest blue I have ever seen! I wish I could find my photos. Since then, the bluest blues have come and gone, always reminding me of those two days in Monteverde (twice visited). For those of you unfamiliar with Monteverde, it is the central point ... read more
Grand Teton NP
Glacier NP


We had decided that it would be in our best interest to not go zip lining or hike to cross the Hanging Bridges, so after breakfast at the hotel we hopped on a shuttle that runs within the hotel to go up to the canopy. Up at the canopy we hoped to see some different birds as there are birds that only live in the high elevations. Upon arriving at the canopy, the young man working there noticed our cameras and set about refilling the hummingbird feeder. As soon as he replaced the feeder, a variety of hummingbirds appeared. Sometimes as many a five at a time. Christian then came out and started looking with us to find other birds in the trees. After a time, he suggested that he might know where we could find ... read more
DSC03806 green hummingbird
Violet Sabrewing
Green Violetear


We awoke again to overcast skies and the volcano was not visible. At breakfast we again looked for birds at the feeder. There were not as many as yesterday and no new species. Today was a travel day with a hike into Arenal Lake before moving on to Monteverde and the cloud forest. The "hike" was along a paved trail through the rain forest. We had a brief glimpse at a peccary that did not stay around long enough for a photo. Leafcutter ants were in abundance, but birds were scarce. I had one quick look at a woodcreeper. The lake hosted a couple of Muscovy Ducks. As we returned to our bus, the rain forest lived up to its name with a cloud burst of rain as we hustled up the trail. Back on the ... read more
Scarlet-rumped Tanager
Female Scarlet-rumped Tanager
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird


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




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