Blogs from Monteverde, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 6


So the time has arrived where we are changing projects. Our extended weekend was absolutely amazing as the adventure part really started in here in Monteverde! It was finally a beautiful day in the area and so many less rain clouds that we were able to actually see Arenal Volcano! After arriving back from La Fortuna we got dropped off at the Hotel Montelena where we were once again greeted by the very friendly staff. We waited for our ride Olivier and said our goodbye to Amy. We got into the microbus with Olivier and as we expected he spoke only Spanish. He was nice enough to stop along the way at a couple of viewpoints. The second was the highlight as we were about 250 ft above the farm valley looking down at the farm ... read more
Que Bonita!

This post is well overdue and is quite long, however it is well worth the read! Friday morning we woke bright and early at 5:00 to catch the 6:30 am bus from San Jose to Monteverde. The trip is only about 160 km but it takes 4 hours; this is partly due to factors such as city traffic and multiple stops, but mainly it is because the roads into Monteverde are crazy. The last 18 km of the trip accounted for a whole hour of the travel time! This section of road is extremely narrow with many tight turns and ascents, with a fairly steep drop off on the side! In several places we came to standoffs with approaching vehicles where someone had to back up and make space for the other to pass. It didn't ... read more
Curvy Road
Cafe con Leche
Farmers´ Market

Actually the fancy dress wasn’t to bad! Howard and I went as Poms on Tour – he wore his Boro shirt and I rolled up my trouser legs, wore socks with sandals, put a knotted hanky on my head and stuffed a towel into my t shirt to make a beer belly! Grabbed a bottle of beer and put a fag in my mouth - It got a few laughs, others made more of an effort and Martin went as the Prince of Persia using bed sheets etc with his girlfriend on a leash dressed up as a panther – where she got the ears from I have no idea! Ronnie had arranged for the local dance school to come and do some traditional dancing for us which was nice, even nicer as they didn’t try ... read more
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Monte Verde, Costa Rica

We made the decision early on to blitz through Costa Rica, just picking out some highlights. Though beautiful, it's comparatively expensive compared to the rest of CAm and after two weeks in the Corn Islands we had our fill of beautiful beaches. Along with Mike we traveled a couple of hours up into the hills of Monteverde which is renowned for it's pristine Cloud Forests and abundance of birds and other animals, and famed for a host of outdoor activities including ziplining, hiking and canyoning. The change in temperature was remarkable, having just come from the Pacific Coast, we suddenly found ourselves digging out jackets and long pants to keep warm as the thick mists descended upon us. We came here to go ziplining in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. We chose Salvatura as it has 3km ... read more
Dave coming in for a landing
Swing Bridge Monteverde
Melbourne Cup Sweepstakes

12/10/11 Woke up, weather still really bad. Grey, windy and rainy but not cold still 28d. Had a typical Salvadorian brekkie of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and onions served with refried beans and some salty cheese like feta. You also normally get fried plantain as well but they must have ran out as had papaya. The coffee was bad. Got a lift to El Cuco a village a 15 min drive away down a bumpy road. The town is pretty shoddy, we went to a place to use the internet and managed to check the weather and surf forecast but the internet was really slow and we had a power cut three times so we gave up in the end. We did manage to find out that we’re in a tropical depression as there’s a ... read more
Concrete barrel
Sleeping swines
Flood in Nicaragua

Sorry, not a lot of pictures for this one... Today we decided to relax a bit. We woke up later in the day and ate some breakfast. Then, headed down the hill to the Frog Pond. We bought tickets and got a guided tour. Lots of frogs... But, they were all sleeping! Almost all of them. Apparently frogs are, for the most part, nocturnal. Luckily, the tickets were good for the whole day, so we left and decided to come back later. Nap, eat, nap... After some much needed r&r, the sun had gone down and we returned to the frog pond. At night, the pond was a different world. The frogs were all awake and croaking. Most of them were right at the front of their cages. Plus, they were much easier to spot given ... read more
Monteverde streets

First thing in the morning, dropped off the rental car, walked to grab breakfast, checked out, then hopped in a van for the jeep-boat-jeep to Monteverde (it would be more aptly named van-boat-van). The van took us down some decent roads to Lake Arenal where we hopped into a large boat. This was the first point in the trip where Shavonn and I wish we'd brought backpacks instead of luggage. It was pretty muddy from the van to the boat, and we had to carry the rather heavy suitcases. The boat ride was about 45 minutes and consisted of relaxing in a cool breeze surrounded by beautiful scenery. It more than made up for carrying the luggage. :) At the end of the boat ride, we hopped into our next van (with a quick photo shoot ... read more
Shavonn enjoying the trip
Beautiful hills
Our van

Monteverde is a little town high up in the mountains, north of San Jose. Due to the poor road network, it takes a long time to get there. Traveling to this area is best in the dry season, as many of the roads are impassable in the rainy season. Monteverde is a cloud forest and is home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and several smaller biological stations that conduct research and work on sustainability and preservation initiatives. Monteverde was interesting. Besides being very challenging to get to, it was also challenging to live in. We thought our first apartment was too good to be true, and we were right. After purchasing a months worth of food, we were asked to leave after only 2 days. We were particularly bad tenants, you know, we did foolish ... read more
Monteverde National Park
Arenal & Monteverde 032
Arenal & Monteverde 039a

We knew Friday would be our last day in Monteverde. For this reason, we saved the best for last. We decided to finally see the eponymous cloud forest that is the reason that so many people come to this place. Yes, it is immensely popular and we saw more people there than anywhere else we went, but there was definitely a reason for it. The forest is amazing, with all the moss growing off the trees, trees growing upon trees, green everywhere - it looks much like the move Avatar - otherworldly. At one point, we came upon a vista of a huge tree that seemed like all of its branches had other trees or plants growing on it - it was so big, that it reminded me of that big fake tree in the middle ... read more

We have been here since Sunday, but today was the best day by far. Unfortunately Alli was too sick, so she stayed in the house to sleep. Mike, Mo, and Amelia - and Shannon and Kai (I'm Shannon) got a fairly early start (though not by Monteverde standards) and were off to the Ecological Sanctuary. The Ecological Sanctuary is a privately owned reserve, and much of it was formerly banana and coffee plantation, and other parts of it are secondary forest. I don't think there is any primary forest, so it's not at all like, say, the big reserves. We pulled into the parking lot and a woman explained - in Spanish - about all the trails. She spoke slowly and we understood it completely - some trails are very easy, others a bit harder, and ... read more

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