Costa Rica

Monte Verde

Here you’ll find travel reports about Monte Verde. Discover travel destinations in Costa Rica of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

42 travelers at this place:

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  • Day13

    Chille rit, niets meer te zien van de aardbeving thv Jacó zo'n 1,5 week geleden. In Tarcoles is er een brug over de Tarcoles rivier, een natuurlijke habitat van Amerikaanse krokodillen. Er lagen er zo'n 15 dikzakken onder de brug te zonnen. Dat was het eigenlijk voor deze dag :P

    Aangekomen in onze bnb, gerund door een Française met een katje Minou (en haar man hebben we ook nog gezien). Spijtig dat we er zo laat waren, was echt een bangelijk mooie kamer, stijlvol ingericht.. De tuin was ook netjes onderhouden met een zwembadje. Top!

    's Avonds gaan eten in Rubí, Bryan nam een typische Tico (= Costa Ricaanse) schotel met biefstuk, rijst en bonen, plataan, frietjes.. Ik nam een burrito met frietjes. Beiden met een lekker biertje, het bier is hier écht goed! Smaakt enorm.

    De achtergrond van dit avondmaal: enkele tooghangers, kitsch kerstverlichting, een soort dansvloer met een scherm tegen de muur waarop YouTube filmpjes werden geprojecteerd. Dit waren filmpjes van een soort Tien Om Te Zien, Latijns-Amerikaanse stijl, van Spaanse klassiekers uit de jaren 70 (of vroeger denk ik zelfs). En die muziek stond LUID.

    Top avond!
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  • Day14

    Wekker om 4u. Rise and shine!
    Persoonlijk was ik reeds om 2u klaarwakker wegens de ontieglijk vele muggenbeten op mijn voeten en onderbenen. Heb een uurtje aan het krabbelen geweest en creme gesmeerd om de jeuk te doen stoppen, tevergeefs. Besloten om hierna maar wakker te blijven.

    Om 7u30 hadden we een ochtendlijke gegidste tocht geboekt van Monteverde. Blijkbaar waren wij de enige twee die geboekt hadden, kregen er een privé-gids bovenop! Vriendelijke dame deze gids. Onze tocht begon goed met een toucanet, de kleinste soort toucan. Mooi beest! Hierna een corridor bezocht waar al eens vaker quetzals (uitspraak ké-tsal) gespot worden. Na onze mislukte poging deze prachtbeesten te vinden in San Gerarda De Dota (normaal hier de beste kans) hadden we echter weinig hoop. En inderdaad, niets gezien. Wel nog een groene pitviper, giftige slang! Het pad ging voort naar een mooie waterval. Even uitgerust en terug gewandeld naar de corridor. Algemene consternatie, een andere gids had de quetzal zien vliegen! Ter info: tegen dan stonden we al een uur en half in de gietende regen, samen met tientallen andere toeristen. We splitsen ons even af van de grote meute.

    Onze gids deed haar uiterste best en opeens zagen zowel zij als Bryan iets vliegen. Zo'n quetzal is een 40cm groot met nog een staart van ettelijke tientallen centimeters en toch verdomd moeilijk te spotten. Maar eindelijk kwam hij in zicht. Ongelooflijk kleurrijk en fier beest. Niet te bevatten dat er zo'n vogels bestaan eigenlijk. In bijlage alvast een foto.
    Hierna ook nog het vrouwtje quetzal gespot, hoewel ook zij mooi gepluimd is, blijft het mannetje toch een heel ander kaliber van schoonheid.

    Toen de grote meute erbij kwam zijn wij rustig doorgewandeld. Hierna nog wat nieuwe soorten vogels gezien (er zijn er meer dan 800 in CR, dus genoeg om je dagen mee te vullen!), een tarantula met oranje knietjes, enkel hier te vinden en een wandelende tak. Leuke voormiddag, deze hebben we geëindigd aan het Colibri Cafe waar er tientallen verschillende soorten kolibri's rondvliegen. Indrukwekkend!

    Na ons kracht te hebben bijgegeten. en nadat ik eindelijk mijn kletsnatte trui en jas kon inwisselen voor droge exemplaren, zijn we er zelf op uit getrokken voor de namiddag.

    We hebben ons heel stil gehouden tijdens onze hike, en dat heeft geloond. We hebben een agouti gezien en er is een quetzal boven ons in de boom komen zitten, waardoor we deze van nóg dichterbij konden aanschouwen.
    Het reservaat is vaak gewenteld in een soort mist met regenbuien op tijd en stond, wat het een mysterieuze sfeer geeft. Het bos is weelderig, met enorm veel verschillende soorten planten.

    Onze eigenlijke missie was een katachtige spotten, maar dit is eigenlijk onbegonnen werk of je moest echt gigantisch veel chance hebben. Maar met alles wat we wel hebben gezien in Monteverde en tijdens deze reis mogen we zeker niet klagen :) Telkens we met locals/gidsen aan de praat geraken en vertellen wat we hebben gezien, krijgen we te horen hoeveel geluk we hebben. Dat denken we er ook over!

    Pizza gegeten in een soort restaurant/boomhut en richting onze studio gegaan. Supermooie kamer! En een warme douche! Ben niet zeker of ik dit al verteld heb, maar sinds onze eerste accomodatie hebben we geen warme douche meer gehad tot gisteren. Soms toch pittig. Soms ook zalig fris.

    Morgen ochtendlijke tocht met dezelfde gidse in Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve en dan richting Playa Del Coco!

    Pura vida!
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  • Day12

    Wir hatten beide eine andere Vorstellung von Monteverde. Zuerst einmal: die Strassen sind furchtbar. Zum Glück ist keine Hauptsaison und es war nicht überlaufen.
    Von einem Nebelwald erwartet man irgendwie doch, dass er immer im Nebel liegt. Vielleicht ist das Wetter schuld (aktuell ist die Phase von der Regen- zur Trockenzeit und da ist es häufig unbeständig und windig). Auf jeden Fall hatten wir einfach nur gutes Wetter. Am Abend und in der Nacht war es zwar verdammr kühl (an der Küste war es viiiiel wärmer), aber tagsüber war es fast zu heiss für diese Höhe (1500).
    Auf unserer Erkundungstour haben wir dann schon die vielen dichten Wolken gesehen, die sich am Berg der karibischen Seite stauen und auf der pazifischen Seite sofort auflösen. Geregnet hat es aber trotzdem nicht. Wenn dann nur weil der Wind die feinen Tröpfchen zu uns geweht hat.
    Auf jeden Fall war der Wald interessant. Auf den ersten Blick sieht der so aus wie bei uns, nur wachsen und leben ganz andere Dinge hier.
    Fadzinierend diese Vielfalt....
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  • Day32

    6.15am breakfast and 7am departure.

    Not a morning person.

    Better lake crossing as boat not crowded beyond the safety limit like last time!

    Border crossing into Costa Rica and we are told to keep together, watch our things carefully and when we are waiting form a circle with our bags in the middle.

    The crossing takes a while - someone had a Ukraine passport which delayed us at the Nicaraguan border then a few people didn't have proof of forward travel from Costa Rica which delays us at the Costa Rica border.

    Its so humid we are all drenched as we have to carry our bags through both border checkpoints.

    Next its a stop at a mall for lunch - the guide tells us that the supermarket does a very good buffet and so everyone rushes to Burgar King!

    Prices are high here compared to the rest of Central America except Belize which also has high prices.

    The currency is crazy at 525 costa rican to the american dollar so things cost 1000s and you have a wad of money.

    Punctured tyre on the way but finally got to Monteverde high in the mountains where its cold and windy at night for a change!! Cute town but back on the tourist trail now.

    Our hotel looks like a ski chalet and the rooms are very cosy with hot showers!!

    We go into town for dinner and I have a very expensive chicken tarrogon dish.

    Not many photos - few shots of the houses and a shop. The bus stop. Had lunch in a tree house!
    Told you things were expensive!
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  • Day63

    Monteverde translates to "green mountains", which accurately describes this area. Lush green forests cover the mountains and we welcomed the relief from the heat, even though we weren't particularly high to warrant a 10-15 degree drop from Nicaragua - only about 1500m.

    We stayed at Hammock House in Santa Elena, a small town similar to La Fortuna on the outskirts of the Monteverde Reserve. They cooked a mean pancake brekkie that got us going each morning and had a few hammocks to cement the name and pass the time. A wee balcony out the back

    Arriving mid-afternoon and again battling with a severe lack of free activities, we walked to see a huge old Ficus Tree/Florida strangler tree. These trees are neat. They have a strange growth habit due to an adaption of growing in dark forests where there's a fierce battle for light. They usually start as seeds dispersed by birds in the treetops then grow roots downward to envelope a host tree whilst also growing roots upwards for sunlight. In some instances the host tree dies, which leaves behind an empty column-like tree mould which is what we saw. This particular tree is amazingly tall and you can climb probably a good 20metres up inside of it. Nature is pretty cool huh.

    The Monteverde area is known for its lush green cloud forests, so we headed to one of the lesser known ones in the hope of escaping crowds and steeper prices. Santa Elena Reserve was only a 20 minute drive from our hostel but had a completely different climate. Microclimates they say. The sunshine we had in Santa Elena town was replaced with some heavy rain in the reserve. We got there early in the hope of having more of an opportunity of seeing wildlife and beating the crowds but I think the rain meant that people nor animals turned up! Unfortunately we didn't really see any wildlife here - mainly just a couple of insects. We heard lots of birds but rarely saw them and missed out on seeing the Resplendent Quetzal. This bird is supposedly one of the most beautiful in the world and this was the best chance we had of seeing one but obviously it was not to be. There a still a couple of other places we may see it, so there's still hope yet. To be fair, if I were an animal in that rain, I probably would have huddled up somewhere to hide too!

    We did a few different trails which ended up taking us around three hours, most of which was in the rain in an appropriately named rainforest. Even with the lack of wildlife, it was a beautiful area to walk. It reminded me a lot of New Zealand trails especially as there were so many ferns which looked very similar to the ones we have at home. It was epic to be amongst so much green again, especially considering it has been dry season everywhere we've been. And no litter in sight either. Hooray! Given only some of the paths were paved, we were all rather soggy and muddy by the end of it all.

    Back in the sunshine and warmth of Santa Elena town, we hit up one of the local coffee shops. Post cups of joe, we got talking to the guy working there and established that the cafe had only been open four days. It was part of a company that is well known for its coffee farm and tours in Monteverde, so he was impressed at the knowledge that Mike and I had learnt about coffee from our time in Central America. Before we knew it we were being sat down again whilst he made us all a Chemex style coffee for free using the specialty coffee from the farm. What a lovely guy.

    Mike's solo MERC the previous night had scouted us an awesome sunset spot, perched on the top of one of the hills, looking out over Lake Arenal. It was super windy but it was yet another amazing place to see the sun disappear. One of my favourite pastimes when travelling is the ability to find so many wicked places to watch the sunset and just having all the time in the world to do so. It's so calming and it's just something that always gets forgotten about when everyone is caught up in the daily grind.

    Monteverde was a stunning area, but unfortunately our backpacker budgets weren't up to the amount of tours and expensive activities such as zip-lining on offer here to warrant staying long. We're fine with it though, for Mike and I it's going to be tough to beat the zip-lining we did in Laos, and the others weren't down for the extortionate prices either! Next we're changing it up by heading out of the mountains and down to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio to be exact.
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  • Day22

    In the highlands of Monteverde we had to use our warm clothes for the first time. Ziplining through this special reserve called cloud forest, with the longest line being over 1km as well as with a big swing at the end, made us feel like Tarzan - or monkeys ;). The various hanging bridges and walkways completed this jungle book experience, making this endless looong and curvy gravel paths to get up there totally worth the journey!Read more

  • Day8

    Our next stop brought us to Monteverde, Santa Elena. Since we arrived around noon, we still had some time left for an activity, so we scanned the local ads and spontaneously decided to visit Curi Cancha Wildlife Refuge. We had a good time walking the trails and we had a great moment at a hummingbird feeding station. There were 3 or 4 of these hummingbird feeders and there were about 10 colorful hummingbirds all around the feeders - and all around us, as we stood in the middle of all the buzzing. An impressive moment, we really enjoyed this. :)

    In this park we also learned about the Continental Divide (I guess since we had never been to the American continent before, I had not heard of it - whoops!) and at the end of the day, when we waited for our traxi, we saw another Toucan, and a very beautiful one. <3
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  • Day156

    Arriving in Monteverde via boat the first thing we wanted to do was the longest zip line in South/ Central America. At first I didn't think it was as good as the ziplining that I did in Peru, because there they let you go upside down and they wouldn't here, but actually after doing a few it was really cool! You zip line right over the canopy of the cloudforest and for much longer than in Peru. The views are amazing and totally worth it.

    The next day we did two more walking tours of cloud forests and we saw more wildlife but it is starting to feel a bit samey and I'm getting to the end of them. We did however see a quetzal which is a rare bird and the symbol of Guatemala which was pretty cool! And lots of hummingbirds and an owl.

    The hotel we were staying in was another really nice one, although once again a bit far out of town. They had the nicest food ever, amazing views over the Pacific and a jacuzzi!

    Now we're off for five days at the beach on the Pacific coast in Guancaste. I'm really looking forward to it. It's cold and rainy in Monteverde and I'm starting to lose my tan. Next up is Potrero before heading crossing los frontieres en Nicaragua! Pura vida!
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  • Day68

    Staying at the hostel here is cheap! We pay about $24/night for a private room with a delicious breakfast in the morning. The hostel is run by a small family who are very helpful when trying to plan activities.

    Monteverde is little adventure packed town full of backpackers and famous for zip lining, bungee jumping and the cloud forest (because of the altitude).

    Recommend by the Hostel we booked into the Extremo Zip Line tour. A short drive on rugged dirt roads we arrive at the private property and get suited up with all the harnesses and safety gear. A few of the helmets already had go pro mounts which worked out well for Suki. After a brief safety induction we commence the zip lining starting off on the beginner trails. After a few smaller zips, we start travelling upto 1km across the valley with amazing panaramic views. The zip lines get faster and longer as we go.

    At one point we try a massive 'tarzan' swing with a 10m freefall sending you high into the treetops. The highlight was the 1km superman zip line (attached by a harness on your back) which you fly across the valley at an impressive pace.

    After a quick afternoon snooze at the hostel we took a drive to the turnoff for the 'Strangler Fig Tree'. A quick 5m downhill hike to and we approach a massive hollowed-out fig tree forming an internal spiral staircase. Putting our claustrophobic fears to one side, we started climbing to the top squeezing inbetween the branches in places. Once at the top, the view was worth the climb!

    For dinner we decided to go for the authentic option and eat at a soda (cheap local cuisine). After a massive feed, we got picked up for a forest night tour. Our guide was very passionate taking the time to get to know us and explain all the animals along the way. Tonight was an exceptional night where we were able to see a tarantula, 2-toed sloth, green viper snake, 2 scorpions making love, possum, endangered anteater, 2 different toucans, and a hummingbird. Suki was pissed that the sloth just hangout in the tree and looked nothing like the one in 'Ice Age'. Interesting fact: a sloth takes a dump only once a week and will lose 1/3 of their body weight.

    Big day and we were spent when we got back to our hostel. Back on the road tomorrow to La Fortuna.
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Monte Verde, Monteverde

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