Costa Rica is a paradise for everyone who loves nature and animals. Everyone who has already been there can confirm that. I would have loved to see a lot more of this amazing country but even though it’s actually not that big, it is quite hard to get around. I was pretty spoiled by the awesome transportation options in Mexico, so I didn’t really get used to the higher prices and worse street conditions in Costa Rica. In general Costa Rica appeared to me a lot more European than Mexico but this wasn’t the case with transportation. There are a lot of private bus and shuttle service which are the usual options but if you look well enough you can find some local services which are cheaper. However it’s not as easy as checking a page on the internet and having everything at one glance. Even though getting around isn’t super easy, my dear friend Dyon and me ended up in beautiful Monteverde. It translates as „Green Mountain“ and this is a pretty accurate description as Monteverde is home to the famous Cloud Forest with the red hanging bridge. In this article I wanna show you the beauty of this rather cold and rainy but none the less fascinating place where seeing rainbows is on a daily basis.
As soon as we arrived to our hostel we checked the activities in the area. We arrived quite late so after a short rest we decided to join the night walk in the jungle. Yes, this was a guided tour we booked, for several reasons. First, heading into the jungle at night alone just the two of us didn’t appear as such an appealing idea to us. We weren’t really keen on getting lost or on stumbling into a snake by accident. And to be honest, we wouldn’t have seen any of the animals we have seen with our guide. He knew where and what to look for and how to not disturb the animals by looking for them. Some of the animals were high up in trees and we wouldn’t even have had a clue what to look for. That being said we didn’t regret it at all. We saw super fascinating animals some of which I don’t even remember the name. My personal highlight was seeing the tarantula at the end of our walk. A couple of years ago I was super scared of any kind of spiders but it is actually a great difference to see these animals in their natural surroundings. It reminded me of the fact that this is their home and I am only there to visit. In that moment where the spider came crawling out of its hole I was reminded of paying respect to life on earth and yes, this includes spiders. Even though I definitely fell in love with some of the puffy birds or furry mammals.
Bird Watching Tour
For reasons that I already mentioned above, we decided to join a guided Bird Watching Tour. And whoever might think „Oh, well, that’s just some feathery animals, nothing special“ is absolutely wrong. This is not just some black crow sitting on top of a tree. Take the Quetzal, for example. This was a holy bird in Mayan culture in such extent that one of their gods carry its name: Quetzalcóatl, the feathered snake. In Guatemala the currency is called Quetzal and it’s even their flag symbol. And let me tell you, this bird is the most beautiful flying creature I have ever seen! It’s not guaranteed to see a Quetzal as they’re hard to spot and it depends on the season. But we were lucky to even see a male and a female one. We also spotted a sloth hanging high up in the trees and at the end we could even observe some hummingbirds flying around. Another stop during the tour is the famous red hanging bridge. It seems to practically disappear in the thick fog that’s covering the whole Cloud Forest (and which obviously gives it its name). Even though the tour starts pretty early at 7AM it is absolutely worth it. Just dress properly as it can get pretty cold.
Have you always wanted to fly up in the sky, high above the trees and disappearing into the fog? Well, then Zip Lining (or Canopy as they call it) is a Must on your To Do List in Monteverde. Even though there are several places where you can do it all over the world, I would highly recommend you to do it in Monteverde. It’s a magical feeling to jump into the emptiness and letting yourself float into the fog. You don’t know when you get to the next base and sometimes you even float for minutes. There were some parts where Dyon and me even went together on one zip line and sharing that experience is amazing. There are some zip lining companies that offer rides with really high speeds but the one we decided for Aventura Canopy Tour. Prices are relatively high, so better prepare to spend some money, but you won’t regret it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime activity. They also take pictures of you during the zip lining and you can buy them afterwards. It was about 30US$ for almost 20 pictures of the two of us which was a little too pricey at that moment but in case you want to have them, calculate that into your budget. Keep in mind that this might be the only chance for you to have pictures as it is rainy in the Cloud Forest and you wouldn’t wanna drop your phone or your camera from these heights.
We booked all our tours via our hostel Pensión Santa Elena. So in case you would wanna do one as well, just check out their website or pass by the hostel directly. I can also recommend the hostel in terms of prices and service. You have great breakfast just around the corner in the little bistro.