Santa Elena Birdwalk and The Cheese Factory

Santa Elena Travel Blog

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Garrett and Rachel on the lookout tower at Santa Elena. We could see five volcanos on this rare sunny day.

Today we ventured out for another guided birdwalk, but not as early in the morning.  We weren´t as lucky in some ways today, because it was sunny in the rainforest!  This meant that a lot of the birds weren´t very active since it was hotter than usual and the bright sun was a little confusing.  However, this afforded us a beautiful view of the surrounding area from a high tower.  We were able to see 5 of Costa Rica´s most famous volcanos surrounding the reserve.  There was one bird in particular that we wanted to see in the Santa Elena Reserve:  the male three-wattled bellbird.  Luckily, our guide was able to find one for us to watch since they like to perch on the same branches all the time.  There are only about 50 of these birds in the Santa Elena Reserve and the numbers are decreasing every year.

Butterfly at the Santa Elena Reserve

After our walk, we left the reserve and headed to the Cheese Factory for a tour and ice cream made on-site!  In the 1950s, a group of Quakers moved to Monteverde from the US because they didn´t believe in the draft.  They chose Monteverde because of its high elevation and therefore more tolerable weather, and relative lack of dangerous diseases.  They started a cheese factory that has since grown to be the larger cheese producer in Costa Rica.  They use high quality milk that is free of antibiotics and their cheese and ice cream is wonderful.  During the tour, we were able to see the whole process, from the delivery of the milk to the aging of the cheese.

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Garrett and Rachel on the lookout …
Garrett and Rachel on the lookout…
Butterfly at the Santa Elena Reser…
Butterfly at the Santa Elena Rese…
Santa Elena
photo by: Biedjee