Santa Elena

Monteverde Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 9 › view all entries
Since we didn't want to miss our bus at 6:30 AM, we grabbed a cab at 6:00. After a 5min drive, the cab driver wanted to charge us $5. However, he hadn't met my girlfriend before and she made him very clear, in fluent Spanish, that he could f*** off. He wanted to drive off immediately, afraid of the police watching the scene from a couple of hundred meters away. Despite his attempt to rip us off, we did pay him a more reasonable amount: $2.

The busses in Costa Rica are (overall) very good, you can tell that this is transport number 1 over here. Not only that, but all the people that get on board are great: guitarists, people selling food and drinks, people selling wallets, etc, etc. It's beautiful.

We wanted to stay in the less crowded area of Santa Elena instead of Monteverde, so we decided to stay at the Arco Iris Lodge. The first night we spent in a shared cabin, the second in a private one. I can recommend this place to anyone, not too shy to pay a bit more for a stay. That evening, we went for dinner at Sofia's: delicious food.  It did take us quite a while to get there by foot (rain, mud...we should have taken a cab), but it was worth it. It was also my first experience with Imperial, Costa Rica's local beer. Many would follow.

On the 18th, we decided it was time for some action, so first a guided tour through the cloudforest of Monteverde. We were picked up at our lodge at 6:45AM and were dropped off at the Santa Elena Reserve half an hour later. A cloudforest is soaking wet. All the time. It's really worth it to take a guided tour, since the guide knows so much and knows where and when to spot animals. It's a beautiful experience to hike through the jungle for 4 hours. During this trip the number of animals were quite low (they get out at night, so if you have the time, also book a nighttour), but we were able to spot howler monkey's (they throw shit and piss on you), bugs, a lot of birds, a centipede and bats. After the hike we ate a great dish of Tico-food: rice, beans and pork chops, including a great coffee (Costa Rica serves great coffee) for a lousy $2.

Next, we did a canopy tour. Do it if you're in Monteverde. A beautiful experience. Basically, you fly, on your own, over the rooftops of the forest (100m above the ground) and through it, at quite a speed. It took us 2 hours. The guys working at the canpoy use the cables as a race track. These guys are crazy.

After the canpoy tour, we did a tour (no guide) through the rooftops, by making use of the hanging, suspended bridges. We spotted a group of around 8 capucin monkeys. That night we slept in our upgraded room, which was not worth the extra money. So if you're staying at Arco Iris Lodge, opt for the shared cabin.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: smhirsch