Travel to Monteverde & Santa Elena

Monteverde Travel Blog

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Lake Arenal and our boat taxi

Last night the volcano made lots of noise.  Today at 5:30 marks the second out of three days I woke up from the “belch” like rumblings coming from Arenal Volcano.  It is great for tourism today but Noah said someday, the cone will collapse making a crater, and a lot of the pull for tourists to La Fortuna may be gone.

 This morning while I catch up on writing there is a lot of bird activity and I’ve watched a lot of humming birds buzz around me on the back porch.  It is very relaxing here and I am sad to leave not knowing what our next place will be like.  Some online reviews complained of scorpions in the room while other reviews were very positive.  So we will see soon.

awesome valley views. There's the rain storm coming to get us at lunch.

The first portion of the ride to Monteverde was short.  Which was good, because we were packed in the bus and it was very very hot.  We did see a coati along the way which is in the raccoon family, that was pretty cool.

Then we got out for our boat taxi across Arenal Lake.  This was a great change to our tightly packed bus.  It was cool, smooth and filled with great scenery.

The van ride after the boat ride was a different story.  The road was rocky, filled with potholes and stopping one time for a herd of cattle being ushered down the road made for a slow trip.  The bus climbed up a mountain, down then back up.  The view of the valleys and clouds were amazing and when we got out for a bathroom stop at Aventura tours we also found the temperature an 1200 ft.

Cruisin on the lake
to be quite cool.  The whole trip took about 3.5 hours.

   Upon arrival we checked into our hotel “Los Pinos.”  It had a few things going for it, we had our own cabin, tv, full kitchen etc.  However this was the middle of out trip so we needed to do some more laundry to get us all set for the rest of our time in Costa Rica.  We washed most of our clothes in the sink and hung them up for two days and they will never dry because of the dampness and humidity in the air.  Oops.

I still am not sure of the difference between Monteverde and Santa Elena.  They are twin towns and both offer an entrance to the Cloud Forest Park.  Los Pinos I think is close to the dividing line.

Coke in a bottle at Donde Henry's

After settling in Brenda and I walked into town to look for some lunch.  I think we went into Santa Elena.  The whole town is very hilly, it is on a mountain.  So the hike is very up and down but mostly down from Los Pinos.  Homes and shops and restaurants are mixed on the way in and the clouds were slowly drifting in leaving a haze through the town. 

 We stopped in and out of a few shops along the way and finally picked a small place to eat off the road called “Donde Henry.”  I was very good, a small place but delicious food.  It was set up like a buffet, but they served you  and you were charged by the item you chose.  $19 was our bill, but we ate a lot.  You could easily get out of there for less.  While we were eating the rain came in and it poured.  Donde Henry had a tin roof making it difficult to even hear Brenda who was just sitting across from me at the table and of course we did not bring our rain jackets.

We called a cab and I thought we would be screwed.  A driver could ask us to pay any price and we would be forced to pay.  The cab that picked us up didn’t even have a meter, but he had a chart and to any hotel in town it would cost only 1,000 colones ($2).  This could have been the most honest cab as Brenda said it was the best $2 ever spent.

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Lake Arenal  and our boat taxi
Lake Arenal and our boat taxi
awesome valley views.  Theres the…
awesome valley views. There's th…
Cruisin on the lake
Cruisin on the lake
Coke in a bottle at Donde Henrys
Coke in a bottle at Donde Henry's
Doing some laundry in the cabin
Doing some laundry in the cabin
Lake Arenal
Lake Arenal
Our cabin
Our cabin
banana trees right outside our cab…
banana trees right outside our ca…
Hola cucaracha on our couch.
Hola cucaracha on our couch.
cattle a caballero herding on the …
cattle a caballero herding on the…
coffee plant
coffee plant
Monteverde Hostels review
Cabins in the rainforest
Los Pinos offers nice little private cabins. Inside we had a full kitchen with supplies for cooking and a full bathroom (can’t put toilet paper in … read entire review
Monteverde
photo by: smhirsch