Now that Laurens Mom and sister have arrived we had some exploring to do! We loaded up the rental Toyota Rav4 with all our gear and hit the road. Our first destination was the Monteverde cloud forest up in the mountains. We waved goodbye to Brad and Sheena, plugged the coords into the GPS and away we went.
It was a beautiful paved highway drive back towards the northern side of Costa Rica. After about an hour we turned off the highway and started down some smaller paved roads, which gave way to a potholed road, which eventually gave way to straight dirt track. Ahhh… GPS how I love the adventures you take us on.
The dirt track took us up into the mountains through some fairly decent offroading action for a rental Toyota Rav4. I had to use 4×4 twice to get up some steep skree track. Banging up this rough and rugged road we successfully scared the crap out of Lauren’s Mom who kept mumbling something about a “deposit”…
Lauren assured her this kind of driving was quite normal in Central America and away we went. The scenery was beautiful and as long as I kept the RAV4 a decent distance away from the sheer cliff drop off everyone was happy.
View from top of the pass. You can see the Nicoya peninsula and Golf of Nicoya off in the distance
View towards Monteverde, You can see all the clouds hovering over the “cloud forest”
We eventually arrived in Santa Elena, where Carly had booked us a cool little apartment complete with kitchen so we could cook most of our meals. We settled in and got to eatin’ and drinking.
View from the apartment
Next morning we were up early to see the sights. First thing first. Coffee.
The coffee is served in traditional Costa Rican style. The device is called a “Chorreador” and consists of a cotton bag which is filled with grounds and hot water is poured through.
As you can see, Carly is very excited about the coffee. Yes… Yess!
Finished product. Delecious
After getting our caffeine boost we headed to the “Butterfly Garden”. I was thinking… Ohhh great. Butterflies. This is going to be lame. Suprisingly enough it turned out to be very interesting. We got to see and interact with some cool butterflies and bugs.
Lauren’s Momma with a Blue Morpho
The girls got to release some freshly hatched? butterflys into the garden.
A translucent butterfly
Giangantic Rhinoceros beetle, dude was huge.
Crazy Camo stick bug, looks just like moss.
After playing with bugs for a while we split and headed towards the actual MonteVerde cloud forest.
We got there kind of late in the day, so we did not have much time to enjoy but it was still a beautiful place. We spotted some Coatis and some Toucanettes.
Next morning we woke up early and headed up the road for a bit of Costa Rica’s #1 tourist attraction. ZIP-LINING!
We suited up in all of our safety gear.
And off we goooooooooooo. Lauren’s Mom was a champ.
We had lots of fun zipping around from mountain to mountain. Ziplining is one of those things you just have to do while in Costa Rica. Its pretty much mandatory.
They also had an activity called the “Tarzan swing” which consists of you basically jumping off the end of a long platform, free-falling for about 10 seconds, then swinging wildly over the tops of the trees. Sounds like fun…
Lauren walking to her doom
You can hear Lauren scream as she falls to her death
We had our fair share of the cloud forest and went to check out the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Our destination was Puerto Viejo.
After a long drive across Costa Rica we arrived, Beachside in Puerto Viejo
Carly found us this sweet cabin with bunkbeds!
We spent lots of time just lounging out on the beach
Showing Carly some of my karate “moves”
Enjoying some “Guaro”. Costa Rican hooch
We also headed over to Cahuita National Park where we found some howler monkeys doin some lounging as well.
Puerto Viejo was a cool place with a rasta vibe. Entirely different feel than the rest of the country. Due to the fact that it was settled primarily by Caribbean people brought over to work the banana plantations.
The beach had also some amazing sunsets.
I wish we had more time to spend here but alas we must go! Lauren’s Dad is arriving soon and we had to high-tail it back to the airport once again.