Monteverde Cloud Forest: 31 km (19 mi)
We have breakfast at 6:45 a.m. already since we have to be at Monteverde Cloud Forest at 7:30 a.m. They serve fresh fruit, pancakes with maple syrup and a very good coffee. Best of all however is the weather: sun and a partly blue sky. We can’t believe our luck.
At the entrance station of the cloud forest reserve we have to pay an entrance fee of 17 $ per person. On top of that the same amount is due for our guide Ricardo. Besides us there is another German couple from Dortmund joining the tour. Ricardo is a local with US roots who has grown up in the Monteverde area. He speaks American English fluently.
Here in the cloud forest the weather is not as good as in Santa Elena. There is a slight drizzle, but this is absolutely normal. After all we are in cloud forest. But we also have dry moments and sometime even can see the sun. All in all perfect conditions for our visit. And due to the many high trees most of the rain doesn’t really bother us since it even doesn’t reach the ground.
The tour lasts abt 3 ½ hours and is very interesting. Ricardo knows a lot about flora and fauna. He carries with him a big telescope which he always brings in position when he has spotted an interesting bird which would have remained invisible for us being here on our own. In fact he manages twice to detect a Quetzal. We have a chance to admire this beautiful bird and even take a picture through the telescope. Unfortunately the quality of the pictures however is quite poor.
The lush vegetation and the many educational explanations are very impressing. Mother nature is really doing a great job here. Without our guide we would have seen nothing but green leaves. So if you come to this place please follow our strong advice and do take a guide!
At the end of the tour we have a chance to watch numerous hummingbirds. They can be seen at the coffee shop near the park entrance where they are attracted with sugar water. We say good bye to Ricardo and return to the cloud forest for a walk on our own. But as expected we don’t see anything worth to be mentioned.
Around noon we are back to Santa Elena deliberating how to spend the afternoon. I would like to do a canopy tour, but this is nothing for Elke because she is afraid of heights. Nevertheless we decide to drive to Selvatura Park because they do not only offer canopy tours but also other attractions. So there would be something for Elke as well.
O.K., let’s go! But having just left Santa Elena it begins to rain and I really don’t feel like doing a canopy tour during rain. We react flexibly and decide to do the “sky walk” instead, a walk over a system of several swinging bridges. It’s also on the way to Selvatura Park. So we don’t have to detour. When we arrive there however the rain has become stronger. We wait for a while, but it’s not getting better. On the contrary, the weather is even getting worse.
We abondon our plans and return to Santa Elena. First we have a cup of cappuccino and then we drive to the frog museum “frog pond” where we enjoy a private tour (12 $ per person). There are numerous terrariums where we can marvel at Costa Rica’s colourful frog variety. That’s much more interesting than we have imagined. Our funny guide gives us a lot of impressing information about the frogs living in Costa Rica. Most of them are extremely small. Incredible! The price for the 45 minute tour isn’t cheap, but it’s well worth it. And not to forget: there is no rain inside the museum!
We spend the remaining time until dinner on our patio reading and writing our travellogue. It’s pouring with rain all the time. No weather for walking. We ask Jose to call us a taxi which get’s us to town for just 1000 Colones (2 $). In Germany no taxi driver would even start the engine for so little money. As we did the day before we decide again for the the tree house. We have nachos and pizza and some mojitos to drown our sorrow about the rain. Back to the lodge we take again a taxi.