Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Travel Tuesdays: Costa Rica - Part III

After 3 awesome days in Arenal we were ready for our transfer to Monteverde.  At 4,662 ft above sea level, the area is best known for it's cloud forests.  We were excited to see the beautiful forests, but had quite a trek to get there.  We chose to make our transfer to Monteverde one of our Costa Rica adventures.  I told you we can't sit still when we're on vacation!  We started with a short boat ride across Lake Arenal

 and then rode horses through beautiful trails the majority of the way to Monteverde.  
It was a really beautiful ride with a cute little stream at the end
but this transfer definitely kicked our butts!  We covered a good amount of distance, and the horses made good time, so it was a bumpy ride.  When we arrived at El Establo, our hotel in Monteverde, we barely took the time to admire the gorgeous grounds before we took advantage of the nice soak tub in our bathroom!  We thought about getting massages at the hotel spa to heal our sore muscles, but decided to rest and relax and save our massages for the next (and last) destination.  Looking back we probably should've done both! 

We only spent 2 nights in Monteverde, leaving us one day to explore the cloud forests.  Honestly, 2 nights was the perfect amount of time to spend in Monteverde.  It's absolutely gorgeous, but it's not as warm due to the altitude, and the cloud forest is really the only exciting thing to see there.  So we spent our one full day in Monteverde hiking and taking a guided tour of Monteverde's Cloud Forest Reserve.  While there are plenty of exotic animals to see in Costa Rica's rain forests, like sloths and monkeys, Monteverde is known for it's lush vegetation and bird inhabitants.  In fact, many people were there for the sole purpose of spotting an incredibly rare bird called a Quetzal.  We had never even heard of such a thing and really did not care if we saw one or not, so of course we did!  Now I can proudly say that I've seen a quetzal in my lifetime!  One of the many things I love about Costa Rica is the country's focus on the environment.  They take ecotourism very seriously.  All of our hotels stressed the conservation of water and energy, and all of them had their own composting systems.  Costa Rica's Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the few places quetzals still inhabit that is focusing on the preservation of the species.  So, while seeing the bird itself wasn't that exciting for me, I am really glad that Costa Rica is doing it's part to save it!

Here are some photo highlights of our stay in Monteverde:

I'm really glad we went to Monteverde.  We love nature and it was a beautiful place to experience it.  However, if you have a limited amount of time to spend in Costa Rica, I would say skip it.  There are other parts of Costa Rica that I think are even more enjoyable.  One of them is Manual Anotonio, the final destination of our honeymoon.  Check back next week for the final post in my Costa Rica recap!

1 comment:

  1. It looks really pretty to me! Definitely should have gotten two massages!