La Fortuna days 3-5.
Just a ten minute drive over the hill, from our cabin in Santa Elena to the cloud forests of Monteverde, the climate changed from warm and arid, to tropical and lush. We spent the day hiking through the clouds in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The rain was perpetual. The landscape, ethereal. The mist hung in the air, blanketing the forest with stillness.
We didn't see many creatures (which is fairly expected with a toddler, and without a guide), except for a couple curious coatis in the parking lot. That became our running joke- it seemed like we always spotted wildlife in the unlikeliest of places.
As the sun set, we savored chocolates (made right at a chocolate farm) and sipped wine. The wind howled outside our cabin.
We gained a new perspective of the cloud forest at Selvatura Park. Hanging bridges allowed us to meander through the tree tops and admire the canopy. Howler monkeys swung on branches in the distance. Independent juni pouted when I made him hold my hand on the (very high!) bridges. When not riding in the backpack, we lured him down the path with the promise of bug discoveries.
We stopped at Taco Taco for lunch (one of many lunches, actually). The avocado tacos were photo worthy- they were damn good.
After a dip in the pool and a nap for juni, we set out to Children's Eternal Rainforest for a night hike. Donning flashlights and brave faces, our guide, Edwardo, led us through the rainforest, in search of critters. Fireflies helped illuminate the path. My favorite finds included glowing beetles, a huge tarantula and a sleeping blue-crowned motmot. Juni mostly munched on a carrot and looked around, but would get REALLY excited when a bug was spotted. At the end of the hike, after our last find- a couple of scorpions, Edwardo shared that instead of having cats and dogs as pets, he allows scorpions and tarantulas in his home. Perhaps not...but his point was that creatures of the night don't need to be feared, but rather, understood. He told us he speaks their language (and I liked that- reminded me of something juni would have said).
Where we stayed:
Cabanas la Pradera
Where we played:
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Children's Eternal Rainforest
*awesome deck for eating + chocolates!
TIP: bring warm layers and rain gear!
The adventure continues days 8-9.