It was day 3 and we had yet to cover the most adventurous part of our trip! 🙂 We began our journey towards the Monteverde Cloud forest that included a drive –> then ferry across the Arenal lake –> then another drive to the Monteverde forest. Of course, the drive included the infamous costa-rican “tropical massage” (AKA wildly bumpy ride on rocky roads).
Our itinerary at the Cloud Forest included a zip lining tour (butterfly garden for those who’re too chicken to brave the heights of zip lining – you know who you are! 😉 ), humming bird garden, and a short hike to look for exotic birds.
I don’t have any pictures of the zip lining tour which was entirely too much fun! (video coming soon) It is an hour-long zip line tour, so keep that in mind while you schedule the hike as you still want ample time for the hanging bridges. Right around sunset, the forest turns magical as the clouds start to descend into the forest and it starts to get misty and dark, and you’re literally walking on clouds!
Butterfly Garden – Beautiful and colorful butterflies everywhere!
Hummingbird Garden – Watching these birds is seriously a surreal experience; their vivid colors and “buzzing” sound (from those crazy wings) and they flew in a frenzy! We could have stayed and watched them for hours!
Finally, we embarked on our (short) hike in search of the elusive Quetzal! We were quickly rewarded for our efforts with a view of the resplendent bird in all its glory – the Quetzal (as our guide Santos would say!). A beautiful bird native to the cloud forest; vivid blue with a bright red front/chest and a yellow beak (sadly, we could not get a great shot of “her” even though we
chased followed her around quite a bit) but she was truly exquisite!
And of course, plenty of flora and fauna – all shapes, sizes and colors!
On Day 4, we hopped on a little plane that took us from the northern plains (Arenal) to the central pacific (Manuel Antonio)
Since we’re not the type to waste any time ;), we checked into our hotel Parador and headed straight for the Manuel Antonio forest and the beach. Our guide Danny was simply awesome and we managed to see some really great wildlife!
After a couple of hours, we walked along the beach as we made our way back towards the entrance. The water glistened against the setting sun…
In true Indiana-Jones-fashion, Danny suggested we cross a river on our way back as a “shortcut” to the exit; and we were quick to follow his suggestion! It had been a long day; and we had spotted all the major “sightings” (read animals) for the day. And then! We were
fortunate to spot one last park inhabitant…the CROCODILE! worry not – we had a bit of land between us and the crocodile, and as Danny pointed out; “we weren’t really on the menu on Sundays” 🙂 phew!
The next day we relaxed by the beach (well sort of…) as it involved being stuck in a cove at high tide, jet skiing at the beach to spot sun-bathing Pelicans and a bit of reading. We watched the sun go down, and laughed over all the highlights/adventures from the past few days; and tabled ideas for our next vacation (did I mention it’s still cold in NYC!)
Overall, another great trip with the best of friends – Pura Vida!
Hope you enjoyed reading!