This July break, many staff and volunteers made the same plan without realizing it: to check Monteverde off of their “must-do in Costa Rica” lists. Some traveled together and others made their plans independently, but they all have stories (and tips) to share from their cloud forest adventures!
Lindsay Losasso: The Aerial Tram Tour
I traveled to Monteverde with Vinny and my parents over the July break. We had a really great time and were so impressed by the stunning beauty of the area. One afternoon, we checked out the guidebook for suggestions for something to do and came across an aerial tram tour through the jungle that promised lots of good views of wildlife. It ended up being one of the scariest/funniest things I have done in Costa Rica. The ride was so loud I’m sure we scared off all the animals within a five mile radius, and the rickety trams were in desperate need of a little TLC (our carts were literally sparking). Thankfully we made it through in one piece. The torrential downpour during the last 20 minutes of the ride definitely was the icing on the cake. I can guarantee we’ll never forget that afternoon in Monteverde!
Abigail Sampson: The Night Hike
A group of four volunteers and I spent a weekend in Monteverde during July break. We arrived in the little town of Santa Elena after a rugged journey in our tiny rental Yaris and immediately hit the trail for a guided night hike. I realized I had forgotten a sweater for the cooler climate, but luckily I had remembered two of the most important items: my head torch and camera. Our guide was fantastic at spotting all the night-time creatures, big and small. During our evening walk we saw numerous creepy crawlies, two poisonous snakes, an army of leaf cutter ants, sloths, tarantulas and lots of sleeping birds. It was definitely a challenge as I had never done night photography before and this time the animals really were wild, so I had to act quickly. In the end, I came out with some good shots, including this one of a deadly snake!
Jenna Jablonski: A Day in Reserva Santa Elena
Abby, Richard, Francesca, Dan, and I had to change plans at the last minute when the road to Arenal washed out. So we chose a weekend getaway to the cloud forests of Monteverde instead. Little did we know, we would still get our volcanic views from a watchtower deep in the Santa Elena Reserve. From here, at the top of the lookout, we could see for miles above the canopy of the cloud forest… all the way to the Arenal Volcano! We spent an entire day hiking this amazing, underrated reserve, feeling like Avatars from the whimsical nature-inspired Disney flick. At one point on our dreamy hike, we noticed things falling from above. We looked up to see not just one but a bunch of monkeys! We continued to spot amazing wildlife the rest of the day and engage all five senses in the beauty of the cloud forest.