Monday, March 7, 2011


Monteverde is one of the must-see spots in Costa Rica - what did we do?  Went hiking in the Cloud Forest, took nature photos, saw frogs and butterflies, had cheese fondue for dinner, "enjoyed" two long dusty bus rides...
Thankfully, they included amazing sunsets!
 We saw some familiar butterflies, and a whole lotta new ones!

 Our tour of the frog ponds started with one of the largest specimens I have ever seen :-)
We took the route suggested by the park ranger, hiking to the continental divide at 4700 feet - on one side, we saw the Nicoya peninsula and gulf:
On the other side of the path, we looked East to the Atlantic:
Decided it was good luck (when isn't it?) to stop for a snog :-)
Came back from the divide via the hanging bridge (yes, I walked across it too, but *very* carefully)!

Our Trip details:
  • Our bus left from San Jose at 2:30.  The normally 5 hour ride became 6 1/2 due to traffic and bridge repairs.  Note that the published bus information is not up to date - currently, buses leave SJ (and Santa Elena) at 6:30 am and 2:30 pm.  Buy your return tickets (assigned seats) from the boleteria half a block from the bus terminus.  Cost = c2350 each
  • All buses (including shuttles) stop/start from the North corner of Santa Elena town (it is a triangle).
  • We stayed at the Swiss Hotel Miramontes, owned and run by Walter and Kathi Faisthuber (2645-5152
  • The Santa Elena preserve is less crowded, but we braved the Monteverde preserve and didn't run into too many people :-).  Entry cost = $5 for nationals (citizens and residents), $17 for tourists.
  • Shuttle buses from Santa Elena town to both preserves run throughout the day.  To Monteverde (old yellow schoolbus) is c600.  To Santa Elena preserve is $2.

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