Day 6 – Monteverde Cloud Forest
The next day we woke up and made a Costa Rican breakfast with the food provided by Chira Glamping. We scrambled some eggs, cut up fresh fruit and enjoyed a serene morning out on the desk. After breakfast we started to pack up our things and leave Chira behind. Our time here was wonderful and I would definitely come here and stay again in the future.
We left Chira Glamping and headed to the Monteverde Cloud Forest just a short 15 minutes away. The main cloud forest parking lot is at the bottom of the mountain of Monteverede. You park in the parking lot there and take a quick 5 minute shuttle bus to the entrance. Upon checking out the information booth and paying the $22/each fee per person, we made it past the park ranger gate and starred at our map for a few moments to decide which route we wanted to take. If you are a student from another country, you can present your ID and get in for just $10.
The flora and fauna of the preserve is characterized by four life zones according to the life zone map of Costa Rica (Bolaños, Watson and Tosi 1999).
The climate of the Monteverde Cloud Forest is what makes this place so unique. Not only are there multiple areas of biodiversity, but climates can change quickly. The cloud forest is strongly influenced by the moisture-saturated air currents that enter the country from the northeast (trade winds). As they ascend the Tilaran Mountain Range, rain forms as it cools to form the low clouds that you see in the forest. Therefore, it makes this area well known for its tropical climate and rain storms most of the year.
The Pacific side or the continental divide is less humid. The dry winds have a strong drying effect, especially in the places that are bereft of vegetative covering. Within the preserve and in the neighboring area to Monteverde and Santa Elena, relatively high precipitation and humidity still exists. In areas where the canopy is more protected from the winds, the forest is at its tallest.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, we are not avid hikers. Don’t get me wrong, we love to take long walks on the beach and see some wildlife, but we were not here to walk until our legs fell off. Joking aside though we chose a few paths that were advised by the park ranger. We planned to be in the cloud forest for 3 hours or so and stuck to our route accordingly. We thought this was an ample amount of time to hike, stop for some pictures and enjoy the day. Picture break!
Some of the highlights of our hike were the overall beauty of the forest and the peace and quiet it brought. We used our inside voices most of the time to not disturb anything around us and see if we could spot some wildlife. At this time of day, early afternoon, there was not much wildlife to be seen, if any. However, the picture-esq view of the continental divide and tree-top canopies were worth it.
We hopped on the shuttle to take us back to the parking lot and got in the car to head to our next destination…which was across the street. Selina hostel in Monteverde! We knew it was close to the cloud forest but we didn’t realize that it was right across the street. Can you say convenience?! We checked in with the front desk and were shown to our humble abode for the night.
Read: Monteverde Cloud Forest – Full Overview
If you’re keeping track, this is our second stop at a Selina hostel. I was very impressed with Selina La Fortuna and Selina Monteverede did not disappoint either. You can join in on the free-spirited-nature or nomadic lifestyle of those who choose to stay here or you can use it as a cheap alternative to have a nice roof over your head for the night. Selina La Fortuna and Selina Monteverede were only $65 for the teepee tent and the private room (respectively). Although, you could choose to stay in a dorm for much cheaper and as low as $9 per night.
After putting down our bags and surveying the room and property grounds, we quickly realized we were starving from our hike. We had a quick mini-photo shoot in front of Selina, with their amazing statue man, and headed back into town.
We did some googling to find a restaurant in the area for a late lunch and put the address in our GPS. After circling the block a few times looking for the restaurant, we realized we kept passing Sabor Tico up because it was on the second level, inside a strip mall. We parked the car where we could see it and found a lovely spot near the balcony where we could sit and enjoy the remaining hours of sunshine. We both decided to order a casado as we’ve had good luck with them and they were cheap! It was delicious!! We had so much food leftover that we had enough for a snack later that day. I think we spent about $25 for two large chocolate milkshakes and two casados and a little extra tip for the waiter.
After our meal we headed to this super tiny bakery across the street for some sweet morning treats. When I say super tiny, I mean the size of a American walk-in closet. Tiny! We knew we were not provided breakfast in the morning at Selina so we though we would grab something now.
The day was not over just yet as we had one more adventure planned for the evening. It was the Jungle N’ Coffee Night Tour! From reading a whole bunch of different blogs and reviews, we knew we had to do a night tour. I was skeptical and to be honest, a little on edge about it. Amanda was all for it and I’m glad she pushed me into doing it. I guess I was a little skeptical because you never know what could happen . Not only do you have to worry about the king of the jungle Jaguar, but the venomous snakes, frogs and spiders too. I hate snakes. I’ll say it again, I HATE SNAKES! There, I said it…
Located just outside of Monteverede in the Guanacaste Provinc, the Coffee’N Jungle Night Tour was a fantastic experience. In fact, it might’ve been one of the highlights of our entire trip. Junior was enthusiastic the entire tour and shared every bit of knowledge he had about coffee, chocolate and the surrounding landscape. I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I feel like I’m a coffee connoisseur now and Junior made it fun. The tour consisted of a few different parts. First you learned how coffee is grown, how it is processed and then how it’s made. Next was a quick lesson on how chocolate comes from coffee and you get to sample some pieces. The end of the tour concluded with the jungle night walk which was very entertaining to say the least. I’m not going to spoil all the details in the blog, so just watch the video below.