Journey Journey Costa Rica Journey: Espresso And Cloud Forests In Magnificent Monteverde

by lhgqz

This put up is a part of a multi-story collection primarily based on my newest journey with Intrepid Journey. Right here is the journey hyperlink. 

Cloud forest ziplining. Canyoning. Bungy leaping.

Excessive altitude cover excursions. The biodiversity-rich Monteverde in Costa Rica is thought for being an adventurous vacation spot; nevertheless, at this level in my Intrepid Journey Option to San Jose Tour, I used to be craving a break from structured experiences and craving a day of unplanned exploration and discovery.

So whereas most of my group signed up for varied excursions, I took a unique path, actually.

Historias Lodge collage

Desk of Contents

  • A Journey To The Clouds
  • Costa Rican Craft Beer
  • Costa Rican Espresso Tradition
  • Relaxation & Raging

A Journey To The Clouds

From my rustic family-run lodge, Historias Lodge, the general public bus — a large yellow faculty bus — was only a five-minute stroll, costing 600 Colones (about $1.15). It takes solely 10 minutes to achieve the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, that includes greater than 4,000 hectares of lush ecosystems, over 100 mammal specials, greater than 400 birds, and over 3,000 vegetation, together with the biggest range of orchids on the planet with over 500 species.

The Reserve was established in 1972 to assist cease the rising menace of settlers transferring up the mountain. Right this moment, it is without doubt one of the prime Costa Rica journey sights.

Whereas admission is $20 my pupil ID will get me in for $10, and I’m given a map depicting 13 path choices, many interconnecting to permit for quite a few adventures.

I begin with the Sendero Nuboso which connects to Sendero La Ventana, heading as much as the La Ventana lookout, the best level within the Reserve at 1,840 meters (6,037 toes) above sea degree.

The path isn’t significantly difficult; nevertheless it’s astounding aesthetically, thick timber stretching towards the sky lined in hanging vines and fungi, pink ginger interspersed with dew dropped moss, large ferns, and moist bark. A clouded mist envelops the entire scene giving an ominous really feel.

I don’t stroll quick; simply benefit from the surroundings and sounds — the varied chicken calls, the speeding streams, the cracking twigs.

The lookout is cloudy however stunning, as regardless of not with the ability to see something I really feel like I’m on prime of the world, actually.

I’m within the clouds!

I resolve to observe the map to hyperlink with Sendero Puente, an uphill climb taking me to a shaking suspension bridge (which Javier, my foolish Intrepid Journey information, after all, insists on leaping throughout).

To me, the view right here is best than the lookout, and I get a slight shiver as I look down and spot my elevated perch above the forest.

The best way again to the customer heart is an uphill battle, and after I lastly make it I’m in want of some power — through espresso — on the onsite cafe.

What I’m greeted with is a lot greater than caffeine, nevertheless, because the venue has arrange hummingbird feeders full of sugar water.

The rapid-winged birds glimmer inexperienced and purple within the solar, and I can’t get sufficient of watching them hover in mid-air deciding their subsequent transfer, wings flapping so quick you assume they could open a time portal, beaks lengthy and chic.

Stunning hummingbirds in Monteverde

The whole trekking expertise takes about 2.5 hours together with stops for photographs and to benefit from the surroundings.

I seize the 11am bus again towards city (identical value) however cease on the native Heladeria Monteverde, famend as a prime native expertise.

Monteverde has a powerful dairy tradition — they even have cheese manufacturing unit excursions on the Monteverde Cheese Manufacturing facility — and the do-it-yourself ice cream I savor proves it.

I’m allowed two free samples and select bitter cream with strawberries (so wealthy!) and a mint chip (so flavorful with enormous chocolate chunks).

I seize a scoop of the mint chip and watch the native teenagers having fun with their treats from a desk.

Scrumptious ice cream in Monteverde

Costa Rican Craft Beer

One of many different Intrepid Journey women, Rachel, accompanies me on a journey into the principle city, Santa Elena, small however not missing tourism workplaces, eating places, bars, and retailers.

As we stroll I see an indication that reads “Beer Shakes,” and naturally gravitate into its doorways.

Whereas the beer shakes are not being made — although they do have a stout float — the Monteverde Beer Home is a microbrewery that makes three completely different ales: Amber, Pink, and Scottish.

After ingesting the distinguished Miller-type beers like Gallo and Tona round Central America it was a welcome change.

The venue has a hipster vibe, with a number of wood accents, a small manufacturing facility in view, and indoor-outdoor seating.

Cool microbrewery in Monteverde

Costa Rican Espresso Tradition

They’re additionally close to to what turns into my favourite espresso store:

Beso Espresso.


Look laborious at their brand; the steaming cup additionally exhibits two mouths kissing.

The superb expertise begins with the barista going over the profiles of the 9 completely different types of Costa Rican beans supplied. I select a “Pink Honey” from the Central Valley, with aromas of ripe fruits, flavors of plum and caramel, and a candy chocolate end.

Scrumptious, particularly paired with an epic digital playlist and the barista going over the completely different espresso areas with me.

It’s a scrumptious lesson in Costa Rican espresso tradition.

Exploring Costa Rican espresso tradition at Beso Espresso

At this level, it’s time to relaxation up earlier than dinner and salsa dancing, and Historias Lodge is the right respite.

My balcony presents views of the luxurious environment, whereas the new water and robust strain of the showers make a fantastic starting to a nap below the cozy flannel mattress blankets.

My favourite a part of the keep, nevertheless, is the cute one-eyed canine and chatting over espresso and cookies with the proprietor, Luis, one thing I do many instances throughout my brief keep.

It’s a Friday, so round 8pm my group convenes on the out of doors tables with bottles of rum and Coke, getting tipsy earlier than dinner and dancing at Bar Amigos.

We chuckle over photographs, clinking glasses and spilling Flor de Cana, our voices getting louder because the drinks stream.

Luis closes up the lodge and walks us to his home subsequent door to kindly drive us the 5 minutes to the bar, the place I promptly shovel scrumptious heaps of hen and rice with fries and veggies into my sloshing abdomen.

Then, it’s time to work it off. We alternate between salsa, bachata, and merengue dancing to a dwell band, and fist-pumping and twerking to a DJ, dance circles forming round one-minute stars busting a transfer.

As all the time, by no means a uninteresting second with this crowd, who, as our 17-day Option to San Jose journey nears to a detailed, I notice I’m going to overlook everybody terribly.

That’s the sweetness and unhealthy of such a journey; you create reminiscences with superb individuals you’ll always remember, however you additionally must at goodbye to them in some unspecified time in the future, though I’ve a sense for many of us it’ll be extra of a so-long than a remaining farewell.

The crew taking a ship to La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Michelle and I turned uber shut on the Option to San Jose Journey

Boat to La Fortuna, the superb Arenal Volcano within the background

Fortunately, we nonetheless have a number of extra days of enjoyable left. Subsequent up: La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

Border Crossing Notes: Throughout my Intrepid Journey Method To San Jose journey, we crossed from Guatemala to Honduras, Honduras to Nicaragua, and Nicaragua to Costa Rica. By way of security, the crossing into Costa Rica was the worst, with pickpocketers and spammers actually ready for tour buses on the border. You might need to get a mixture lock to seal up your backpacks, or not less than put on packs with valuables in entrance of you.

Additionally, don’t buy customs kinds off the road. You’ll obtain one from the immigration officer without spending a dime while you go away Nicaragua.

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