Welcome to the cloud forest! We rented a car and made the drive up Monteverde’s notoriously rocky and rutted dirt access roads. And we’ve been rewarded with beautiful sights, cool insects and even cooler climate.
Monteverde is a well-trodden tourist destination, so we won’t be staying here long or we’ll blow our monthly budget. But so far, our most memorable experiences have been a morning nature hike in Reserva Santa Elena, afternoon coffee prepared by Chemex, and learning about beetles and butterflies at the Jardín de Mariposas, which we highly recommend.
Last, but not least, a big happy birthday to my dad today!!
Saying good-bye to our home away from home in Sámara, with our kind hosts, Cindy and David
The view while driving up to Monteverde
Reserva Santa Elena rainforest
Our naturalist guide, Donald, talking to us about the plants and insects
One of the many, many species of beetles that inhabit the forest
This is not a flower, but a leaf that a flower will grow out of
Donald using his cell phone flashlight and a stick to try to coax a tarantula out of its burrow — thankfully it didn’t work
More Reserva Santa Elena, including this river that leads to Lake Arenal
A tree with “buttress” roots
Eagerly waiting for our caffeine fix at Stella’s
The Hercules beetle, clinging to a banana — those aren’t for pinching, they’re horns for fighting other males
Our butterfly garden guide with an owl butterfly — notice how their pattern looks like an owl on the left and a snake on the right to fool predators
The Morpho butterfly, which prefers to eat fermented fruit, is essentially drunk most of the time and flies in a zig-zag pattern which makes it difficult to track by predators, despite its vibrant blue on the inside (see video below)
Leafcutter ant colony — the leaves decompose and feed this fungus that is their home