So following a couple of rain filled days at Arenal, which were quite fun, it was time to move on.From Arenal over to Monte Verde was about a 4 hour drive, more or less, as usual in Costa Rica, there is no telling when you’ll actually arrive at your destination, sometimes it’s faster than your GPS tells you and sometimes, well it takes a lot longer.
I arrived in Monte Verde in the late afternoon, as I had opted to throw in a few stops along the road to take in the panorama sights!
After a relatively early dinner I was in bed early, in order to make the most of my time the next day. Early in the morning I went to one of the few free attractions, a tree located in small stretch of forest in Monte Verde where there is a hollow tree (still alive) that you can climb all the way to the top, the peculiar aspect is that you are climbing through the tree trunk so to speak! I hung out at the top of the tree for a little while until more people arrived, and as the space is limited I went back down, an amazing experience nonetheless!
Following the tree climbing I wanted to go the Monte Verde National Reserve, but arriving there saw a lot of cars, and a few buses.. And as I was not in the mood for a lot of people decided to instead go to the Santa Elena Cloud forest, a privately owned reserve that is nice and wild. On the way there I could not resist the temptation and went for another round of canopy, this time in dry weather, which I must admit is somewhat more comfortable! The lines were pretty fast, and some had to be done in pairs, in order to gain enough speed going against the relatively strong winds.
I arrived at Santa Elena a little before 3, and the guard at the entrance suggested I should take the short hike of about 3 km. As I was going through on my own, just enjoying the forest, and letting its calm take a hold of me, it took me only a short while to finish that particular track, so I added the 2nd longest of about 5 km. This trail, as it turned out actually led to a little opening in the forest, offering a perfect view of Arenal Volcano, which for once was not hidden in a veil of clouds!
The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is actually quite a nice reserve, offering a little bit of cemented trails in the beginning, but if you go for the longer walks, you are actually getting into a bit of wild nature, although the paths are still very clearly visible, it gets a bit muddy, and that is half the fun!
As I had caught a bit of a cold in the rainy climate around Arenal, I decided that after spending an additional night in Monte Verde I would head back to the Pacific coast where I knew the weather was nice and warm!
More on that in a later post!