The photos below are what we saw.
The grounds at La
Rana Arenal were nicely done. Above is a Giant Bird of
I am not
sure what this plant is called, but the roots grow down to the
ground from the trunk.
dense jungle started at the boundary of the hotel grounds and
most of the trees had various epiphytes including Bromiliads.
owner of the hotel has a bird feeding station and puts out fruit
to get them to come close. This little fellow was very
colorful, but flighty and nervous and very hard to photograph.
could be a species of Toucan given the colored beak, but I am
bird got close enough for a reasonable photo.
left the breakfast area and had returned to our room when I
heard the owner shouting that "los tucanos estan aqui", so I
came back with the camera. This guy was chowing down on
the papaya but watching us closely.
with his buddies but they would only come to the feeding station
a few at a time.
flock consisted of 6 birds. They were cautious and watched
La Rana and headed toward Tilaran around the north shore of Lake
Arenal. The area is frequently windy and is a hot-spot for
wind surfing. There were a number of surfers out enjoying
the stiff winds.
hours of ass-busting, rutted, rocky road later got us to
Monteverde. Oddly, after all that dirt, we hit a paved
road in town. Then it turns to dirt again on the other
side of town. The shot above is representative of the
roads in the area; they are much rougher than they look.
winds were howling in Monteverde and blew continuously during
our stay. While exploring town, we reached a cliff that
had a view looking to the southeast. I postulated that we
might be able to see the ocean were it not for the fog and the
next day would prove that assertion correct.
to stay at the Monteverde Country Lodge and the room was
nice. The wind blew really hard all night and despite a
well built hotel, the noise kept waking us up. Next day we
elected to see the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The
reserve was a short (dirt) road from the hotel. When we
arrived we found this group of folks with their attention
focused on the trees. It seems that a group of howler
monkeys were making their way through the canopy by the visitor
tickets, and they were a bit pricey for a walk through the
jungle - $20 each. About 100 meters out of the visitor
center area I spotted this critter in the trees. At first
I thought it was another howler, but it turned out to be a
spotted another of his troop on the trail. But the lighting
was poor and he was on feeding mission, so he was on the
move. Nose to the ground he worked the area around the
trail with the diligence of a Tijuana street vendor, missing
nothing along the way.
buddies were equally diligent and used their snouts like a plow
when they went through the leaves.
passed some huge fluted ficus trees next to the trail.
jungle was incredibly dense and it would be very hard, if not
impossible to walk through the thick growth.
kilometers later, we came onto a ridge on the continental divide
and got our first view of the Pacific Ocean and the Golfo de
Nicoya to the west. The wind was blowing hard at perhaps
40 mph with gusts much higher. The strength of the wind
required me to remove my hat to take a photo.
mountains at the crest were very steep and travel would be
nearly impossible without an established trail.
east we could see the steep valleys of the Cordillera de
Tilaran. Note the low cloud ceiling. Most of the
time the crests of the Cordillera are in the clouds.
end of the trail was a lookout point that allowed us to see the
islands in the Golfo de Nicoya.
winds were rapidly blowing clouds over the Cordillera throwing
dark clouds over the jungle below. The wind was blowing so
hard I am surprised that I was able to get a stable photo of the
of the stiff winds, we left the ridge and headed back toward the
visitor center via an alternate route. We passed some
plants with huge leaves.
alternate trail we took brought us past a suspension bridge high
over the canyon below. While not as impressive as the
Hanging Bridges of Arenal, this was still worth the visit.
ascended another steep hill on our route back that brought us to
a small viewpoint. Since our last view of the ocean, a
large fire had started and was throwing a huge smoke plume into
came upon another group of howler monkeys but taking a photo was
really hard. They are dark, the jungle is dark and the sky
is bright and there were leaves and branches in the way, so this
was the best I could do. The monkey is looking at us from
100 feet above. One of the guides warned us to not get
directly underneath them as they take great pride in their excretory
aiming prowess and frequently target the unwary tourists with
devastating effect and great emotional trauma.
stopped at the Argentine Cafe for lunch and Kathleen spotted
this nice flower.
|Trip Home Page|
Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.