Monteverde Cloud Forest
On Friday, we drove around Lake Arenal to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The road around the lake to the town of Tilaran was not too bad, but the road from Tilaran to the village of Santa Elena at the entrance to the Monteverde Cload Forest Preserve was unbelievable. The Suzuki rarely got above second gear and first gear was often necessary to make it up the steep and rocky road.
We stayed at the Hotel Belmar on Friday night. We got up early Saturday morning and did some hiking in the Preserve. We were lucky enough to see the rare Quetzal, an amazing large and colorful tropical bird.
The cloud forest was pretty cool, but since we live in a rain forest (or so it seemed last winter) we were ready to get back to the beach. We set our sights on Playa Jaco in the Central Pacific Coast Region.
Saturday night, we stayed at a low budget hotel on the beach (not too many cockroaches) and got our first taste of the Costa Rican night life since Jaco is a popular destination for Canadians, Germans, and surfers of all nationalities. We whooped it up with a nice German couple and nursed hangovers the next morning by body surfing in the waves.
On Sunday, we drove further south to the town of Quepos, then on a little further to Manuel Antonio. As we traveled south, the climate became more jungle-like. The area began to look a lot like Jurassic Park.
Manual Antonio a popular destination due to it's beautiful beaches and the exotic wildlife in it's jungles. We spent Sunday night at the Hotel Verde del Mar. There was a boardwalk from the hotel to the beach that went through an area full of iguanas and crab holes.
San Jose and Home
On Monday, we drove to San Jose. We had reservations at the Radisson Hotel for Monday and Tuesday night (special frequent flyer 2 for 1). We spent most of the day Tuesday souvenir shopping in and around San Jose.
Our flight home was very early Wednesday morning. We returned the rental vehicle, said Goodbye to Costa Rica, and retraced our route back home.
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