Costa Rica: Day 7 Monteverde

This was an early morning since we had quite a few miles to make between Arenal and our next stop in Monteverde. To make our trip shorter, we were going to take a boat across the lake and not actually meet up with the coach until we got into Monteverde. This meant that we needed to have our bags out before we went to breakfast, and anything we wanted with us for the day had to be in our day packs. In our scramble to pack up we managed to forget that we needed to pack all our liquor bottles into our main suitcases and had to creatively divide up our remaining stuff so I could fit all the bottles into my backpack.


Heading out across the lake to save some time on our trip.

The views of the volcano were stunning as we crossed the lake, and I’d have been quite happy to spend the rest of the day out on the water. Eventually we made it to the other side–effectively losing a couple hours of drive time–and picked up our next mode of transportation. I can’t tell you what type of vehicle it was though I’m fairly certain that it was used as military transport at one point in it’s life. No seat belts and open windows. Our transport wound its way up the mountain on roads which were barely wide enough for one vehicle, with shear drops on the other side–guard rails being non existent. But it was beautiful. Honestly, I can’t go on enough about how amazingly gorgeous this country is. It quickly became one my favorite places in the world, and one that I was heart broken to leave.


Our transport the rest of the way to Monteverde. Photo credit: Gustavo Mora

We had barely seen more than a few scattered houses on our trip then we turned down into a valley and there was the town of Monteverde. A small town, but with a cool vibe. We went to a restaurant built around a tree for lunch and I got the bacon cheese burger which I had been dreaming about for days.


Lunch at the Tree House. Not sure now who took the picture–may have been one of the staff.

The hotel was actually walking distance from town–a fact we’d take advantage of later–and the room Sarah and I were given was massive. I mean, really massive. It had one double bed and the other was a king. The bathroom alone was big enough to have a party in. I was finally able to get the alcohol bottles out of my backpack and I had them all lined up on a side table. It looked like we were opening a bar.

We did a night walk through the cloud forest and though we did see some sleeping monkeys, most of what we saw were bugs. Giant tarantulas, streams of army ants, and more spiders than I can count.


One of our wildlife encounters on the night walk.

Dinner was on our own that night so we decided that we’d all meet up for a couple of drink before heading out to find food. Inspired by our impressive array of liquor bottles and the size of our room, Sarah and I opted to host. We told everyone that the event would be held in our bar, named Bar Don Julio after our frog who was named for a tequila. The more drinks we had, the more elaborate our name became. Eventually the full name of our institution was Bar Don Julio aka the Canadian Embassy #sorrywerenotsorry. It was a BYOB establishment, but it was fun to have what we considered our own “bar” for the remainder of the trip.

Monteverde 1

Top: The first night of Bar Don Julio. Bottom: Salsa night!

Pizza for dinner and then off to a local bar that was having it’s weekly salsa night. We met up with a different group of travelers going the other direction and made some new friends. We all got out and danced well into the night. Luckily it was just a short walk from town back to our hotel.