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Onward again to the cloud forest

Costa Rica day eight

View Costa Rica 2022 on ToonSarah's travel map.

View of Volcan Arenal from the lake

Halfway through our trip and it was time to leave Arenal. There was no chance of taking any final shots of the volcano as the cloud cover was the lowest we'd seen during our stay, although the sun was shining at our level as we prepared to leave.

We were picked up promptly at nine for the short drive to Lake Arenal where we boarded the boat that was to take us across. This is the best option for travel between Arenal and Monteverde, cutting out part of what would otherwise be a much longer drive.

Boats near our boarding point

For the first part of the ride we stayed close to shore. Our boat driver, another Marcos, took the trouble to hunt down and point out various birds, including a couple of different kingfishers, a large heron, anhinga and egret.


Amazon Kingfisher

Heron in flight

Then we set out across the lake with good views back to Volcan Arenal, still partly shrouded in cloud, and of the surrounding area, a mix of rainforest and cleared agriculture land.

View of Volcan Arenal from the lake

Approaching the landing point

After about forty minutes we arrived at the disembarking point. There was some chaos as lots of vehicles jostled to leave with their passengers but soon we were off.

Chaos at the pick-up point

The rough road climbed steeply and bumpily, with wonderful views all around. It was impossible to take photos from the minibus because of the bumps, but our driver stopped at one point so we could get out and do so.

From the road to Monteverde

You can see the road we'd come up on

The drive to Sant Elena took a bit over an hour. We had a friendly welcome at our hotel, the Senda Monteverde, but we were too early to get our room. So after getting some info about the hotel and pre-booking a time for dinner and also breakfast tomorrow (all meals have to be booked ahead!) we decided to walk into Sant Elena for lunch.

It was a steep descent and my mind turn inevitably to the return climb, but I decided it was worth it for the tasty lunch in a local coffee shop and the chance to wander around a town as a break from the mainly natural attractions of this trip. Costa Rica is of course famous for being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. So maybe it’s not so surprising after all to see that biodiversity celebrated on the streets of Sant Elena in mural form.




Murals around Sant Elena

Even some of the telephone poles are painted

And stretches of pavement

Colourful house near our hotel

We stopped at the same coffee shop on the way back up the hill (great iced mocha) and got back to the hotel a bit before three to find our room ready and waiting. Perched on the hillside (more climbing!) it had a deck with views right across to the Pacific and of the hummingbird-friendly garden. With a couple of hours to wait before our planned night tour, this was the perfect spot in which to while away the time sorting photos and making notes.

Seating area in our room at the Senda Monteverde

View from our terrace



Motmot in the grounds

Sunset from our terrace

Night walk in the cloud forest

The night tour however proved a bit of a disappointment. We had been promised the chance to see all sorts of creatures but our guide at the Children's Eternal Forest, Giovanni, was more interested in trees than animal life. Far from 'pointing out an array of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals that inhabit the forest at night' as we’d been promised, he produced only two tarantulas, one smaller spider (which another guide found for him), two sleeping parakeets, a cockroach and lots of ants! Spotting wildlife is never guaranteed of course, but I'd hoped for better, I have to confess.

Some sort of spider

Unmistakeably a tarantula

And another tarantula

Back at the hotel we had a latish dinner in the restaurant, which was very good, and got to bed a bit later than we had been doing on this trip, despite having yet another early start ahead of us tomorrow!

Posted by ToonSarah 15:49 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged lakes birds hotel costa_rica forest street_art spiders

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Thanks for Blog... Can't wait for tomorrow. !

by alectrevor

Thanks Alec :) I'm rather behind with this blog so it may be a while but I'll catch up eventually!

by ToonSarah

I thought the murals in the town were really beautiful.

by irenevt

Thanks Irene, I was really taken with them. I always love this sort of thing and although we went to Costa Rica primarily for the wildlife and scenery, this did make a nice change :)

by ToonSarah

Roll on tomorrow !!!

by Yvonne Dumsday

Haha Yvonne - I clearly need to get on with this and share the following days :)

by ToonSarah

In one of Stephen Kings books were tale of icebird (?), can't remember which book and what the tale was exactly but that blue mural of a bird made me think of it :)

Amazing scenery!

by hennaonthetrek

Thanks Henna - I've not read any Stephen King (not really a fan of horror!)

by ToonSarah

As you know I am no naturalist but I am struggling to see the point of going to see trees at night!

by planxty

Me too Fergy - I was hoping for much more in the way of night creatures!

by ToonSarah

Costa Rica is still somewhere in the back of my mind and reading the second part of it all, I have to put it higher on my list except for the spiders, I rather skip that part! :)

by Ils1976

Definitely recommended Ils, and the spiders are easily avoided!

by ToonSarah

I hope so, the only scare in the world I have are these litlle and not so litle ones!

by Ils1976

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