The drive from San Jose, the Capital of Costa Rica, to the Monteverde takes around 3½ hours. Our guide and driver from Costa Rica Expeditions picked us up at our hotel. He was funny and knowledgeable, which made the journey pass quickly. We learned and laughed a lot.
Monteverde’s claim to fame is its cloud forest where mists hang out in mythical proportions. Luxuriant plant growth and abundant animal life have turned the area into a major tourist destination as well as a center for ecological study.
The area has an interesting history dating back to the 1950s when a group of Quakers and other pacifists out of Alabama arrived. They had moved from the US to avoid being drafted into the Korean War. Eventually a portion of the land they farmed became the base for Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
We climbed some 4000 feet to reach the Montverde Lodge, the hotel where we were staying. The lodge perches on the edge of the rainforest and its rooms provide a front row seat to whatever action is taking place. I kept expecting a Howler Monkey to appear on our window ledge. The Lodge also features attractive gardens.
Our objective was to explore the rainforest, however. We went on several hikes including one at night and another that took us to a platform high in the forest canopy. The pitch-black night tour was quite interesting, especially when we turned our flashlights off.