Monteverde Costa Rica Blog

Monteverde is a small, windy town high in the Costa Rican “cloud forest”. It is essentially a tourist town, hub for hiking, mountain biking, horse riding and extreme sports.

Parts of the town are typically Costa Rican, with makeshift store fronts and dogs roaming the streets.

But the centre has developed a decidedly hipster vibe, with a number of good restaurants and even something of a coffee culture. Cafe de Montverde will serve you just about the best cappuccino you’ll find outside did Melbourne.

Something I’ve also discovered about Costa Rica is that they are cake masters. And Cafe Orchid in MV has a mouthwatering selection of cheesecakes.

Selvatura Adventure Park is just 10 minutes from town and boasts the longest zipline in Central America at 1.5km. It’s an unforgettable experience, soaring over the rain forest canopy like a bird, and not being able to see where you started from or where you’ll finish.

Another popular activity is the night jungle walk, led by an experienced guide who will point out many of Costa Rica’s exotic wildlife. We were lucky enough to see a mother sloth (sleeping) and her more active baby high in the canopy. Our guide spotted many other creatures we would never have found on own.

Costa Rican red eyed frog

Katydid
Scorpion under blue light

San Jose Blog

Ah San Jose, what can I say about you? You’re not the prettiest capital city I’ve ever seen…. but you just might be the ugliest.In fairness, arriving on New Year’s Day when everything is closed and the clean up from the night before is still to begin, probably won’t make the best first impression for any city.We explored downtown SJ fortified by Starbucks coffee. Having seen the pigeon infested squares and parks, it was clear you need to look a little harder for this city’s charms and points of interest.There seems to be a thriving graffiti culture. Street art manages to lift some otherwise depressingly decrepit buildings and street scapes.There are also some interesting brutalist buildings in the city, nonetheleast being the gold museum underneath the Plaza de la Cultura.The Gold Museum’s pre-Columbian displays are interesting, but the space itself was the star for me.IIf you’re still struggling to engage with the city then do some research on some of the cooler restaurants and bars. Prices are reasonable and there is some great locally influenced cuisine to be had.Restaurante Azoteca Calle 7 is excellent with a lovely rooftop bar. And the neighbourhood around Barrio Escalante on Calle 33 for a great selection of bars and eateries.

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Four hours from the unremarkable capital San Jose you’ll find a beautiful natural paradise in Manuel Antonio National Park.

We are staying in Quepos, a small town just 7km from the park entrance and an array of wonderful dark sand beaches.

Public buses run every 20 minutes to a public beach outside the park. There’s a vibrant beach culture but without over-development. Capuchin monkeys climb over the buildings and amongst the trees fringing the beach.

Nearby Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest but most popular in Costa Rica, a country that boasts some of the highest biodiversity in the world, and some pretty solid green credentials for a developing country.

Park entry is $16 USD but spend money on a telescope-equipped guide who is sure to find more animals than you will spot on your own.

In two hours we saw numerous sloths, monkeys, spiders, crabs, frogs, snakes and even a small deer.

End your jungle walk with a refreshing swim at MA’s private beach – much less busy than the nearby public beach.

You could spend the rest of the day hiking numerous trail in the park, or you could do as we did and hop on a small yacht for a relaxing sunset cruise.

We stopped for ocean swimming and some snorkelling. Dinner was included and it was a great finish to a truly idyllic day.

Honeymoon Booked!

Costa Rica here we come…

Still sorting out some of the finer details, but we are very excited about going to Costa Rica at the end of the year for our honeymoon.

Flying Qantas and American Airlines (booked economy, fingers crossed for points upgrades) via Dallas, its about a 30 hour journey to the capital San Jose.

Then we pick up a G Adventures 16 day tour exploring jungles, volcanoes, and tropical beaches, hopefully seeing monkeys, turtles and sloths.

After roughing it around the country, Stef is likely to kiss the ground when we arrive at the Four Seasons to wrap up our Honeymoon in the lap of luxury.