• Santa Elena – Monteverde Costa Rica

22nd July 2008

Santa Elena – Monteverde Costa Rica

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the reserve
Walter Ferguson – “National Park”
[audio:http://whatwilltheyfind.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Walter Ferguson – National Park.mp3]
Santa Elena is a Tico (Costa Rica) town founded sometime in the 1930s by loggers and farmers; it adjoins the Quaker town of Monteverde which was founded in 1951 by Quaker pacifists who had been jailed in the U.S. for refusing to be drafted into the Korean War. This Quaker immigration changed the area forever; they set up dairy farming while preserving large tracts of cloud forests. Cloud forests are rain forests that are generally swathed in mist or clouds. In 1983 National Geographic printed an article and photographs of the area and the tourist movement was born. Monteverde is home to the Quakers and upscale resorts and restaurants, while Santa Elena has more budget accommodations and eateries, though a new large mall is under construction and threatens to change the feel of this small community forever.sunset
After checking into our hotel the Quetzal Inn in Santa Elena because our original choice of Pension Santa Elena was fully booked we grabbed a burrito for lunch and headed out to explore the area. We passed many attractions, the butterfly museum, the insect museum, the orchid museum but after the rest of Central America we found the prices very high so we just kept walking. We ended up walking all the way to Monteverde (not really that far only about 20 minutes) where we found Michelle and Maggie’s hotel along with Michelle, Maggie and Corey. They were heading out for a tour so we made plans for dinner later that evening. Despite the fact it had started to rain Amy and Turgay decided to continue their exploration of the area and we continued on down the road. Amy spotted a sign along the side of the road for a waterfall and being unable to resist waterfalls encouraged Turgay to go along the trail to see it. rushing streamAfter entering the trail and paying their entrance fee it began to pour rain but they persevered and half climbed half slid their way down to somewhere near the waterfall. The water having risen with the rain caused them to decide to view the waterfall from a distance; it just seemed the sensible thing to do. Now soaked to the bone Amy and Turgay were still unswayed from their goal of the Monteverde dairy to taste some of the famous cheese and ice cream, unfortunately when they arrived it was closed. On the way back they passed a bakery and partook of refreshments (pie and tea). They met Michelle, Maggie and Corey for dinner at a Tapas bar Chimera which proved to be very good.
The next day after planning to meet up again for dinner and a breakfast of really good pastries (especially the pineapple) really nowand croissants at Bakery Jimanez, we went to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. This reserve is at a slightly higher elevation than its more famous neighbor Monteverde but it boasts 12km of trails and considerably less tourists. We saw a great deal of butterflies and hummingbirds and mist shrouded trees and while beautiful was somewhat less populated by animals than they had expected. They did see a wild boar, however how wild it was is up for debate as it was hanging out in the parking lot of the reserve letting people pet it. All in all it was a beautiful setting and a good hike. They returned to Santa Elena and then met up with whattheir friends again for a pizza dinner at Pizzeria de Johnny, which despite the name is a rather upscale Italian restaurant, well upscale to our recent standards. Amy and Turgay said goodbye to their friends and headed back into Santa Elena and bought their bus tickets for the next morning.
The next day after checking out of our hotel and returning to the bakery Jimanez we found out that due to heavy rains and washed out roads our bus would not be coming today and maybe not tomorrow. Having checked out of our hotel we found a cheaper option for the night Cabines Vista al Golfo and spent the afternoon and evening just hanging out. The next morning the bus was a go so they caught it to the San Jose airport, their flight wasn’t leaving until the next day so they took a cab (the driver got a speeding ticket along the way but was unfazed as his brother in-law was the mayor or something of the sort) into Alujela, a town much closer to the airport than San Jose and spent the night there before taking a flight to Calgary Canada.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 4:30 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  1. 1 On June 5th, 2010, Marie Herbert said:

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  2. 2 On June 14th, 2010, Lorenza Mourad said:

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