Monteverde, Costa Rica

Yesterday (5-17-09), we woke at 5:30 am and hiked 5 Kilometers to the Reserva de Monteverde  (The Monteverde Biological Reserve) with some friends we met at the hostel we were staying at; Pension la Santa Elena. 

One new friend, Marissa is from Wisconsin and two other girls with us were from Munich, Germany. We soon arrived at a free Hummingbird exhibit just outside the park entrance. We saw a huge variety of brightly colored hummingbirds that were all flying within a few inches of our face.

After entering the park, we decided to do the trails ourselves, instead of with a guide. We were able to float from guide to guide on the trail though, which made it easy to find a Howler Monkey that was high in the tree tops and another two monkeys that were jumping from tree to tree farther off in the distance. We also saw a number of interesting insects and birds. A highlight of the trail was the lookout at the far end of the park on the ridge line of the continental divide (same divide that is in the U.S.). We could see for miles in both directions. The Caribbean side was much more dense and more lush, while the Pacific side of the divide was drier and more open. Very interesting to see such a stark difference in vegetation, literally just a few feet on either side of us.

More to come later…headed to an active volcano right now!

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