The untouched nature in Costa Rica, Monteverde
January 1, 1970
by Kasparas Asmonaitis
Arriving at Monteverde
When 3 of us started our journey to Monteverde, I had no expectations. You know how good of a feeling it is when you are welcoming a world as it is with open hands? If you don’t, I am encouraging you to try it. As I am now rewinding the whole day I spent in Monteverde Cloud Forests, I am also encouraging you to visit it. We drove to Monteverde by car. It was a small off-road track, which was constantly going uphill, until we reached the height of almost 2 kilometers. The most important thing is that the road itself and the surroundings were already a great view. It took me one glance through the window to understand that we are about to witness the most amazing nature Costa Rica has to offer. And I can guarantee you that I have never been in a country with such a diverse and beautiful nature before. If I had any expectations, Monteverde would have had highly exceeded them.
Museum of Reptiles
We have arrived at the national park of Selvatura by mid-day and that is when real beauty was revealed to us. First stop was the museum of reptiles. I consider myself having strange relations with those animals. Let us just say that I was never a fan. However, I always admired some aspects of their life and it is always interesting to hear something new from people who really know it. That is why I loved this museum. Not only I could see all kinds of different reptiles starting from little red frogs and finishing with Boa snake, which is the 3rd largest snake in the world right after Python and Anaconda. I also learnt some interesting facts about reptiles in Costa Rica. The most important probably is that snakes with 4 holes on their face are poisonous and the ones with 2 are not. However, the highlight was meeting iguana called Jesus Christ. Why Jesus Christ? Well, it is so fast that it can run on water. It is only a few interesting and practical facts I have mentioned, but with those wonderful guides you can learn much more. It was quite a few of us taking this tour with a guide and we all agreed on how competent and wise our guide was. How much did it all cost? 10 dollars.
Walking through the cloud forest
After seeing some local fauna it was time to meet the flora. We have purchased tickets for canopy walk for 30 dollars each. What did we get in return? Grasp of the freshest air you could ever find in the world. After spending a month living by the beach in constant heat that was all I could ever ask for. It sounds so simple and silly in a way, but believe me: when you take the first breath of air in the middle of the jungle you just feel free. If we add the fact that you are standing right on top of the trees, all you need to do is just spread your wings and start flying. Ok, let’s get back to reality… Because it was as good as flying. It was only 3 of us walking in the jungle, feeling like in those apocalyptical movies about jungles and last living tribes. There was a couple of old trails leading deeper to the jungle which we were not supposed to take if we wanted to make it safe back home. Those roads were all overgrown with bindweeds and looked so magical and tempting. If I would have ever heard sirens singing I would probably compare the temptation. Anyway, this time we had to settle with a regular walk, which consisted of 8 bridges from 50 to 300 meters and jungle trails between the bridges. It was 2 kilometers in total with some walking up hill. I must admit, that I am not the biggest fan of walking and I rarely enjoy activities that involve long walks, but this time I did not have any time to think about it. That says a lot. If you do not have any time for complaining, you know that you are pretty mesmerized. “I am always afraid that I am not able to enjoy how beautiful the moment is and that months later I will look back at it, I will think that I did not take the best out of it” said one of my friends. I totally understand what she meant, but when I look back at it now, I am still overwhelmed by that sense of freedom.
Garden of Hummingbirds
Our last destination was this beautiful garden of Hummingbirds. When people say that size does not matter, they are probably talking about hummingbirds, because despite the fact that they are the smallest birds in the world, I must say that they are also one of the most colorful and beautiful little creatures I have ever seen. If you think that there is only one kind of hummingbird, which I did, you will be pleasantly surprised. I believe that we could see at least 10 different kinds of them. What is so incredible about them? When you are making a slow motion video of a flying hummingbird, it’s wings move in a speed of a normal bird. Looking with human eyes it is impossible to see those wings flapping. This garden was full of those little hummingbirds floating in the air. Some species of hummingbirds were very cautious of humans and you could only see them flying somewhere in the other end of the garden. Other species, however, were much more friendly. They were literally ready to take a helping hand from humans in order to drink some water. We were more than glad to help. It is such a nice feeling when such a little, fragile and beautiful creature lands on your finger.
Tips and suggestions
- The jungle is so green and lush that it is no surprise that there are constant rains in Monteverde. I managed to avoid it, but be sure to have a raincoat. Just in case.
- Try to leave all other visitors behind or ahead of you. I must say that it is much more majestic and beautiful when you are alone in the jungle without anyone chattering around.
- There is also an option to go around the jungle on the zip-line. It is the longest line in Costa Rica and most likely in whole Central America, so if you are up to this kind of activities, make sure to try it.
- Guides are really competent about things they talk so make sure to ask questions and pay attention. There are definitely things to hear from them.
- Breathe the fresh air of Monteverde and make sure to remember how good it feels so you could be inspired to make our air at home as fresh.
- Do not break anything at the shop, because you will be forced to buy it.