The Monteverde Cloud Forest.
There’s always a subtle sensation of peace that resides in the drinking of coffee or tea surrounded by nature in cold, rainy weather. That is Monteverde.
The initial idea started out as the filming of a documentary, the life of one of the many residents of this small town. Monteverde is still a town; not many things to do and everyone knows each other. It’s a peaceful ambiance surrounded by two national parks: Monteverde and Santa Elena, both full of the most amazing biodiversity of Costa Rica.
Our trip started when I was finally in the car with Isaac and Charlie, heading a Wednesday down to the coast and taking Route 27 towards Puntarenas and then turning towards Liberia. It’s a two hour ride till the intersection at a gas station where you start going up the mountain and into the wilderness. A 4×4 car is not needed but it’s highly recommended!
I always start feeling my muscles start to relax when I see so much green passing by. This is the best time to come to Costa Rica; the rainy season. It’s when the country changes its leaves to all shades of green, and everything feels alive; the trees, the flowers, the birds, the rivers… It’s so beautiful!
Last time I was here, I stayed at a hostel, and we saw a sloth with Beth, but this time, I stayed at the Santuario Ecológico de Monteverde, @Felucointhewood ´s home. It’s the 54 hectare property dedicated to environmental education and conservation.
After having views of the beautiful mountains all the way up, we arrived there a little later than midday and were greeted with such an amazing lunch! His mother does an amazing job at taking care of the people who arrive for work, workshops, or just to stay there for the night. They produce most of their vegetables, have their own chickens, and do almost everything in a wood stove, making the food taste 10 times better and more “home-made”. This doesn’t mean they live secluded from the city, it’s just a philosophy of life to try and be in balance with what we have around, take care of the environment, and waste as little as possible.
Felix is always a great host. He’s a person with an expanded consciousness and has a passion for life and what it has to offer, give or take. He takes photography as a way to express the richness of nature that he has at home, and also works hard to show those who come and go, that we’re here on a very limited time. We have to take care of nature. Love it. Embrace it.
Not long after lunch we decided to take a trip down to La Raiz, a place where a tree after years and years, developed a root that hangs from side to side of the small river. This is a place where locals come and gather to relax! It really is a unique place to be and observe the magnificent small things that this planet has to offer, just for us to relax! It’s sad though, that you see down to the river and can spot trash almost everywhere… What a shame that we can’t care enough about the beauty of this planet that as Feluco says: “gives us so much with hands full”.
Later on that day, after another amazing meal at the house, we to a secret spot. It’s a place Feluco didn’t really wanted us to show how to get to. Why? Because there’s a hollow tree that you can climb from inside. Probably 15 meters tall, and it’s a place that feels very sacred. We stayed out there in the forest for about two hours that felt like eternity. The place felt so pure, so full of life. How can a tree and it’s roots just make you feel this connected? It’s an indescribable feeling.
It started to rain soon enough. It felt like the day just kept going even though we had arrived late! This is that moment I described in the beginning: coffee shop, friends, cold, rain, and the strong scent of a chemex prepared gourmet coffee with a brownie on the side. It started to get dark and the rain heavy. It’s that mountain vibe i love so much.
We ended the day with some night photography in the property. We got to see lots of different types of insects, and although we tried and hoped for, we couldn’t get to see any snakes…
I must say, I had never slept better in my life than in this place. At the end we didn’t have to use the tents we brought because there was room for us at the house, and it was the best thing that could have ever happened. Seriously… We slept for about 4 hours after editing the night before, but it was amazing. We woke up the next day to a hell of an alarm to try and see a good sunrise about 20 minutes from the house. We stopped at a local bakery to get some goods, and headed out. It was impossible to see the sun rise because we took it waaay to chill. How couldn’t we? It was so relaxing to be in such a place that nothing really seamed to matter that much, time stops and you feel you’re just… connected. We were just enjoying our time there!
We got back after taking plenty of shots and hung around the house. Actually, we slept for another 2-3 hours after a full “gallo pinto” and eggs breakfast. It’s that cozy weather, you know? The one that it’s cold outside and the blankets are just way too cozy… The bedsheets and the pillow just convinced me that I had to stay longer, so I did.
This day was beautiful! We were blessed with no clouds and great weather, so we headed out to eat water apples from a nearby tree on a 10 minute walk. Here, Feluco also took home some bananas that were ready for harvest. We had lunch (I ate so much I think i’m still full), and went for a hike up to a waterfall inside the forest. It was a bit of a rugged path, a bit complicated having all the video equipment and everything on our backs and hoping the rain didn’t go down, yet we got there. A small private waterfall just for the four of us to enjoy! The cold water made you stop feeling your skin once you dove inside. It’s a sensation you don’t get anywhere else: taking a bath at a waterfall pond, enjoying life itself rushing through your fingertips.
Clouds seemed to start rolling in, so we got our stuff back and walked our way of the trail back again. We had to pass through the bakery once again. Their caramel bread and Alfajores are amazing. That evening we drank coffee and talked all night, editing, playing Metal Gear and talking. Isaac and Felix recorded the voice-over for the documentary that night.
The next day we tried again to wake up early, but it was useless… Once we did, we headed over to the hanging bridges, one of the many places we wanted shots from. On our way we stopped at a viewpoint where the Arenal Volcano is visible and it was clear! It’s very hard to see the volcano cleared up, there’s almost always clouds around.
We got to the bridges and did about for of them. We didn’t really need much of them, yet, we used as much as we could. I made some silly shots with Charlie over there, then, we decided to get back and have the thing we were anticipating all day: Lunch. Not long after that we were getting our stuff inside the car because I hat to be back in San Jose a bit early.
That same day I got back to San Jose and then had to drive to Tamarindo. Stress peaked, and somehow I got Chickenpox, but that’s a whole other story!
I’m going to leave you the graphic view of this trip, the Vlog on this link: Vlog12. I hope you enjoy what it was like and you can get an Idea of the place and the things that Monteverde has to offer!
My video: Here.
He’ll be posting the documentary at night. I will post the link as soon as he does.
Here’s the link to the documentary: Link.