Tag Archives: Monteverde

A Monteverde Cabin on a Working Family Farm

After our ordeal of not being able to find our AirBnB rental in Manuel Antonio, Deena and I decided not to book anything in advance for the rest of the trip. We would just go look at places and try to negotiate a price if we liked it.

When we arrived at Monteverde, we stopped at a number of places starting outside of town at something that looked like a Motel 6. They gave us a good enough price and seemed clean but so sterile. We went into Sta Elena and started looking at cabinas. Each one we tried was moldier than the next.

Sunset in Monteverde from our cabin

Using Open Street Map, we found a place called Valle Campanas that had a few adorable cabins. We originally thought the price was high for the area but a few more inquiries confirmed that this was an awesome value. The only reason that they had a cabin available was because they had originally planned on going away so no one was booked into their cabins.

As it turns out, the place was so much more than we thought. Valle Campanas is a working family farm with sugar cane, coffee, a cow and pigs and many vegetables, herbs and fruits. For breakfast we were served their own coffee, fresh eggs, fried cheese that they made from the cow’s milk, their plantains and homemade tortillas with homemade jam. What a treat!

(not) Daisey resting after a long day producing milk
(not) Daisy resting after a long day producing milk

Leo and Raina were absolutely a delight. We saw the picked coffee drying in the sun. Raina gave us a tour of the farm starting with a glass of fresh sugar cane juice pressed on Leo’s father’s old machine. They had a vat for boiling down the sugar cane juice into a syrup. Some people had banana pancakes for breakfast using their syrup (and of course made with bananas from the farm).

The whole experience was so much better than traipsing around looking for a place without an address!

Do Hummingbirds Hum Because They Forgot the Words?

There was a large, very iridescent blue hummingbird that I’d never seen before. I tried to catch a good photo but she was shy and way too quick. I even tried explaining that the light was better on the other side of the tree. What do you expect. They have bird brains.

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Stalking the Wild Quetzel in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

While in Jaco, we frequented a certain micro-roaster coffee shop. When we told Juan, the owner, that we were headed for Arenal, he said “Oh, you must visit Monteverde. It’s very special.” We did. At an elevation of about 4000 feet, Monteverde is high enough to have coffee plantations and cloud forest. We decided to hire a guide through the Curi-Crancha Reserve because they have very high powered telescopes and know what to look for. We were lucky enough to see a couple quetzels and managed to photograph one. The tucan we saw was not so cooperative when it came to posing for us.