Monteverde & San Jose
At 6:00 a.m on February 7th we headed to the airport. I was a nervous wreck. I know I have left Adeline with family on previous trips, but this one was different. It felt like a huge leap, going out of the country. It is already a little stressful when you travel, but COVID adds even more pressure. Dan and I were discussing if one of us tested positive and had to quarantine, before re-entering the Country. I feel like with traveling, theirs this feeling of adrenaline. Like you’re about to jump and the drive to the airport is the leap. Once you’re on board, theirs no turning back. From there on its faith, that everything will go as planned. I was watching Vivo one night with Adeline and Vivo said, It’s the 5 P’s; ”Perfect, planning prevents poor performance. I live by that rule, especially with travel.
We boarded the plane at 9:35 a.m and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica at 1:32 p.m.. I had pre reserved a shuttle to pick us up from the airport and take us to Monteverde. I highly recommend Costa Rica Shuttle. They picked us up and took us to walmart, before heading to the lodge. Our driver didn’t know much English, but he was very professional and polite.
It was a two and a half hour drive to Monteverde from San Jose. The ride is beautiful. I did get motion sickness about 30 miles from the Lodge. I would suggest taking motion sickness medicine before your drive up through these mountains. We booked Monteverde Lodge and Gardens for four nights. This lodge is simply amazing. I cannot say enough good things about this place. They have trails and gardens all through the property. The food is so fresh and so are the drinks. It is bursting with wildlife and birds.
After I checked in, we checked out room to relax for awhile before dinner. The rooms do not have TV, but we didn’t miss it at all. The wall behind the headboards is covered in a white background with black palm tree leafs. The room has a balcony with two chairs and a beautiful view of the sunset. I wish I could bottle up the feeling there and take it home. It isn’t too humid, it was 74 degrees and you could hear a stream babbling and birds singing along with the insects of the forest. It is so peaceful.
We had dinner there at the lodge. I had the Mozzarella Burrata, it is local mozzarella served in a base of confit beetroot, red fruits dressing and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious!
On the 8th, we hung out around the lodge in the morning. While walking the Sloth Trail, Dan pointed a monkey out to me. Then about five minutes later we see three more. They were Panamanian white-faced capuchin or also called Central American white-faced Monkeys. It was amazing watching them jump from tree to tree. The males are about eight pounds and females are 6 pounds.
This has to be one of the best moments i’ve ever had. I love animals and love seeing them in their natural habitat the most.
As we walked back up from the Yoga and Meditation area we saw our first Coati. Coatis have strong limbs to climb and dig and have a reputation for intelligence like their fellow procyonid, the raccoon. They prefer to sleep or rest in elevated places and niches, they can also build sleeping nests. Coatis are active day and night but are not nocturnal animals unlike their raccoon cousins.
Later that day, we walked to town. It’s about a 10 minute walk into Santa Elena from Monteverde Lodge. We picked up some motion sickness medicine and checked out the Tree House Restaurant.It was a cool restaurant and atmosphere, but the drinks at the lodge were defiantly better. We checked out the pool when we got back to the lodge. A pack of female Coati’s came up and drank out of the pool, while I was swimming. It was amazing!
On the 9th, we had a Zip-line Adventure at Monteverde Extremo Adventure Park.
They picked us up from the lodge at 8 am, it was about a 20 minute drive to the Extremo Headquarters. I wore a sweater and jeans because it is pretty cool in the mornings, layered over shorts and a Tee. This was a bad idea. It got warm quickly, especially with the many stairs and long hike. I was strapped into the zip-line equment and didn’t have a safe place to store my extra clothes. This Zip-line is extreme. It’s the longest one in Monteverde with seven Zip-lines. The tour was about two hours, most of which, is climbing tall stairs and hiking up hill. The Tour guides were very helpful, but we wish they would have warned us about how difficult the hike is, and the number of stairs on it. You can experience this virtually on my YouTube Channel.
While waiting on the Shuttle to head back to the Lodge, we saw two Parrots.
I was able to get some really good pictures of them, because they flew up to there Restaurant window.
On the 10th, I hiked the lodge trails again. I saw a Central American agouti, Coati, Black Guan, and a White faced Monkey. I absolutely loved taking these photograph. My adrenaline was pumping, it was difficult for me to get the camera to focus on the animals instead of the trees. But thankful I got a couple of pretty good shots. Later on, I hiked with my 360 camera through the trails so you can experience it virtually with me. I do wish I had it on, when I saw all the different animals, but it is pretty heaven to wear and I was wanting some really good pictures of the wildlife.
On the 11th, we checked out at 11:30 a.m. I had booked our shuttle to pick us up at 2 p.m, but thankfully the driver was there early. We had our final lunch there, then headed to Alajuela. It’s a two and a half hour drive from Monteverde. I wanted us to be closer to the airport for the final nights. Alajuela is about 10 minutes from the San Jose Airport.
We stayed at Asclepius Wellness & Spa. They have a beautiful view from thier pool of the valley. We were disappointed that none of there amenities worked due to there solar panels and it being an overcast day. They also didn’t have Wifi in the rooms. The owner said that she didn’t want the Wifi frequencies in the rooms, due to healing purposes.
I like to FaceTime Addy while I’m away, so this was an inconvience for me.
It was really quiet and nice the first night there. There Restaurant wasn’t my favorite, but we met a really nice couple there made the evening.
On the 12th, we visited The Toucan Rescue Ranch. I purchased the tickets on Get your Guide. Destiny tours Shuttled us to and from the rescue center, which was included in the ticket. I was so excited to see the Sloths up close. They had a variety of different animals in there care. The tour is 4 hours, with lots of information on each animal. You can also visit there website for a virtual tour.
After leaving the rescue center, we ate at a Costa Rican Restaurant suggested by one of our shuttle drivers, Jose. It was very delicious. I had fish, coved in a white cream sauce with shrimp and rice on the side.
Our driver Sandra, was the sweetest. It really makes a difference on your rides, when your chauffeur is great company. She also sang along with us and had a beautiful voice! I highly recommend Destiny Shuttle.
Once we got back to the resort, a wedding was about to start at our wellness retreat. It was a lot livelier then the previous night. They had rose petals thrown in the pool, which made a lovely backdrop for Sandra‘s picture Dan captured.
I do wish we had been notified about the wedding before arriving. It was very loud late into the night and they set off fireworks at 11:00 p.m. It was very loud bass booming all through the night, past 2:00 a.m.
We were a bit disappointed by this, because we thought we could relax by the pool but it was taken over by the wedding.
On the 13th, we headed to San Jose Airport at 11:00 a.m. I had pre-reserved our Covid test appointment at the airport for 12:00 p.m. They suggest you take the test four hours before your departure. It took about an hour and half to stand in line and take the test. The results were emailed to me in about 20 minutes. You take a free shuttle from the airport to the testing site three minutes away.
We got through security very quickly and had lunch there at the airport. We boarded the Plane at 4:32 p.m and arrived at DFW at 8:30 p.m.
Customs is in terminal D at DFW. I wish I would’ve known this previously so we could’ve parked there and rode the sky tram to C. Its always nice to fly into the terminal your parked at, so when you’re exhausted from the trip, you don’t have to wait and ride the parking Garage Shuttle.
I loved Costa Rica, It was definitely an experience of a lifetime.
Adeline had to do a double take when she saw me.
I am so thankful for a wonderful trip and to be reunited with my family again.