On Sunday, we moved to our final destination in our Costa Rica adventure. We were headed to Monteverde in the mountainous cloud forest; home to over 3,000 plant species, 120 mammal species, 400 bird species, and 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles. Our trip began with another boat ride across Arenal Lake.
There were many egrets along the shore.
These black birds were very noisy.
A howler monkey watching us go by.
This Green Heron was hiding in the weeds. Another beautiful bird.
We transferred from the boat to a van for a very interesting trip to Monteverde. The scenery as we headed up into the mountains was breathtaking. About two hours of the drive was on a gravel road with lots of rocks and potholes. The van was rattling so much, I was amazed it was still running. As our driver said, a free two hour massage.
We finally arrived in Monteverde and checked into our very nice hotel and spa. Much of what we saw in Costa Rica was very third world like, but some very nice hotels are scattered throughout some of the cities. Here's a look at the city of Monteverde. This was very typical of the housing we saw everywhere we went. Mostly tin and wood shacks. Some buildings are made with concrete block. As remote as most villages are, its surprising they are able to obtain any building materials.
There were lots of birds in the trees outside our hotel room. This is a Blue-crowned Motmot. It was absolutely beautiful!!!
This Emerald Toucanet had a nest in a hole in a huge tree outside of our room. I saw both of the adults, but did not see the babies.
There were also lots of hummingbirds flitting about in the flowering bushes outside of our room. It sure is hard to get a picture of one of them. There are fifty species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica, so I have no idea what type these were.
We went on a night hike at a nature preserve. The guide was masterful in finding wildlife for us to see. Up in the trees we saw a sloth, an anteater (this is very rare to see and the guides were super excited about it), a sleeping bird, and an olingo. I did not get pictures of any of them. After all, it was dark. The guide had a scope and flashlight, so we were able to see the animals quite well.
We saw this orange-kneed tarantula. I was happy to view it from a safe distance.
This is a poisonous side-striped palm pitviper. It blended in so well, but our guide found him for us to see.
We were already in the parking lot with our van waiting to take us back to the hotel. Our guide was saying goodbye to us when he heard a sound nearby. He said it was just too close to pass up, so we trekked down a nearby path until he found this mottled owl for us to see. The night hike was very cool.
Tomorrow I'll wrap up with our final day in Monteverde.
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