The drive from Arenal to Monteverde goes around Lake Arenal and is about 4 h or, as we did, you can take a boat ride across Lake Arenal then picking up your ride the rest of the way to Monteverde. This cuts off about 45 minutes. The captain of the small boat we were on would detour the boat as he spotted birds along the shore. The drive to Monteverde from where the boat docks was on an unpaved road for 1.75 hours with more stops for wildlife views. The unpaved road was not graded dirt but rocks. Made me glad we were being driven – I could imagine getting a puncture or putting a rock through the oil pan. Would not be fun.
We were in El Establo Hotel. It was significantly colder in Monteverde than Arenal. The various groups of rooms were built up the side of a hill and you could see the Pacific Ocean in the distance. As a consequence of the location on the hill you either had a healthy walk to the dining room at the bottom of the hill or you would call for the courtesy car. They had a second restaurant much higher up which definitely required the courtesy car. They had a very large dining room which seemed out of proportion for the number of rooms the Hotel had – it turns out many tour buses you it for breakfast.
We spent most of the 25th at Selvatura Park. We first did a canopy walk. As was true in Arenal not a lot of wildlife to be seen. We then went to the hummingbird garden. This I really enjoyed. A lot of different species of hummingbirds came to the feeders. In the Midwest we only see the ruby-throated hummingbird. We stayed until a large group of people came into the area. We also did a walk through the butterfly habitat and the reptile area. The butterfly habitat was very nice but I am struggling with how I feel about showing pictures of butterflies from this type of environment.
At the end of our stay at El Establo Hotel I became aware that they had a feeder near the reception area. This seemed to attract a variety of bird species. If I had known this earlier I may have hung out there with my camera.
Next week Manuel Antonio