After a wet and rainy stay in Arenal we headed even higher in elevation to the Monteverde region and into the cloud forest. We knew the weather would be cooler and damper but it was almost a constant drizzle and high winds.

This little fella was just hanging out in a leaf hoping to get some breakfast during a break in the rain

To get from Arenal to Monteverde there are basically only 2 options. You can take the long drive around Arenal Lake which is about 8 hours by bus or 4 hours in a 4×4. The other option is to take the bus, boat, bus shuttle which cuts the trip down to 2.5 hours. As all our in country transportation is with RideCr, this was the option that they provide with their jeep, boat, bus trip. We were picked up at our hotel in a somewhat modified school bus that would take us to the boat launch. The driver sure liked to use his brake and thought the speed limit on the windy and bumpy road only applied to the other people. It was quite a ride. After that it was onto the boat to cross Arenal Lake. Thankfully the rain had stopped and we got to see some of the scenery; still no volcano spotted though. After the boat it is a trip along the bumpy ‘roads’ to Santa Elena in the Monteverde region. Again this was quite the ride, but we had a much better driver.

Just happy to be off the bus

Crossing Arenal Lake

The start of the trip between Arenal Lake to Monteverde. The roads improved somewhat as we got closer to Santa Elena.

In Monteverde we stayed at Rancho Makena, a small family run B&B on a farm. We had cabins with a view out over the valley and when the fog lifted we were able to see for miles. We also had some curious visitors hanging out with us. The breakfast is amazing, fresh fruit, eggs, pancakes, toast, Gallo pinto and even some freshly baked pastries on our last day. The owners are very friendly and even offered to drive us into Santa Elena when we needed and also arranged a night tour for us at the last minute.

We stayed in the bottom two rooms. Both equipped with a mini kitchenette. Unfortunately due to the weather we didn’t get to enjoy the hammocks, but did get to sit outside in the few breaks between the rain.
View from the cabins overlooking Santa Elena


Shrimp Curry at the Tree House Restaurant in Santa Elena
Hummingbirds at the Salvatura Adventure Park
Curious visitors hanging around our cabin at Rancho Makenna

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