January 21, 2019
Last night’s sunset was lovely – and they kept the lights on the top deck off so we could see the lunar eclipse/wolf blood moon. Unfortunately my iPhone didn’t capture the moon well (I am sure other will share photos with me) but here is the sunset.
This is our third visit to Costa Rica, and we find that there is always something new to explore. Today our tour is “A Walk in the Clouds”. We had a one hour, 45 minute bus trip to the Continental Divide, the Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve, where the warm air from the Pacific meets the cooler air from the Caribbean and it forms a cloud cover. The forest is lush and beautiful. Our guide was Jonathan, who lives in Puntarenas but spent 10 years in Summit NJ, so we shared a few NJ stories.
The trip was beautiful – lots of mountains – the country has many forests and it is illegal to cut down a tree here.
Jonathan provided us with a lot of information about his country. Puntarenas, where we docked, means Sandy Point. Costa Rica means rich coast, and the name came from Columbus when he explored this part of the world. It is a small country of only 20,000 square miles.
We traveled part of the way on the Pan American highway which stretches from Alaska to Argentina!
Costa Rica has not had an army since 1949. The money that was previously used for the army is now used for education. The population is well educated. Jonathan says it is the most expensive country in Latin America due to the high taxes. The population is 5 million and many have come from Nicaragua seeking a better life.
Tourism is their chief source of income.
There are 112 volcanoes here and 7 are active. They get 7000 earthquakes a year but only 100 can be felt. This is why there are no tall buildings.
All of the countries in this area of the world claim to grow the best coffee. We had some here and it was definitely good, but our guide in Colombia was so proud of their coffee that he gave us a gift pack to take home!
Once we reached the forest, we first went to an open hummingbird garden where many species of the fast moving birds were drinking the nectar in the feeders. They also love the bromeliads in the forest.
We hiked through the forest and over 4 suspended bridges that are up to 126 feet above the forest. They are between 95 and 253 feet long and gave a beautiful view of the flora and fauna, small waterfalls and streams that run through the forest.
We also visited a small butterfly farm, not too many to see but we did get a few pictures of them and some of the flowers.
There is a high bridge for bungee jumpers (no thanks) and there is an extensive zip lining adventure too- we saw some of those brave people – who were screaming, by the way.
We had a delicious Costa Rican lunch and left for Le Jardin, a large craft market with a pretty garden in the back. We met up with Pam and Tom for some pictures.
The ship leaves at 4 for Nicaragua and we will have dinner at Toscana tonight with friends Marilyn and Charlie and Rodney and Candace.