We had planned this trip way in advance when our good friends invited us to their destination wedding! It didn’t take long for us to confirm our attendance, considering I had never been to Costa Rica before, I love beaches and I love weddings. The original plan was for all of the guests to arrive Tuesday the 16th for the scheduled wedding on Friday. Scott and I figured take one extra day off work and leave the weekend before to get the most out of our vacation…sooo that’s exactly what we did.
Our first destination was Monteverde, a cloud forest about 3 hrs South East from Liberia. Not only were we driving in a foreign country, but most roads were dirt roads and none of the streets have street names… But driving in Costa Rica is a whole other story….
We landed in Liberia on Saturday the 13th around noon, rented the car and were on the road around 1. We finally arrived in Monteverde around 4:30 to a very misty, foggy mountain village and just by chance found our hotel, Monteverde Lodge and Gardens. Now for the full recap starting with where we stayed…
A cute little hotel tucked away behind a lush jungle and what seemed like the edge of a mountain. The hotel itself was very peaceful and intimate. There are only 27 rooms, an in-house restaurant that serves traditional Costa Rican food, complementary breakfast every morning, a butterfly garden and a semi heated pool. My favorite part about the hotel was that there was no TV or AC in the rooms. It kind of forces you to disconnect and just “be.” It was just what we needed to kick off our trip!
- Zip lining through the cloud forest
Zip lining through the cloud forest was a tour high up on our list. We talked about a few things we wanted to do, but kept our schedule pretty open and planned most of our tours through our hotel when we got there. This was definitely the best quality zip lining we’ve ever done. Since the lines start at the top of the mountain, and it’s a dense forest, you have to ride a gondola up to the top. It was really windy and kind of chilly, but we warmed up at the top when we got complementary hot chocolate before starting our decent down.
- Choco Cafe Don Juan
Shortly after zip lining we ate a tasty lunch at a little coffee shop near our hotel. They had a lot of options, like sandwiches, wraps, salads, quesadillas, etc. I got the quesadilla and scott got some sort of BLT. I loved my meal!
- Don Juan Coffee Tour
Costa Rica is known for their amazing coffee and they’re rich chocolate. We got to learn about both on this tour! It was the perfect afternoon pick me up. At Don Juan they grow coffee, sugar cane, and chocolate. We walked around and learned so much about coffee and what all goes into making it. For us coffee lovers, it was really interesting! I had no idea the amount of work that went into producing coffee. Our guild was telling us that only 20% of the coffee bean is actually used in production, the other 80% is composted. Not too sure I would want to be in the coffee business!
Don Juan, the man himself.
- Hiking Monteverde reserve
We did some light hiking on our last day in Monteverde at the Monteverde reserve. It was nice because there was a trail that connected the reserve to our hotel so it was very convenient. We hiked on the green/yellow trails, saw a huge ficus tree, a few of what we thought were capybara, some Costa Rican vultures, and a few other birds. For the most part, the wild life was kind of light, which was a bummer. I was really hoping to see some monkeys! We hiked down some red trails to check out two different waterfalls. After that, we headed back to the hotel to change into our swimsuits and spent the rest of the afternoon lounging at the pool. It was a beautiful day!
We left Tuesday morning to meet up with the wedding crew in Playa Ocotal to kick off wedding celebrations. Part 2 coming soon!