fun in the cloud forest


Posted on April 21, 2012 by

after getting settled at our hostal in santa elena, we wanted to check out the nature reserves in the area. our hostal owner gave us her opinion on which one she preferred (because it was transparent about where its money went: the local high school). so, for our first full day in the cloud forest we headed to the santa elena reserve.

checking out volcan arenal in the background from a fire tower in the reserve

we got pretty amazing views of the volcano, which is lucky because there's a large amount of time that it is totally covered by clouds

pete and bob playing with their differing ways of capturing the experience, bob recorded bird sounds all day and pete took lots of pictures of us goofing off

snack time is always important when hiking (yes, those are cool ranch doritos. and, yes, they were good.)

we had a good time at the reserve and got to cook our own dinner at the hostal that night, which felt novel. so, we were feeling better about our costa rica budget. we still didn’t want to push it, though. so, we opted to try a free activity the next day. once again the hostal owner came through with her knowledge of the area and sent us about twenty minutes out of town to a giant strangler fig that was supposed to be pretty cool. (and she was right!) we didn’t have a great map and the roads leading out of town weren’t well marked (surprise, surprise). so, when we came upon a group of high schoolers heading home from school, we asked if they knew where to find the tree. just our luck, they were going there! this was a little confusing to us because we headed up a steep gravel road and then one of the girls just veered off onto a dirt path and said to follow her. but, the other two kept walking up the road. but, she seemed like a harmless 15 year old. so, we let her lead us down the path. and, sure enough, a group of kids was hanging out just past the tree. her other friends had just taken a different route in. apparently this was the cool kids’ hang out after school. not a bad high school experience, in my mind. but, anyway, back to the tree. it was impressive to say the least. here it is in pictures..

bob is inside the tree getting ready to climb up

the view from inside

what happens with a strangler fig is that it grows around another tree and eventually suffocates it. the inside tree dies away and you are left with this cool jungle gym to climb up. it got narrower and narrower as we climbed, which was actually a nice thing because you felt cocooned and safe near the top.

we popped out of the small opening at the top and hung out about 70 feet in the air for awhile. it was a fun place to hang out and have a conversation.

here i am on the last few feet of the descent. my arms were a little shaky once we got down and i think it was because i was so concerned about not falling out of the tree. i've gotten this far on the back of a motorcycle in one piece, so falling out of a tree would be a sad way to end the adventure.

This entry was posted in costa rica.

About Bec

I'm not your typical motorcycle adventure blogger. First, I'm a girl. Second, I'm a passenger on a v-strom 650 riding behind my boyfriend from Louisville, Kentucky through 13 countries to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Response to fun in the cloud forest

  1. I consider myself extremely blessed to be able to live this experience through the 2 of you. Thank you for sharing, it feeds my soul in ways that words can’t explain. I know that this is something that we will soon be sitting around a fire talking about for many years to come. I miss and love you both. Many blessings to you all as your travel along this journey!!!

  2. Hey, cool tree! You guys are awesome, thanks for sharing your adventures! It’s great to see your faces xxx

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