Monteverde was high on my list of places to visit in Costa Rica. We spent three nights here so that we could explore the magical forests high up in the mountains that have unique flora, fauna and animals.
Getting to Monteverde (literally green mountain) is worth writing about simply because the roads were horrendous – lol! For such a top tourist destination in Costa Rica, we couldn’t believe how bad the roads were. They were metallic but not sealed. There were often potholes and it kicked up plenty of dust. On the map, what looked like a 30 minute drive would take 90 minutes. But it still had some pretty scenery and plenty of wind turbines reminding me of how progressive Costa Rica is with regards to organic farming, creating carbon neutral farms and sourcing clean energy.
The landscapes reminded us of the greenery hills in the North Island of New Zealand, a little dry in Summer but green and lush in winter, with lots of curvy terrain. The roads were hilly and windy like NZ roads but unlike NZ roads, NZ roads are sealed 😉
We’ve stayed in a few different hostels and the pictures on Airbnb of this place didn’t promise anything more than a place to sleep at night and breakfast in the morning. But once we arrived this amazing hostel quickly became a heartwarming stay hosted by two kind souls that love sharing their home and their creations with their guests.
The grandmother of five sewed all the linen, curtains, wall hangings and bathroom decorations. And her husband Victor built the house and the beds from wood he had cut and polished at this brothers farm, incorporating carvings in the walls and roof timber. My favourite piece of Marj’s was a peacock where she threads ribbon into the cloth to create the designs.
They also welcomed us into their home each morning and prepared a typical Costa Rican breakfast with rice and beans, eggs and fresh fruit. For Lui and Kenzo they setup a kiddie table with little cups of juice and fun patterns in their food.
The teens and little ones loved swinging in the hammock outside. So whenever I was outside with them, either Victor or Mark would take the time to talk to us – they don’t speak a word of English. But they would talk about their grandchildren and what to see in Monteverde and how many years they had been running a hostel and about the farms they were brought up on. It really tested my Spanish limits but they spoke slowly and used hand gestures so that I could understand. Many people would not bother trying to converse if they did not speak the same language but these two didn’t hesitate.
I was sad to be leaving Monteverde and would’ve loved to stay longer but it was quite an expensive area relative to our daily budget for Costa Rica so we only stayed three nights. If I returned I would hope to stay with our Airbnb hosts again in their beautiful hostel and aim to explore more of the magical cloud forests. We were on our way to the beach town of Samara on the Pacific coast.