Monteverde is a cloud forest about four hours from La Fortuna.
It is a bit hard to get to. You have to first cross the Lake Arenal and then go up the mountain range in a bus or a 4 X 4 jeep. More adventurous people go up there on horse back or even cycle.
We did a boat ride – horse back ride – jeep trip to the top. The views all along are spectacular and totally worth the sore bums that the horse ride gives you.
Again, next morning we had an opportunity to wake up early and see the magnificent Queztal in the Cloud forest – but we didn’t budge. Instead we went on a coffee plantation tour. Costa Rican coffee is mild and I simply loved the flavor. We saw the whole process from picking the berries to roasting them and then grinding them for a fresh brew. Fresh tamales with hot coffee amidst coffee plantation is a perfect way to spend a Christmas morning.
As we savored the tamales and coffee, we quietly pondered over the hard lives of the farm hands. They barely make enough picking beans/ tending to farm chores. Finding reliable workers is hard. Most international brands have stringent requirements and sometimes don’t think the yield is up to their quality standards. And even with so many farms around local farmers cannot afford the coffee they grow. They mostly drink the coffee that is really substandard. Such is the way of life for all farmers and agriculturists around the world – be it Bali, India or Costa Rica.
We wished to linger on, but we had to get going – pack our bags and catch a shared cab to San Juan – the last stop on our Central American adventure.