Our next port stop was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We were booked for the Monteverde Cloud Forest tour, so we hopped on our tour bus and headed out on a 2.5 hour drive. The roads were pretty narrow and as we wound our way up from sea level to ~4,500 ft, we wound up on some narrow and winding roads, many of them gravel. As Filander our guide had mentioned, the tour came with a complimentary back massage courtesy of the gravel roads. A little asphalt and a few guard rails would be some great additions to the area.
We arrived at Selvatura Park, the site of our tour, and spent a little under two hours on the treetop walkway tour. The path winds through the forest in a loop with several suspension bridges that give you a canopy-level view. After the tour, we had lunch, a tasty buffet of local food. Then off to the hummingbird garden where we saw some of the largest hummingbirds I’ve ever seen. I was expecting the tiny birds we have here at home, but these were enormous in comparison.
As we were getting ready to leave for our last stop on the tour, people noticed an animal that had made its way out of the forest right to the edge of the hummingbird garden. A white-nosed coati, it sat there rummaging on the ground for something to eat and didn’t seem to mind the gawking crowd. After a few minutes it wandered back into the forest. Here’s a photo:
We ended our tour with a visit to the “Jewels of the Rain Forest” insect museum, created to house the collection of biologist Richard Whitten. Insects of every size, shape, and color. Then back on the bus for the drive back to Puntarenas and the ship.