After 4 hours of driving on steep dirt roads, we made it to Camino Verde, owned by Andres Gomez '06. We were now in the Monteverde, or the cloud forest. This unique area is one of the prime locations in Costa Rica to grow coffee as it provides ideal conditions for the plants. After we settled in to our rooms and grabbed a smoothie, we all loaded into a bus and droves out to the forest. We took a night hike to try and witness some of the animal night life that can't be seen during the day. With the help of our guide Marco, we were lucky enough to spot an armadillo, a sleeping toucan, a possum, pit viper, scorpion and tarantula. After the hike many students went out into town to grab a bite to eat. When walking around Monteverde, a clear contrast could be seen between tourist traps and authentic Costa Rican cuisine. A personal favorite was the Taco Taco Taqueria. Over our two days I enjoyed my fair share of tacos, unlike any taco I have ever had. These two days gave students plenty of time to explore the town, shop for some coffee to take home and to relax among the clouds. I enjoyed sitting on the balcony of the hotel that overlooked the mountains that stretched on out to the Pacific.
On Monday we went zip lining. This was an incredible experience. The course had over 7 lines, 2 super mans and a Tarzan swing. One line was the longest in Latin America, and was just short of a mile. This bird's eye view provided a new perspective of the land we had been exploring by foot. And although I loved staying on the Ranch, Monteverde was my favorite part of the trip. We had so much more freedom since we were located in town and I was able to witness the culture of Costa Rica for myself.