Monteverde, Costa Rica

**This post was written on my old blog and I have copied it over and made small edits**

2013

After leaving Parismina, we spent four days in Monteverde and if the mountains weren’t so cold (I wore long sleeves AND a Northface most of the time), I would LOVE to live in the mountains. The views were gorgeous. I had spent the last year living in Florida, so anything below 70F/21C was freezing to me.

The sun sets on my 23rd birthday

In Monteverde, we had the opportunity to milk cows, which was something I had never done before and it was actually really fun! For some reason, I was really freaked out at first when I touched the udder because I didn’t think that the udder was going to be warm (you would think that as a scientist, I would recognize that because cows are mammals, everything is warm!)

We hiked through the rainforest later that day and our girls were incredibly lucky to see 4 quetzals (rare birds), spider monkeys (uncommon), toucans, and a lot of insects and hummingbirds. The quetzals were GORGEOUS and our guide was incredibly knowledgable. It’s always so fun for my educator self when we have guides/teachers who are incredibly knowledgeable and interactive with our girls and make their experience really enjoyable.

Male Quetzal

We also had the chance to visit a chocolate factory and learn about the process of making chocolate. This was fun because we got to taste chocolate at different stages. We also had a hot chocolate drink with cayenne pepper — I recommend adding cayenne pepper to your hot chocolate all the time. It’s seriously amazing. We also visited a small, sustainable coffee farm and learned about the process of growing, harvesting, and creating coffee. It was so fun! We ended our visit to Monteverde by zip-lining through the canopy of the rainforest. Talk about AMAZING! Seriously, the feeling of zipping through the canopy at high speed is indescribable. The girls loved it and one girl, who is terribly afraid of heights, was able to conquer her fears and participate in the zip-lines as well! It was such an awesome way to end an incredible trip.

Cacao Tree

I wish that we had more time to spend in Monteverde, but I am incredibly thankful to have had this experience. How often do you get paid to go to Costa Rica and do all of these amazing things? I have done a lot of really great things so far in my young life, and I’m looking forward to what life has in store for my future!
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