A Weekend Excursion to a Costa Rican Cloud Forest

Madeline Cowell is a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in San Jose, Costa Rica

When arriving in Costa Rica, one of the things I was looking forward to most was the opportunity to explore the country. I was even more excited when I found out that my program fee included three weekend excursions that were pre-planned for us by ISA. For these trips all we needed to do was show up to campus, while the rest was taken care of; transportation, lodging, and activities. These trips have been such a nice break from the chaos of planning our own weekend trips. The second week of our program, we had our first ISA weekend trip to Monteverde, one of Costa Rica’s famed cloud forests. We met in the morning on our university’s campus and boarded the bus to Monteverde.

Morning, San Jose, Costa Rica - Cowell - 1
View from the bus leaving San Jose in the morning.

It took a little over 3 hours to get from Universidad Veritas in San Jose to Monteverde.

Bus Ride, San Jose, Costa Rica - Cowell -2
Instead of taking the public bus, ISA rented out a private bus for us.

Before arriving to our hotel, we made a quick stop at one of the many national parks in Costa Rica. ISA paid our entry fees, recommended some trails and then we were off on our own to explore. We passed by some monkeys, La Ventana (The Window) lookout and crossed a suspended bridge.

Pano of trail, Monteverde, Costa Rica - Cowell -3
Panorama of the trail.
Trail Lookout, Monteverde, Costa Rica - Cowell - 4
View from one of the lookouts on the trail.
Suspended Bridge, Monteverde, Costa Rica - Cowell -6
Crossing the suspended bridge.

Then we arrived to the hotel for an awesome buffet style lunch.

Lunch, Monteverde, Costa Rica - Cowell - 5
Freshly squeezed juice and chicken salad before the main course.


After lunch there was an optional canopy tour to a nearby adventure park. The tour company picked us up from the hotel, we put on our gear, listened to some useful instructions and then began the tour.

Zip lining, Monteverde, Costa Rica - Cowell -7
Zip lining above the jungle.

This zip line course featured a 1,590 meter superman zip line that allows you to lay flat and “fly” above the jungle, hands-free. We ended the course with the Megatarzan Swing. This “swing” was more like a small bungee jump. You stand on the edge of a platform and jump, and when the bungees catch you, you end up swinging.

Tarzan Jump, Monteverde, Costa Rica - Cowell - 8
Preparing for the jump.

After the canopy tour, we went back to the hotel to eat another amazing meal. In the morning we had free time to explore downtown Monteverde, swim, hike or sleep. Then, after another delicious meal we departed back to San Jose.

Hotel Room, Monteverde, Costa Rica - COWELL - 9
The view just a few steps outside of our room.
Pool, Monteverde, Costa Rica - COWELL -10
Pool and exercise room.

Overall, this excursion was such an unforgettable experience.

The world awaits…discover it.

Leave a Reply