Thursday, March 22, 2012

costa rica: part 2

we woke up early on thursday to head to the town of santa elena. we knew it was going to be another 3+ hour drive so we got an early start to ensure we'd have time to enjoy the monteverde region. the drive was absolutely stunning and very windy around lake arenal.
we arrived at our hotel, el sol, around noon and we were instantly mesmerized. we were immediately greeted by javier and his lovely wife, emma. they invited us into their home, offered us lunch, and made us feel so at ease. javier and j discussed iphone apps (this is always inescapable with my husband) and i wanted to kidnap javier's adorable MIL maria (although she spoke no english, i loved her immediately)!
we were upgraded to the large cottage and fell head over heels! we had originally planned on doing some excursions in the rainforest (i.e., zip-lining) but after walking around el sol, we knew we just wanted to soak it in and stay on property as much as possible (since we were idiots and only booked 1 night in monteverde). although there was a kitchen in our cottage, we ended up having lunch prepared for us by the local neighbors at a cost so we didn't have to leave! the lunch was incredible (cauliflower, rice, plantains, and potatoes)! we hung out at the pool with an adorable dutch family (the only other people staying on site besides the family who owned el sol) and it was purely magical!
that night, javier took us out on a guided night tour. he was so knowledgeable and very passionate about being a guide. we got to see hummingbirds, tarantulas, and an awesome strangler fig tree. sadly, we didn't get to see any sloths but hopefully next time! interesting fact from javier, although costa rica's land mass only makes up 0.03% of the world's land mass, they have 4% of the entire world's biodiversity! isn't that incredible?
we ended the night with dinner and then we enjoyed being completely removed from television, wifi, and phones. we didn't even have locks on the door (as americans, this is unheard of)!

we woke up with the sun the next morning and were able to catch the sunrise. we read for a while and then spent time in elisabeth's (javier's mother) house with the other guests and just enjoyed each other's company. the stories and laughter were wonderful and we already can't wait to return. i was so sad that we didn't get a picture with our hosts and new friends.
el sol will always have such a large part of my heart, because in this one day, i felt so energized and peaceful. the land and the family there were wonderful and breathtaking. i miss it all so much! ♥

after we finally forced ourselves to leave, we headed east towards playa tamarindo. despite the landscape becoming more and more dry and hot throughout our drive, we left with a calmness and renewed energy. life is good.

stay tuned for part 3 of our amazing trip!


  1. Okay, so considering that I've already heard what happens and seen photos relating to part 3, is it strange that parts 1 & 2 leave me in a state of anticipation? Wish I could have joined you guys!

  2. Oh my gosh, that place looks amazing!! That pool!


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