Day 4: Ficus Trees, Cloud Forest and Nighttime Wildlife Tour
We didn’t have plans for this day, but a fellow traveler had told us the night before about a giant Ficus tree you could climb inside of to the top, so we decided to check it out. After a quick breakfast at Stella’s, we parked downtown (close to the Tree House Restaurant from the night before) and walked up the main road away from town. It probably would have been better to park and walk from Eddy’s Place (or somewhere else along this road), as this is closer to the entrance of the Ficus trail. We also got lost some, so I’ll drop the map location here so you can find it easier than we did.
After a short hike along the trail, and passing several other Ficus trees, we came upon the greatest tree of all. It was honestly one of the coolest trees I’ve ever seen. You can climb up the inside to the top, but we only made it about 1/3 of the way before getting too scared and climbing down. It was still awesome, and we had the tree all to ourselves for a good amount of time! This would definitely be on my “do not miss” list.
On the walk back to the car, we saw a sign for a Night Walk at one of the “sodas” (a cheap local restaurant) nearby and decided to sign up. The tour wasn’t until later, but we had to book early in the day for that evening. There are many Night Walk options available, but we booked with Kinkajou and it ended up being amazing.
After lunch at the aforementioned soda, we wanted to do some hiking in what Monteverde is known for: the Cloud Forest. The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve was close by, so we drove and paid the $16 entrance fee. There were several trails ranging in length, but were all well marked, so we hiked about 2 hours through the beautiful forest, seeing very few other people the entire time.
After the hike through the Cloud Forest, we went back to our Airbnb to relax a little bit. As we had time to kill before the Night Tour, we hiked the trails near our Airbnb and found more Ficus trees (and a nice lookout!). If you’re into adventure, this might be a great time to do one of the many ziplines in the area!
At last it was time for our Night Walk tour. We went back to the “soda” where we had purchased our tickets and the tour bus picked us up from there and brought us to a meeting point. There were LOTS of people on this tour, but they divided us into smaller groups of about 15 people per tour guide.
PRO TIP: Try to get near the front of the tour for this one if you can! Several times we missed some wildlife action because someone in front of us was moving too slowly. Move as quickly and as silently as possible!
This tour was exceptional! Our guide pointed out things we would have never seen on our own…nocturnal birds, frogs, armadillos, scorpions, tarantulas, AND the most exciting part…a sloth coming down to pee! They only do this once/week and we happened to be there for it, so you can say we were just a little excited (aka it was the highlight of the trip!). Not to mention the amount of stars we could actually see was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. DO NOT MISS THIS TOUR!