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Monteverde: Free/Cheap Activities + Photo Spots

Despite not being the most well-known desitnation, Monteverde, Costa Rica, still lands on many traveler’s itineraries. As a budget traveler, I’ve culminated a list of all the free (or cheap) activities I personally did while in Monteverde. This isn’t everything we did, just the cheap or free things. Also, since we’re living in the digital nomad era, I’ve included some places I think have good potential for photographers.

Transportation: It may sound crazy, but we walked everywhere (except to activities which included transportation). We stayed in downtown Santa Elena. It is doable, but keep in mind the area is tons of steep hills, so it’s not for those who need accessibility. 

Accommodations: We stayed at Hostel Sloth (private room). I’ll link you to their Tripadvisor page (which also happens to have my review on it). Our room was incredibly clean, and had a mini fridge. The only drawback is there doesn’t seem to be a big social aspect to this place versus some of the other hostels. 

Climate: We visited in mid-August, and much to our surprise (more like, we didn’t research), Monteverde was chilly and windy! To quote some other backpackers at our hostel: “I packed for Hawaii, not Anarctica!” It’s true, you will need a pair of long pants and a windbreaker/rain jacket while here. It’s not objectively cold, but it’s much cooler than you’d expect. 

Note: Location links will be in Google Maps. 


Hiking/Cloud Forrest Access

Cerro Amigos: Cerro Amigos (location link) is the most recommended free thing to do in Monteverde. It’s advertised as a free hike, and it is free, but I’ll warn you that this hike is no joke. There are two small parts of the hike that are relatively flat, but other than that, it’s an hour and a half of steep uphill death.

 The two *REAL* reason to hike Cerro Amigos:

  1. The trails off the peak give you free access to the cloud forest. Check out this blog for the map of the trail. Or you can ask the radio tower watchman. Speaking of which…
  2. There is a jewelry shop at the top run by the radio watchtower man, I believe his name is Carlos. Go visit Carlos. He’s nice (brush up on your Spanish beforehand), and he makes really unique pieces for really affordable prices (cash only, obv).
It’s an hour and a half of this. Steep. 

We saw a Coati…I think.
But it’s not all ugly. 
The top is better on a clear day, but still nice on a cloudy one.
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An adventure in stupidity – eBay Buying Guide #1 + Haul + Dumb Photos

First and foremost: THANK YOU to everyone that has followed my blog!

Mind-you: I didn’t intentionally buy shitty clothes from eBay for my blog. That would just be wasteful. And listen, I know that “buying cheap clothes from eBay” trend is dead but it’s not a phase for me! I actually sell on eBay, and I’ve been buying from eBay for years. One, I wanted to see if I could do any better, and two, I want to show all the generally safe and unsafe items to buy from eBay.

LESSON #1: FEEDBACK

It’s not a high standard to have 100% or 99.9% positive feedback. Anything below a 99.7% is usually a red flag. If it’s a smaller seller, there’s no reason they should have lots of negative feedback. If it’s a larger seller with negative feedback, chances are they may be selling poorly made items – or they are bad at shipping out their items. Stay away or brave dangerous the waters. 

LESSON #2: STOCK PICTURES LIE

It should go without saying, if the photos look like they’re from somewhere else – they probably are. If you see the same image reused in multiple listings from sellers in China – RUN. Anyway, shall with get on with my mistakes purchases?

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