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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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DIY Tropigoth HeadBand: Knurly Crafts

Surprise! It may not be summer anymore, however, I figured I would post this tutorial in the spirit of Halloween. I picked up these knarly pineapple decorations from a thrift store. They’re made of a rubbery material and are more suited for home decor, but I couldn’t help myself. Initially I was going to have a two-pineapple headband, almost like wearing cat-ears or puff balls. However, it was too overwhelming, even for me, so I decided to make two separate headbands.

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I will never wear these again + the parachute dress

They sucked me in! I saw these babies while waking down the street and they are two for 12. I’ve wanted some Octogon sunglasses for a long time. I like the way they look on my face, and not to mention, the blue tint matched my outfit. I also bought a pair in black, but […]

Weather Confusion

Hey, hi, hello.

Fun fact: I love thrifting, cause I’m cheap but I love shopping. A particular Goodwill near me runs a $1 special on two tag colors every Sunday. All items – clothing, shoes, accessories, housewares and furniture – are included in the special, including something undeniably fabulous…

A GIANT WOOL COAT.

Naturally I decided to take photos in the 80-degree weather, but don’t worry, I found a way to make it more appropriate:

Right, did I mention this was ONE DOLLAR!?

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