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.
Continue reading Monteverde: Free/Cheap Activities + Photo Spots

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!?

Continue reading Weather Confusion

Aries are the best, sorry: a haul

Fuck paying retail.

What’s up people? It’s KNURLY. Your friendly neighborhood type-A, fiery, mental, and stubborn Aries. By the time this post goes up, I suspect it will be way past Aries season (yup, I was right). If not, good on me for keeping up with my blog. Anyway, I did way too much shopping around my birthday and so of course I need to share it with you. Listen, I haven’t posted any full thrift hauls yet, so you don’t know what a cheap-ass I really am. Some of these prices hurt – but trust me, I’m still the queen of deals.

But first: Let’s talk about how this is the day that my bank card was getting declined. You can read more about that here. But just imagine you’re trying to find something cute and you have to drive all the way home to grab the $140 bucks you never deposited in your bank account (due to laziness). But hey, I guess my laziness paid off this time. You also have no idea if your account is simply frozen because of you or because someone tried to suck it dry and that’s terrifying.

Anyway…With only 40 minutes before the mall closed, I finally gave in and joined my friend at Urban Outfitters. I can’t disguise my disdain for some of their controversies and business practices – so we’re not even going to go there. These were 40% off clearance.

UO dresses

Original: $89.00, Sale: $49, Final price: $29.40

Continue reading Aries are the best, sorry: a haul

OOTD: Refusing to grow up + embarrassing myself on the internet

Of course, embarrassment requires shame, a characteristic of which I am lacking. I may look like an adult, drive, attend college, and file taxes, but that doesn’t mean I ever grew up. It started out as an innocent walk through a park in an attempt to kill time before my evening plans, that is, until I realized I could force my friend into taking OOTD photos for me. It was quite gloomy that day unfortunately.

Click for larger view!Knurly!Click for larger view! 
Knurlyyyyy

But then came the playground which I could not keep myself off. Don’t worry, there were no kids here…besides me.

Continue reading OOTD: Refusing to grow up + embarrassing myself on the internet