[:en]We left Nosara around 10 am with our little rental friend who was fueled and ready to drive the 170 kilometers/3.5 hours to Monteverde. The drive itself was quite pleasant with fair traffic and nice roads until we were about 10KM off the Panamerican Highway on the 606, when the nice tarmac turned into dirt/sand roads all the way up to the Monteverde city limits.
With no reservations (I’m beginning to see a pattern here), we drove around the city looking for lodging. I would wait outside with the car and have Danielle go in to the different hotels and ask for rates as parking was not an easy task. The small overpopulated roads of the two adjacent towns, Santa Helena and Monteverde, were hard to navigate, let alone try to find a tiny spot for our small giant, a Suzuki Swift with a big heart and a small engine.
We finally settled at Cabinas Vista Al Golfo, who would be able to accommodate us for just one night. The hostel had a full kitchen and a decent view of the gulf, which was in all reality too far away to be seen, anyway. It’s was also the first time, since we started traveling, that I had to wear a jacket as the temperature dropped drastically as soon as the sun went down due to the high winds and the altitude (1400 meters) in this cloud forest. They included your common “continental breakfast” as part of the deal, $13USD per person, which we took advantage of the next morning before heading into the Santa Helena Reserve.
There are three adjacent reserves in this area, the famous Monteverde Reserve, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and the Santa Helena Reserve. Monteverde is the most popular with over 70.000 visitor per year, it is also the most expensive at $20USD. Santa Helena’s cost was only $14, with the promise of less people and more animals. And it was exactly like that.
With limited time, we hiked a mix of the Youth Challenge, the Del Bajo trail and the Encantado trail for a total of 3 hours. We stopped and took some photos from the Lookout Tower and walked through beautiful paths and contact with other humans was rare.
We had found a new spot for the night just down the street from Vista al Golfo, but upon our return from the Reserve we were told by the owner that when we moved in (around 8am), he had not had time to check in the reservations and there was someone coming who had booked prior to our arrival, that he had take the time to make arrangements for us to go to another spot and that would honor the same price. And it was by no means the same quality; kitchen didn’t work, mattress was below average. It was a shit hole. But, we were getting up before 4am to drive to Dominical so, we didn’t pay much attention to it and went on one of the funnest activities we have done so far: canopy tour with Aventura tours, a 1690 superman style zip line.
It was incredible. And thats all I can tell you about it, you just need to do it. 

Lodging: Cabinas Vista Al Golfo
Kitchen: Yes.
Cost:$13USD/Person (We had a private)
Date: March 2014
Rating: 4/5
Review: Nice, clean kitchen. Really basic rooms with soon to be replaced mattresses. Awesome customer service.

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