Costa Rica 

Photographs by Wendy & Shaun O'Boyle

We have been to Costa Rica twice, the first time was for our honeymoon in 1994 when we spent four weeks traveling the country. Recently we made a return trip for another 3 week stay. This is a view of the Central Valley from the side of Poas volcano. The drive from the central valley up the volcano is really beautiful, and the views are spectacular until you hit the clouds that almost always shroud the summit of the volcano. We drove straight from the airport up to the mountain, it was on our way to our first overnight destination, Selva Verde. 

There are thousands of acres of coffee planted on the slopes of Poas. This coffee finca had an excellent coffee shop right in the middle of their fields along side the road, we had excellent fresh brewed latte while sitting on the balcony overlooking these fields. We needed the caffeine jolt since we had just got off a red eye flight from New York arriving in San Jose at 6 am. You can tour the fields and see the whole coffee growing  process if you want. 

A reasonably good view of what a cloud forest looks like. It is the constant supply of water being raked out of the clouds by the trees that makes the fantastic cloud forest thrive here on the higher altitude regions of Costa Rica.  This view is near the summit of Poas volcano. We have been there twice, and both times the summit was completely socked in with clouds. We have yet to see into the volcano crater. A walk thru some of the trails at the summit reveals fantastic dwarf clouds forests with twisting stunted trees dripping with epiphytes including mosses, bromeliads and lichens. 

Epiphytic bromeliad shown here from the cloud forest at the summit of Poas. Despite being in the tropics, it is quite cool at the mountain summits, here we are near 7000 feet in altitude so the damp air is quite chilly and you get quite wet walking the trails from the constant dripping from the trees, even when it isn't raining. 

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