"We Got Our Own Private Tour!"
No one else signed up for the 6 a.m. birding tour at Monteverde, so Winston and Judee had the guide all to themselves. "He knew all the bird calls," says Judee, "so he could hear where the birds were before he saw them." She bought these quetzal earrings as a souvenir.
Winston and Judee put on brave faces, but they were terrified before their zip-line rides. "We kept joking around to mask our fear," Winston says. "In the end, though, it was thrilling."
This rhinoceros beetle was in a terrarium at a little roadside coconut stand. "I was staring at it, and all of a sudden, the guy was handing it to me!" Judee says.
Birds in the Mist
During their bird-watching tour, the Lees learned why Monteverde is called a cloud forest—the air was thick with fog and mist the whole time.
A Jungle Out There
The brochure for Tortuga Lodge reminds visitors that no matter how nice the place is, it's still in the jungle. Guests are warned to check their shoes and beds for scorpions and spiders. "We didn't see any," Winston says, "but we did see four iguanas within 10 minutes of our arrival."
Arenal Happy Hour
The Lees found a tour that took them to Arenal volcano. "Our guide mixed us rum drinks and promised we'd see eruptions," says Winston. "And we did! Of course, the rum may have enhanced the show a bit."
"We were adventurous eaters," says Judee. At this open-air joint, each table had several sauces without labels. "We had no idea what they were, but we tried them all."