We took a taxi from the airport to Pension Alajuela, which was just a short 5 minute drive away. This hostel was basic but clean and secure. We relaxed for most of the first day and later booked a tour for the following day.
On October 3, we took a day trip to a coffee plantation, the Poas volcano and a stunning waterfall. The coffee plantation was so lush and green. They served us a traditional Tica breakfast called 'gallo pinto'. Next the guide took us to Poas volcano. We hiked to the lookout where we were able to see the crater for a few minutes before the clouds rolled in. It was a surreal experience, like looking at the moon! Our third stop was at a waterfall followed by a short visit to a cafe with tropical birds and tarantulas in captivity. The guide picked up a tarantula so we could get up close and personal!
We were suppossed to carry on to the Sarapiqui rain forest in the afternoon but the only highway to that area was blocked by a semi truck that lost his load of bricks and rolled over several times. We heard that the poor driver was badly injured and we just hope he is ok now. So we turned back and on the way back to Alajuela, the driver spotted a grey three-toed sloth in the trees. He was so well camoflauged that pictures don't do justice. But it was neat to see him lounging in the trees.
With our afternoon free, we wandered around the main square in Alajuela and attempted to visit the museum but it was closed. We dined at Pizza Hut and then headed back to the hostel to book a bus to Monteverde for early the next morning. Hopefully we'll see a lot of wildlife in the cloud forest!
We arrived at the San Jose airport in Costa Rica quite early on October 2nd. Our flight from Mexico City to San Jose with TACA was excellent.