Costa Rica: Magic on the Side of the Road

Hummingbird in Costa Rica

Time to switch gears and talk about Costa Rica some more.

After Quepos we made the five-hour road trip to Arenal. It definitely wasn’t a boring drive. It was full of steep hills, switchbacks, narrow bridges, and potholes. It was also full of fantastic scenery: vistas of the ocean, mountains, and farmland. No matter how beautiful the drive—five hours gets to be a bit much without a stop. We started seeing signs along the road for a butterfly and a hummingbird garden. It looked kind of cheesy and touristy but I had never heard of a hummingbird garden and I was intrigued. I asked Jeremy if we could stop when we got to it.

Butterfly Garden Sign

We accidentally drove past it and he asked me if I really wanted him to turn around. Yes. We pulled into the parking lot and went to the reception area. The woman behind the counter informed us that their restaurant was closed but the gardens were still open. Entrance fee was $10 per person; Jeremy was still unsure, but I really wanted to stretch my legs. We paid the $20 and we were so glad that we did.

Hummingbird Drinking Nectar in Costa Rica

As we walked up the trail we were absolutely stunned by the sheer number of hummingbirds. They were swarming around the trees and the hummingbird feeders. We could hear them chattering and buzzing as their tiny wings zipped past our ears.

Hummingbird perched on a branch in Costa Rica

These moments were mesmerizing and made us feel the magic of Costa Rica. Seeing in abundance something that is so elusive at home and something that is such a joy to see in even the smallest numbers was overwhelmingly awe-inspiring to see by the hundreds.

Hummingbird perched on a branch in Costa Rica

We had to force ourselves to leave the hummingbirds to go to the butterfly garden. The butterflies in Costa Rica are colorful, peaceful, and huge. There are so many different varieties and the way that they just lightly float across the air has a way of simultaneously evoking calm and excitement because of their beauty.

Morpho Butterfly
Morpho Butterfly

Even the caterpillars were crazy looking and massive. Jeremy called them slug dragons.

Owl Butterfly Caterpillars
Owl Butterfly Caterpillars aka Slug Dragons

This place ended up being one of our favorite places that we saw while we were in Costa Rica. We were continuously shocked by the magic that can be found just off of the road. Enchanting and full of life, Costa Rica never ceased to amaze me.

Blue Wave Butterfly
Blue Wave Butterfly
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