That's right, we took a selfie...enjoy it, it's the very first one we've taken ever, but we gotta remember this moment! Read further for a better picture of this Lepanthes!
Day 13: Arrival at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge & visit to the Monteverde Orchid Garden
That's the view from the hummingbird garden right next to the restaurant..how amazing is this?! We're finally in the middle of the cloud forest! (This was taken on the only sunny day of course, but the view is still breathtaking. It's usually one big cloudy valley)
After our arrival, we immediately took a taxi to the little town of Santa Elena de Monteverde to visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden. They said it was a small orchid garden and it sure is, but totally packed with miniature orchids all endemic to Costa Rica!
We were given a small tour and spent another hour or so going over each orchid in detail, what a delight it was.
Check out some of the species we found there:
Awesome specimen of Platystele stenostachya
Platystele jungermannioides! Can you spot the tiny flower?
And this wonderful Epidendrum firmum
We could keep spamming you with pictures of their garden, but just trust us when we say you should definitely go there when in Costa Rica! Very friendly people with a very nice garden!
Day 14: Selvatura hanging bridges guided hike - our best day so far in Costa Rica
And no we're not exaggerating, it was the best day so far!
During our guided walk, we already saw a couple of interesting new species, such as this Epidendrum sp. we saw pretty much everywhere.
This little Stelis sp. was spotted right at the start of the guided walk.
All well and good, but we felt there was a lot more potential in miniature orchids here so we went back on our own...and that's when it happened. The Lepanthes tree...
Okay so imagine this: we're slowly following the trail, going from tree to tree, spotting the occasional Lepanthes leaves, when we arrive at this tree and cry out at the same time: "Oh my god, Lepanthes in bloom"! And what's more, it was 2 different Lepanthes species!
Excited like two little puppies, pointing at some green amongst more green, we couldn't believe it. We finally found them, in-situ Lepanthes...
We were totally hyped up, and just looking around on the same tree, we even found a third species!
It can't get any better than this for us, mission accomplished!
We were bound to found more orchids along the way, and we did:
Scaphosepalum sp. Better pictures will follow, these were taken with the phone camera
Mini-miniature Oncidium-looking plant fallen from the canopy with some branches:
That's me, taking a picture of this tiny Pleurothallis sp. (?)
And last but not least, this miniature Oncidium sp.
Okay that's it for now, if you recognize any species please contact us! We'll try and identify some of them when we get back home.
Oh and most people would be more amazed by the birds we saw today: 6 Quetzals (yes, that's 6 of them in half a day), a Three-wattled Bellbird (their call is beautiful and impressively loud), an Emerald Toucanet and more! Google those and be amazed!
Plans for the next days: coffee tour (you haven't been a real tourist in Costa rica until you've done one of those right?) and a visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve!