A Journey to Costa Rica

BY Mike Long TIMESeptember 16, 2014 PRINT

Waking up to the trilling call of the Resplendent Quetzal beats pretty much any alarm clock I’ve ever had, including that “Resplendent Quetzal” ringtone I downloaded. The bird song, rolling in through a window facing the Cloud Forest of Costa Rica, conjured sensations of peace, comfort, and connection to nature.

On a recent trip with the ecotour company Gondwana Ecotours, I encountered not only melodious birdsong, but butterflies of fantastic hues; I relaxed with serene sloths from hanging bridges through thick jungle canopies and leapt across the wild and cavernous face of a volcano. The coconut icing on the Costa Rican cake? Each of our full days of exploration began and ended in beautiful, elegant lodgings, with environmental preservation at heart.

Costa Rica (Mike Long, Eluxe Magazine)
Costa Rica (Mike Long, Eluxe Magazine)

In fact, Costa Rica doesn’t mess around when it comes to environmental protection. They have vowed to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. Since that declaration in 2007, they have walked the walk, exploring renewable resources and growing their ecotourism sector. After years of practice, their ecolodges deliver some of the most magical combinations of unfettered natural beauty with exceptional comfort and design.

On our trip, after a stroll through the mysterious Monteverde Cloud Forest, touted as one of the most biodiverse regions in the Americas, we stayed at the Monteverde Lodge, a secret jungle-dwelling ecolodge. Make no mistake: the Monteverde Cloud Forest is as beautiful as it sounds: the dense thicket is shrouded in clouds at its high altitude, and large altitudinal changes and sweeping valleys make for a huge amount of diversity.

Costa Rica (Mike Long, Eluxe Magazine)
Costa Rica (Mike Long, Eluxe Magazine)

At the ecolodge, the monkeys swing overhead in the lush estate gardens, full of Guarinthe Orchids, ferns of all sizes and shapes, all hedged by a luscious Blue Porter Weed. Here, the gardens coexist with the jungle in a balanced, organic blend.

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Copyright © 2014 by Eluxe Magazine. This article was written by Mike Long and originally published on

Mike Long
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