Hike to the Mirador

If the climb doesn’t take your breath away,
the vista will.

10 Puerto Viejo Hike
I love the sound of the Spanish language: it has so many melodic words. Mirador is one of my favorites. Have you ever been to a mirador? I’ll bet you have. Mirador means view point or lookout. It comes from the verb mirar, which means to look. Think of it like mirror. Mirame! = Look at me! Mirame, soy alpinista! Look at me, I’m a mountain climber!
It’s true. The other day, I climbed up into the mountains that overlook the Caribbean coast and it was an exhilarating experience. It rivaled memories of hikes to snow capped peaks in Montana’s Glacier National Park. Although I live by the ocean; I’m a Rocky Mountain girl, at heart. I enjoy a good, hard hike when there is a reward of repose, gazing infinitely into eternity. That’s what it’s like from way up high: the never-ending ocean and ever changing sky. I felt as though could have sat and stared into the distance for hours.
The stunning vista is intoxicating. Silent clouds flow in and out of the picture, as the angle of the sun shifts, tinting the color of the sky. The water, always moving, runs bands of azure and indigo across it’s wide expanse. White waves caress the shoreline with undulating momentum. The air is fresh and clear up here, even a bit chilly at times. There’s always a light breeze. You can almost see its currents around you, while you watch a lone hawk glide. It is quieter above the treetops than on the jungle floor. The hawk’s piercing cry cuts through the soft silent murmur of the wind and the waves and a million creatures muffled squawks and twitters, down below. Moments pass, unnoticed, and turn into hours, as the hypnotic fascination of nature draws you in deeper. It takes a lively jolt to bring you back to reality. “How about lunch?” someone says.
Yes! After a good steep climb, the view renews my spirit but I need fuel to replenish my body in preparation for the walk downhill. The view, the lunch and some interesting philosophical conversation made for an enjoyable afternoon for myself and Jose, the owner of this enchanting place. After meandering down the mountain we stopped for a nice, cold, beer and a dip in the pool at a nearby cantina.
Does this sound like fun? Come on down and I’ll take you there. We can even stay over night. Imagine what the starry sky looks like from the top of the rain forest; or the full moon reflected on the ocean. Imagine waking up to the morning calls of the jungle birds and the brilliant sunrise over the sea. I know you want to go.
In the mean time, while you’re booking your flight, I’ll help hold you over ’til you get here, by taking you up to this mundo alto, through my pictures. (Remember, by floating your cursor over each photo, you can see the captions.)

beginning of the path
This is my friend and owner of the beautiful La Isla Inn across from the surfer’s beach in Cocles. Jose also owns this property and has been kind enough to take me on a hike up to the house he built himself, at the top of the mountain. Here we begin our hike.

Here it is!
On up the path

Beautiful jungle all around

It flattens out a bit here.

Uphill again

sun on the vines looks like a waterfall!

Tiny frog

Jose's farm house
Jose built this house and the house at the top, himself. Hard to believe, because there is no road up the mountain. He brought the wood and all other materials up, strapped to a 4 X 4. This charming structure is the farmhouse, used when the place was a working cacao (coco) farm.

Old fashioned coco bean drier
Here we have an old fashioned coco bean drier, behind the farmhouse. The beans are spread out on the upper, flat surface. The roof runs on rails, so it can be moved to cover the beans at night or in case of rain.

Hiking up among the huge trees.

almost to the top

Th4e look out is at the top of this hill.

and here we are!

Mountainside by the house

first view

a closer look at Puerto Vargas to the north.

Puerto Viejo to the south

Breathtaking View!

Porch from which we see the view
primitive kitchen

front porch view

Indio Desnudo tree
Little Friend

Lone Hawk

changing sky

Little Island off "Beach Break" in Cocles

headed back down

down to the path

Flowers on the way

flowers everywhere!

toucan in the trees

another toucan


another green frog

Gallina Salvaje (wild chicken)

Her eggs (the camera flash scared her off the nest)

heading down to the bottom

Boca Chica Restaurant

A beer at Boca Chica


Poolside Lunch