Greetings from Costa Rica! Land of coffee, quetzals, and an occasional loco Tico…
Finca Monte Galan (con loco tico) is the name of the farm and roughly translates to “Handsome Mountain Farm (with the crazy tico)”. A “tico” is a native Costa Rican. You will need to read on to find out who is the loco tico!
The farm is located in a rural mountainous region between the countries capital of San Jose and the Pacific Ocean. The village or “pueblo” is called Galan (Spanish for “gallant” or “handsome”), and is so small the area school has only three students and two of them are the caretakers children!
The region is principally Conservation Reserve land so there is very little by way of commercial development. For example much of the area does not source its electricity from the grid and the road system can be very primitive and challenging at times, and especially after it rains. As a result the biodiversity is incredibly rich with large areas of dense jungle, scary steep pastures for raising beef cattle, shade grown coffee plantations (banana trees provide the shade), gargantuan teak, mahogany, and cedar trees, and bamboo everywhere. Monkeys can occasionally be heard or seen swinging along tree tops, and macaws, chestnut mandible toucans, hummingbirds and parrots are everywhere. It’s unbelievable!
The farm is about an hour’s 4-wheel drive from the nearest gas station “gasolinera”, on often times unmaintained and seriously muddy roads.
Simple tico huts dot the landscape, and the chickens, cows and dogs mostly own the roads.
Paraques (a type of night hawk) dart perilously close to your headlights at night in search of flying insects. But the last hour’s white knuckle drive is worth it to arrive at what feels like someplace near the gates of heaven. The views are breathtaking and the land is a gorgeous mix of hillside grassland and deep, dense, lush jungle.