Cerro de La Muerte Mountain Range
With a name like Mountain of Death, how could you not be excited about a visit??
All joking aside, Cerro de la Muerte Mountain Range is actually quite a beautiful place, and actually not nearly as death-ridden as it was in the past. A part of the Talamanca Mountain Range (Cordillera de Talamanca), Cerro de la Muerte is considered to be the highest point along the Inter-American Highway, the 80 mile stretch of road that goes through Costa Rica from Nicaragua to Panama. The mountain range itself varies in elevation from about 300 feet above sea level to 11,500 feet above sea level. Not only does this make for a highly varied scenic ride, but it also explains a little bit more about the reason the mountain used to be named such.
The true name of the range is El Cerro Buena Vista, or hill with the good view, though it quickly took on its nickname due to a number of fatalities in the times before there was a paved road here. Travelers on foot suffered from hypothermia and pneumonia during their travels, as well as frequent injuries brought on by landslides and sheer 100-foot drop offs. Today the road is paved and not nearly as dangerous as before, though it still holds potholes, steep drop offs, narrow curves, and frequent fog, making the drive a little more interesting.
Aside from the interesting history along this mountain range and highway, your group will also be intrigued by the scenery and wildlife itself. The views along the way are absolutely astounding, a lush jungle setting that gives way to the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The wet and cold atmosphere allows ample growth for mosses, bamboo, ferns, and the like, and while you probably won’t see much diverse wildlife along the way you certainly will see a highly diverse bird population. This is actually considered to be ‘birdwatchers paradise’, with plenty of quetzals, emerald toucanets, volcano junco, and bellbirds all around. Trout fishing and horseback riding are also popular activities here!