Monteverde cloud forest is located high up in the mountains at 5,900 feet (1,800m) over the ocean. This stunning forest has over 2,500 species of plants, 4% of all the plants in the world, and almost 500 of them are orchids. The protected area includes Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Children’s Eternal Forest, which is Costa Rica’s largest private protected forest with over 30,000 hectares. The cloud forest is home to hundreds of animals like sloths, tapir, ocelots, monkeys, frogs, and butterflies. This is also a birding heaven with around 400 different species of birds coming through this forest each year. We have numerous hummingbirds, toucans, and the most sought after, Quetzal, with its long, colorful tail feathers.
There are many ways to explore Monteverde cloud forest. You can do the traditional way and hike on several stunning trails all around the forest from 1- 6-hour hikes depending on how long you want to walk. We recommend you to always go with one of the bilingual guides. This is going to take the experience to the next level. You can also do hikes on hanging bridges so that you also get to see the forest from the top of the trees, which makes it even prettier.
If you want to have some excitement when you check out the cloud forest, you should do canopy, which is what they call ziplining in Costa Rica. The canopy trail is normally 8-12 different cables connected between the treetops, and in Monteverde they go from 50m to the longest canopy cable that is 1000m (1km) long. Canopy is an extremely fun and exciting tour to do and you can also take it up a notch and do the Tarzan swing or go Superman as you fly through the mysterious cloud forest.
Because of the high altitude in Monteverde, the climate is perfect for both plantations and cattle farming. So here you can do both coffee, cacao, and sugarcane tours and visit the local cheese factory.
The cloud forest really comes alive at night! And a nighttime tour in the cloud forest really showcases a different perspective of the unique ecosystem. You always walk with a bilingual guide who will lead you through the cloud forest showing you a variety of wildlife like sloths, frogs, armadillos, tarantulas, and a lot more.
Santa Elena is the biggest town in the Monteverde area and where the most hotels are located. The small town has a great selection of restaurants from local to international cuisine. You also have supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and shops. The town has an amazing view, and if it is clear whether you see the sunset over the forest when it goes down in the Pacific Ocean. Because of the high altitude the temperature is between 61-83° F (16-28° C) so it can be quite cool when the wind comes, so bring an extra sweater and rain poncho with you.
- Inhabitants/size : 4.500
- Province : Puntarenas