Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Explore the mist-enveloped cloud forest with its lush vegetation, exotic birds, monkeys and sloths as you cross hanging bridges high above the forest floor.
We really enjoyed our guided walk at Monteverde cloud forest. The forest is mesmerising in the mist and Marcella was really knowledgeable and pointed out things that maybe other guides wouldn’t have as they may have not thought they were as interesting such as small birds and plants.
As soon as you set foot on the trail in Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, you are aware of being in a different world. Often hidden in low cloud, surrounded by tall trees and exotic blooms, the cloud forest is a unique environment. Dazzlingly coloured birds, monkeys, sloths, butterflies and frogs, waterfalls and viewpoints complete the picture. Hanging bridges, cable cars and zip lines add to the fun as you explore this wonderland.
- The cloud forest: Cloud forest occurs at a higher altitude than rainforest and is often cloaked in cloud or mist providing ideal conditions beneath the tree canopy for mosses, ferns and epiphytes. Monteverde Reserve, created in 1972, covers 10,500 hectares and spans the width of the country from the Caribbean to Pacific coasts. This montane cloud forest contains some 3,000 plant species including the parasitic strangler fig and up to 500 types of orchid and supports diverse wildlife.
- Creatures of the cloud forest: The forest teems with wildlife, not all easy to discern at first glance. Mammals include howler and capuchin monkeys, deer, wild cats, agutis and sloths. The avian star is the aptly named resplendent quetzal but others such as toucans, emerald toucanettes, trogons, bellbirds and hummingbirds vie for your attention. Insects thrive, as do reptiles and amphibians and you’ll be glad of your guide’s keen eyes to spot them all.
- Experience & enjoy: Don your hiking boots and follow a guide along some of the 13kms of forest trails to immerse yourself in the cloud forest. Night hikes using torches to seek out nocturnal life are especially atmospheric.
Sky Adventures offer three explorations: Sky Walk combines ground trails and hanging bridges; Sky Trek is an exhilarating series of zipline rides; Sky Tram is a gentle cable car journey to a panoramic viewing platform.
- Monteverde specials: Visit the largest butterfly gardens in the Americas to see over 30 species fluttering among the plants in four specially created habitats. More tiny fliers await at the hummingbird gallery where carefully placed feeders provide close-up views and photo opportunities for the nimbly-fingered! If green fingers are more in your line take a tour of the orchid garden to see exotic blooms and a charming collection of miniature orchids.
- Coffee, chocolate & cheese: Take a tour of a coffee estate to see the cultivation and production of one of Costa Rica’s biggest exports first hand and buy some to enjoy back at home. You can also witness the transformation of cacao beans into delicious chocolate ready for you to savour. If you have a savoury tooth you’ll love the products on sale at Monteverde cheese factory shop which include the local speciality, Monte Rico.