Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
- Type: Hiking, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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Imagine winding through a misty oasis; strikingly tall trees wrap you in a sea of green. Add to that over 100 mammals, 400 types of birds, and 2,500 plant species, and you have Monteverde's lush 25,700-acre reserve. While wandering along one of the hiking trails, you may spot a small hummingbird or a Resplendent Quetzal feasting on a ripe aquacatillo (a fruit similar to an avocado).
Although some travelers complain about the high frequency of tourists and the arduous trek to the reserve, most praise the forest as a must-see example of Costa Rica's rich wildlife diversity. One TripAdvisor user comments, "When the wildlife levels drop the scenery and vegetation is worth viewing itself. [… The] town was quite touristy but overall well worth the long track drive." If you're looking for fewer crowds and more adventure, a highly recommended alternative to exploring at ground level is a Sky Walk or Sky Trek guide, where you can view the wildlife from the treetops as you zoom past on zip lines or walk along hanging bridges. For more information, consult Sky Trek's official website.
Monteverde Cloud Forest is located in the Northern Plains, about a three-hour car ride from San José. Admission to Monteverde Cloud Forest costs $15; prices are reduced for children. The reserve welcomes visitors every day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, consult Monteverde's official website, run by Costa Rica’s Tropical Science Center.