What Should You Expect at Costa Rica’s Famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve?
Monteverde is one of the most popular and the most outstanding Costa Rican rainforest destinations. It is a small town in Puntarenas which is also called “Green Mountain” in Spanish and it is famous for containing the largest wildlife reserve in the country. Monteverde Cloud Forest attracts numerous visitors and tourists yearly.
What to See and Do
There are lots of things to see and do at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The following are some of the top activities:
Hiking trails are one of the best things about Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You can essentially hike for hours. Hiking here includes various stops where you can rest and take amazing photos. There are many suspension bridges connecting the trails that offer great vantage points.
One of the most popular trails in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is Sendero Bosque Nuboso. It is 1.2 miles long and it gains about 213 feet elevation over its course. You will see some amazing flora along the way, including strangler figs. Sendero Pantanoso is another trail. It passes through a swamp forest and it is 1-mile long. Another popular trail is Sendero El Rio. This trail runs alongside the Quebrada Cuecha ravine. It is 1.2 miles long trail that features bridges at multiple points over streams. There is also a side trail that runs to an inviting, small waterfall that appears to be something out of a fantasy film.
One of the best ways to enjoy the Monteverde’s high-altitude forests is zipping over the tree line and feel like you are flying. The famous canopy tours of Costa Rica were invented here. Most of the zip-line tour providers in the reserve offer different tours that are comprised of many cable systems that send you racing high (at about thousands of feet height) above the trees. There are many canopy companies. Zip-line tours in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve usually last between two to three hours.
If you are an inveterate birder, then the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve won’t disappoint you. You should consider the El Camino trail. It’s a mile-long mellow route and you are almost guaranteed to see Chiriquí quail-dove, grey-throated leaftossers, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc. You might even spot the Resplendent Quetzal here if you are lucky.
Where to Stay and Eat
Most visitors and tourists to Monteverde decide to stay in Santa Elena mainly because it features the best accommodations. It’s a recommended choice if you don’t have a car. As for restaurants in town, you should head to The Green Restaurant for organic dining. The menu ranges from steaks to burgers to tempura and sea bass. Also, the staff is friendly and welcoming.
Monteverde Travel Tips
It is recommended that you arrive before opening times to ensure your entry to the reserve. You can also make a reservation in advance. There are many benefits of arriving early. It will especially work to your advantages for birdwatching and wildlife viewing. It is highly recommended that you consider hiring a guide when entering Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Experiencing the reserve with a native guide allows for great insights on the flora and fauna.