Monteverde Cloud Forest is located 1,440 meters above sea level and has a humid, misty and cloudy climate during most of the year. It is a rain forest reserve with more than 5 species of cats, 30 species of hummingbirds, and 420 types of orchids. The area is highly praised as one of the most outstanding wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics.
Costa Rica Travel
In my opinion the place is overpriced and often times overcrowded. Jason and I were shocked when told that we were visiting during their low season. “I would hate to be here during the high season,” I thought.
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
In the popular town of Santa Elena you can find tour companies that will help fill your day with all sorts of activities, but these won’t go easy on your wallet. One of the most popular outfitters in town is Selvatura, which also owns their own park where most of the activities occur.
Cloud Forest Tour Activities
- Nature walks (3.5 hours)
- Canopy and Suspension Bridge (3 hours)
- Visiting the insect museum (1 hour)
- Bike Rental (1 day)
- Horseback Ridding (2 hours)
- Night Tour (2.5 hours)
Lodging also isn’t cheap, but there are still great deals to be found. Casa Tranquilo has double rooms for $20 and includes breakfast, free internet and hot showers.
Monteverde Night Tour
We signed up for a night tour in a secondary forest hoping to spot some sloths. A secondary forest is a forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, which in this case was farming. This secondary forest was only 30 years old and the trees were relatively low, providing a better view of tree animals.
We were lucky enough to spot two sloths with the guides’ spotlights. It is not common to find them, so don’t get your hopes up too much. During the day we toured Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve in hopes of finding more wildlife, but our expectations were too grand. We did find beautiful plants and some large millipedes.
The cloud forest exudes a mysticism with its constant eerie weather and rolling hills, but it’s turning into a commercialized park.