Monteverde is set atop the center of Costa Rica’s continental divide, it is a world above the famous coastal towns of the country that lie beside the shoreline. It is known for its cloud forests, mist, coffee plantations and friendly locals and is near the town of Santa Elena which is a small and quaint town with lots of folksy artisan shops, tasty restaurants and many rain forests that makes it a remarkable destination with a good amount of biodiversity.
Monteverde is approximately 4,662 feet above sea level which ensures that the area receives tons of steady supply of mists and clouds and the life giving moisture that comes along with them. This moisture which is often thick and fog like often stays on the branches of the tallest of trees in the area and then drips down to the ground where other organisms live below. With this, the complex ecosystem which has 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, 2,500 variants of plants and tens of thousands of insect species is born.
People visiting Monteverde has many places to explore especially the internationally recognized cloud forest.
The absolute wonder that Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is known as the jewel in the crown of cloud forests. It was voted as one of the country’s 7 wonders and is a green oasis which is the pride and joy of ecotourism in the country.
Monteverde cloud forest reserve is one of those places that you should at least visit once in your lifetime. It has clouds that cover over the canopy, making it quite wonderfully different from the rest of tropical forests that are spread across the country of Costa Rica. With a day trip to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, you get the chance to explore its unique diversity and beauty of the forest. There many things to do within the forest itself such as hiking, watching the wildlife and enjoying the cool air in the forest.
Here are the most popular things to do in Monteverde when you are on a vacation with your family, friends or spouse.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Hike
When you’re in Monteverde, don’t forget to go on a hike through the cloud forest which is at a high elevation with a professional naturalist guide. You will be able to trek through the misty and majestic trees along with dense vegetation. You’ll also have the chance to witness the cloud forests massive prehistoric tree ferns which is home to many bird species. At least 400 bird species and 1500 plant species live in this reserve so you can be sure you’ll run into a lot of things you’ve never seen in your life. If you visit the forest during January – July, you may even get the chance to see the rare and shy resplendent Quetzal bird. The hike itself is best taken in the early morning.
Skyline Tram and Zipline Tour
The sky tram was designed to give visitors a detailed and amazing look at the Monteverde Cloud Forest from a cableway set high atop the forest. The tour offers you 30 minutes of elevated view of the forest alongside a guide that will help you keep at the diverse wildlife living beneath in the forest. At the end of this tour, you will be able to land on a wide observation platform where the true excitement lies.
The sky trek is considered one of the most extensive canopy tours in Costa rica which contains 11 cross sectional zip lines. When you are done with the zip line tour, you’ll have a chance to sit down and relax at the top where you will also be able to enjoy the view of Guanacaste, San Carlos and Puntarenas.
Don Juan Coffee and Chocolate Tour
Coffee is very commonly grown in the mountainous highlands of the country making Monteverde Cloud Forest reserve to be the perfect destination for coffee lovers, especially if you want to learn more about the beverage. This special tour is a must take because it gives you the opportunity to have an in depth look at the world of coffee, sugarcane and chocolate production in Costa Rica. The tour will start off by telling you the life cycle of the coffee plant itself. You’ll have the chance to look at the evolutionary cycle of the plant and then you’ll see how coffee cherries are picked. You’ll witness the entire product cycle from growth to packaging of Don Juan Coffee. Then you’ll be taken to a place where you’ll learn more about the history of the cocoa pod which is a dream come true for chocolate lovers.
Butterfly Garden Tour
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to tens of thousands of insect species. These insect species include the beautiful butterflies which are abundant in the area. That is why there is a specific tour created for the Butterfly garden of the cloud forest. The tour begins off with a general overview of the insects in the area and then you are taken to explore the 4 gardens of the butterfly garden which each have a different local habitat. You’ll get to see different butterflies and learn about their natural history.
Horseback riding tour
Want to see more of the countryside of Monteverde and Santa Elena? You can do that on the back of a horse by taking the famous horseback riding tour in Monteverde. The tour is an excellent way to see more of the town complete with a tour guide. The tour will take you to the little town of Santa Elena through the dirt roads, by the cattle ranches and more. And before you headback to your hotel, you’ll have a short break where you can have coffee and snacks.
Monteverde has many more places to see. If you are a person who is close to nature and love exploring various species of plants, insects, birds and animals or you just love the idea of thick cloud mists surrounding you as you walk in a forest, then this is the place to head out this summer!