Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, Northwest Costa Rica - Stein Travel

    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months

Welcome to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

The cloud forest is one of the most famous ecotourism areas in Central America. It is called a cloud forest rather than a rain forest because of the altitude. At an elevation of between 3,840ft and 5,120ft (1,200m to 1,600m) the clouds go through the forest creating a misty and often dripping, mystical habitat supporting a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. It has been acclaimed as one of the most outstanding wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics. Because of the fragile environment there are restrictions on the number of visitors allowed into the reserve at any one time. The canopy is alive with over 400 species of birds, including the resplendent quetzal most easily seen during the March/April nesting season, as well as thousands of insect species and plants. In the shadows below are over 100 species of mammals, including five species of cats, although a glimpse of a jaguar is a very rare thing.

There are a number of good walking trails that lead through the six distinct ecological zones varying from swamp forests and deep gorges, past waterfalls and streams and onto forested outcrops traversing the Continental Divide. Exploration need not be restricted to the ground as various companies offer visitors a unique and exhilarating way of viewing the cloud forest - Sky Trek is a canopy adventure with a system of platforms connected by zip lines and suspension bridges criss-crossing the top of the forest, providing a vantage point from in and above the canopy. There is also the more sedate option of a ski lift traversing the treetops.

Four miles (6km) along the road from Santa Elena
US$17 (adults), US$7 (children 6 to 12 years old). Tickets to the reserve are valid all day.
Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken.

The Costa Rican Colón (CRC) is divided into 100 céntimos and is the official currency, although US Dollars are also widely accepted. US Dollars and travellers cheques can be exchanged in banks and many hotels. Banks charge a service fee for cashing travellers cheques and currency other than US$ is difficult to exchange. Using black market exchange options is risky as they have been known to pass on counterfeit bills printed in Colombia. Banks close anywhere from 3pm to 6pm. Major credit cards are widely accepted, although American Express and Diners Club might be more limited. ATMs are available in major towns throughout the country, but it is advisable to always have some local cash handy.

Opening Times
Daily from 7am to 4pm.
Local time is GMT -6.

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