Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve will amaze travelers with its magnificence and diverse environment. Within its grounds are rainforests with mosses, orchids, ferns, and bromeliads, and small woodlands carved out by the winds.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is in the Cordillera de Tilaran Mountain range inside the Alajuela and Puntarenas provinces of Costa Rica. Currently the preserve has over 10,000 hectares. The Preserve contains six ecological areas with more than 90% virgin forests. Within its diversity, it has 2,500 species of plants, 400 different kinds of birds, 100 mammal species over 100 kinds of reptiles and amphibians, and thousands of varieties of insects.Suspension Bridge, Moteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa RicaThe Monteverde Cloud Forest had its beginnings after a group of Quakers left the United States in the 1950s to avoid the draft for the Korean conflict. They set up farming in Monteverde and helped establish Monteverde and the Santa Elana Cloud Forests Reserves 20 years afterward. In the 1970s when local farmers tried to expand their farms in the forest, scientist George Powell and Wildford Guidon supported the development of the nature preserve. The private scientific organization, the Tropical Science Center, took up the job of owning and managing the area. The original 300 hectares was the basis of the preserve.The preserve has guided tours that lasts 2.5 hours and are in Spanish and English. Tours can be arranged at the website Visitors also have the alternative of a guided early morning bird watching tour. The cost for the tour also covers the cost of the reserve’s entrance fee.

The hours for the restaurant, art gallery and shop are 7 AM until 4PM. The park has restrooms at the entrance to the park but there are no restrooms on the trails.

Visitors can hike the trails in Monteverde. The trails are well kept. Visitors do not need rubber boots or hiking boots for a daily hike. However, hiking boots are recommended if visitors plan to stay overnight in the huts on the trails.

The park is located 3.6 miles from Santa Elana, Montverde.
Buses leave from Banco Nacional in Santa Elana at 6:15 AM, 7:20 AM, and 1:15 PM. Buses return from the reserve at 11:30 AM, 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. The fee is $1. Travelers can get on the bus at any point along the road from St. Elena to the reserve. Taxis from Santa Elana cost $10 each way.
Travelers can reach Monteverde by bus from many Costa Rican cities: San Jose, Puntarenas, Guanacaste, Liberia, northern Costa Rica, and from the southern Pacific beaches, La Fortuna or the Arenal volcano area.

When driving by car, from San Jose, take the Pan American Highway north, continuing north through Miramar to a restaurant called Caballo Blanco where there will be signs for Monteverde. There is a turn off and follow the signs. The trip is approximately 3.5 hours. There are also directions from Arenal and Liberia.

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