The central highlands encompass northern Costa Rica's most fertile regions. Waterfalls, mountains and forests are found amongst undulating hills, and near-perfect weather conditions allow Costa Rica's famous coffee to grow plentifully.
The Monteverde locale is world famous for its cloud forest and although generally associated solely with the reserve that carries its name, actually covers a much larger area stretching from Volcan Arenal to the east down to the low hills of Guanacaste in the west. It sits astride the continental divide at an altitude slightly above 1600 meters protecting and providing habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals.
Reaching Monteverde cloud forest
The road to Monteverde from the international highway can be somewhat bumpy, dusty and warm. But as you ascend into the mountains on a clear day it is beautiful and you can see a variety of birds along the way as the habitats change.
Exploring the cloud forest
There are now two reserves, the original Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the newer Santa Elena Rain Forest Reserve. In these forests you can enjoy the cloud forest climate and hike the trails amongst the varieties of plants and magnificent epiphytic laden trees.
The resplendent quetzals with their long tails feed at various locations and one can at times hear the "bong" of the bellbirds. The foliage in both reserves is lush and abundant with hundreds of species of birds, insects, butterflies and plants.
The Monteverde Reserve is the last sizeable pocket of primary cloud-forest in Central America and supports six different eco-systems, with an estimated 2500 species of plants, more than 100 species of mammals, 490 species of butterflies and over 400 species of birds.
The whole area is a fabulous place for walking, especially through the magical shrouds of mist that drape the forests in the early morning, but there are also frog gardens, butterfly houses, canopy walkways and adrenalin junkies can fly through the forest by a system of zip wires.
Suggested Monteverde Cloud Forest itinerary
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Monteverde Cloud Forest, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Monteverde Cloud Forest
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Monteverde Cloud Forest
- Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves 18 kilometers away
- San Ramon 40 kilometers away
- Tenorio Volcano 50 kilometers away
- El Silencio Lodge 50 kilometers away
- Cano Negro 65 kilometers away
- Northern Pacific Coast 74 kilometers away
- Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui 83 kilometers away
- San José & Central Valley 85 kilometers away
- Rincon de la Vieja 86 kilometers away
- Punta Islita 88 kilometers away
- Esterillos 92 kilometers away
- Central Pacific Coast 103 kilometers away
- Playa Potrero 114 kilometers away
- Tamarindo 119 kilometers away
- Manuel Antonio 123 kilometers away
- Golfo de Papagayo 125 kilometers away
- Turrialba 126 kilometers away
- San Gerardo de Dota 133 kilometers away
- Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast 139 kilometers away
- Dominical 154 kilometers away
- Corcovado & Osa Peninsula 215 kilometers away
- Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 231 kilometers away
- Manzanillo 241 kilometers away
Accommodation choices for Monteverde Cloud Forest
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Monteverde Cloud Forest. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Monteverde Cloud Forest
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest, and which use the best local guides.