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The central highlands encompass northern Costa Rica's most fertile regions. Waterfalls, mountains and forests are found among undulating hills, and near-perfect weather conditions allow Costa Rica's famous coffee to grow plentifully.

The Monteverde locale is world-famous for its cloudforest 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 1,600 metres 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 cloudforest

There are now two reserves, the original Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve and the newer Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. In these forests you can enjoy the cloudforest climate and hike the trails among 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.

Monteverde Cloudforest, Monteverde CloudforestThe Monteverde Biological Preserve is the last sizeable pocket of primary cloudforest in Central America and supports six different ecosystems, with an estimated 2,500 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 adrenaline junkies can fly through the forest by a system of zip wires.

Although undeniably beautiful this region has become something of a tourist playground and lacks the peace it once was renowned for.

Speak to someone
who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Nik

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Monteverde Cloud Forest by contacting one of our Costa Rica specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Monteverde Cloud Forest

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Monteverde Cloud Forest, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them 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

    Our expert guides to exploring Monteverde Cloud Forest

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Monteverde Cloud Forest at its best.

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    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.

    • Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
      Responsible Choice

      Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

      Monteverde Cloud Forest

    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.

    • Selvatura Walkways
      Canopy walkway at Selvatura

      Selvatura Walkways

      Selvatura Walkways

      See the Selvatura Cloud Forest Reserve from a totally unique perspective via a system of raised canopy walkways.

      View details
    • Selvatura Walkways and Canopy Zip-Lining
      Cloud-forest, Monteverde

      Selvatura Walkways and Canopy Zip-Lining

      Selvatura Walkways and Canopy Zip-Lining

      Explore the Selvatura Cloud Forest from a unique perspective. Follow the canopy walkways through each different level of the forest and traverse the exciting zip-lines through the trees.

      View details
    • Monteverde Night Tour
      Monteverde sunset

      Monteverde Night Tour

      Monteverde Night Tour

      This fascinating night tour allows you to see the wildlife around Monteverde quite literally in a different light. Spot a huge variety of nocturnal animals, including insects, tarantulas, snakes, sloths, sleeping toucans and bats.

      View details