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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 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 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.

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Map of Monteverde Cloud Forest

Places & hotels on the map

    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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