Enjoy an eye-opening experience in a Costa Rica cloud forest, in the northwestern region known as Monteverde, a suburb of Puntarenas. This aptly named town, meaning Green Mountain, is alive with colorful plants and wildlife, such as jaguar, ocelots and the splendidly plumed quetzal bird, who carves its nest into the tall trees of Monteverde’s incredible cloud forest.
Featured Monteverde Hotel
When the weather’s clear, you can spot both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. This cooler forest is offers a welcome respite from Costa Rica’s more humid tropical rainforests.
The charming town of Monteverde offers cool diversions, as well, such as eclectic shops, diverse restaurants and friendly citizens. There’s even a cowboy culture here due to the town’s proximity to nearby Guanacaste’s flat, arid landscape. The reserve is also one of the few remaining homes of the endangered resplendent quetzal; the opportunity to see this exotic bird is worth the trip alone.
For visitors looking to keep their heads in a cloud and feet planted firmly on the ground, Monteverde, Costa Rica, truly fits the bill.
What To Do
Zipline through the trees; or hike across Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve’s hanging bridges, originally constructed for scientists studying the native wildlife.
Visit a fascinating wildlife preserve or fluttering butterfly garden.
Embark on a tasty and informative coffee, chocolate or sugar cane tour.
Visit the nearby Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve to see toucans to howler monkeys, who call this unique forest home.
At the Monteverde Frog Pond, you can admire more than 25 species of frogs and other amphibians.
When to Go
Only one percent of the world’s forests are considered cloud forests, and many of them exist in Costa Rica. The forest is a bit cooler and wetter than the rest of Costa Rica. Monteverde’s average rainfall is around 97 inches per year. It remains driest from December through April. Cooler temperatures around 65 F are perfect for hiking, ziplining and wildlife spotting.