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Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve [zip-line]

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

Spread across rugged mountains 1,400m above sea level, this private reserve (and adjacent protected areas) covers more than 10,000 hectares of wildlife-rich, misty cloud forest.

This is where dedicated twitchers come to combe the 15kms of trails in search of the resplendent quetzal, the brightly-plumed bird sacred to the Mayas.

But there is plenty of other wildlife to discover – from spider monkeys and over 400 bird species, to wild orchids and prehistoric ferns – and a variety of ways to explore Monteverde.

Walking trails lead through a forest encrusted with orchids and covered in thick carpets of dripping moss (there are day and night safaris available). Canopy walkways and cable cars run through the trees, affording an eagle’s eye view of the extraordinary landscape, or you can see it at high-speed on a zip-line experience.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The reserve lies at the end of a bumpy mountain road. Most travellers come via Santa Elena, a small dairy town located 6km west of the park entrance. While maps and well-maintained trails make independent hiking easy, spotting wildlife is challenging in the misty forest – better to go with a naturalist guide.

Binoculars are a necessity, along with long sleeves, trousers, hiking boots and a jacket for when the mist descends.

A basic café at the main entrance serves Costa Rican food. If you want to hit remote trails, pack food and water. There are no services inside the park.

If travelling to Monteverde from the Arenal/Fortuna area, a number of companies can arrange a day-long journey to Monteverde on horseback. It’s a rugged, beautiful trip skirting Lake Arenal.

When to do it

The dry season (Dec-May) is the best time to see wildlife. The ideal time to see quetzals is in March and April, when they’re nesting.

Even in the dry season, the cloud forest is wet and damp. However, during the wettest months (September to October), it can rain for days on end.

For the best chance of spotting wildlife, walk the trails around dawn or dusk.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

The Original Canopy Tour Monteverde, Zipline

  • Monteverde

The Original Canopy Tour offers Canopy Tour, Rappel, climbing a Hollow tree, Tarzan Swing, and an exhilarating opportunity to soar through the treetops high above the forest floor on the adventure of a lifetime. Here you will view the jungle life from a perspective previously reserved for a selected group of researchers and photographers. Everything was designed for your fun but always preserving the forest.

Price $68

Min age 5

Rating 4.87 / 5 [882 ratings]

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100% Adventure Park Combo: Zipline, Superman, and Mega Tarzan Tour in Monteverde

  • Monteverde

Visit 100% Aventura adventure park, during this 2-hour experience in the Costa Rican rainforest. This combo canopy tour includes the park's most popular attractions: zipline course (10 cables), the Superman (two cables), rope bridge, rappel, buggy ride, and, last but certainly not least, the Mega Tarzan Swing. Select a morning or afternoon departure time when booking. Restrictions & Details: Minors between the ages of 10 and 17 can only participate in the activity in the company of an adult. Children under ten years old cannot participate in the canopy tour, no exceptions. The maximum weight for a person to participate in the canopy tour is 240 pounds and it is necessary that the harness fits properly, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The maximum weight for a person to participate in the Superman, Rappel and Tarzan Swing activities is 220 pounds and it is necessary that the harness fits properly, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Price $56

Min age 10

Rating 4.67 / 5 [652 ratings]

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Monteverde Rain Forest Night Walk

  • Puntarenas

The Rain Forest Night Walk provide you a fantastic chance to enjoy a nocturnal tropical forest experience, the night time is special time to explore the jungle. Scientists suggest that 80 percent of tropical wildlife is active at night as they take refuge in the dark to avoid potential predators. This activity is a nice opportunity to explore a natural tropical forest with the company of an expert naturalist guide in local wildlife who will share natural history data with scientific data of the area and this unique natural ecosystem in the world. We provide flash lights for the two hours Walk serching for local wild life. We use professional optic gear to be able to observe with details the amazing tropical forest residents This tour provide a good chance to watch animals like, *Two-toed Sloth *Red-eye frog *Side-striped Palm-pit viper *Orange kneed Tarantulas *Kinkajus *Nine-banded Armadillo *Bats *Bio-luminescen mushroom *Anoles *Olingo *Mottled Owl *Sleeping Monkey and more

Price $35

Min age 2

Rating 4.68 / 5 [295 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour

  • Puntarenas

This great tour all ways provide a good oportunity to watch allot of the local wild life, specially in a Tropical Cloud Forest . The cloud fores is one of the most beautiful forest on the world. Many of the species are endemic. We can find more than 200 species of plants on one tree. You can learn about the forest and the animals and birds. Will be a wonderful experience with a small group. The idea Whit the small group is provided a very personal service. Also we have the resplendent quetzal.the most beautiful Bird in central America. 2500 different species of plants. 1000 different species of trees. 585 different species of orquídeas. 540 species of birds. And many more.

Price $35

Min age 2

Rating 4.79 / 5 [271 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Monteverde Sky Tram & Hanging Bridges Cloud Forest Tour from San Jose

  • San Jose

Explore the lush Cloud Forests of Monteverde on this Full-Day trip from San Jose. Take a ride on the Sky Tram Gondola and get the best views of the Monteverde Mountains and jungles. Hike on the Sky Walk Suspension Bridges and observe the Cloud Forest’s flora and fauna from the top. Walk on the Sky Park Trails and learn about the interesting Cloud Forest Eco-system. Make multiple stops on the way to Monteverde to observe monkeys, learn about tropical fruits of Costa Rica and to take pictures of beautiful landscapes.  

Price $215

Min age 3

Rating 4.88 / 5 [202 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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