Explore Costa Rica by hiking in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Hiking trail at Monteverde Biological Reserve
Hiking trail at Monteverde Biological Reserve

While some tourists prefer their vacations to be relaxing trips spent sipping tropical drinks on golden sandy beaches, many travelers prefer a more active and rugged journey that will take them to exciting new places and provide lots of good exercise. For these adventurous tourists, Costa Rica is a natural choice. There are numerous mountains and volcanoes to climb, off-shore coral reefs begging to be explored by scuba divers and immense jungles that are ideal for hikers of any skill level. Year after year, travelers looking for the perfect trek in Costa Rica have found more than they expected while hiking through Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Located along the continental divide, Monteverde Cloud Forest is a lush and beautiful hiking experience. The reserve sits about 4,662 feet above sea level, allowing hikers the chance to move in and out of the clouds themselves, a phenomenon that gives much of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve a misty and foggy appearance.

Amazing Flora & Fauna

Yet despite the occasional low visibility that comes with this phenomenon, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to numerous plants, animals and natural beauty that should not be missed.

Animal lovers will find more than 100 species of mammal, approximately 1,200 varieties of amphibian and 400 varieties of birds in the reserve, as well as tens of thousands of unique insect types. Animals known to live in Monteverde include the Baird's tapir, the three-toed sloth, the jaguar, the resplendent quetzal and the keel-billed toucan.

The park also boasts an estimated 2,500 species of plants, including 420 varieties of orchid, the largest naturally occurring orchid population in the country. The stunning variety of flower and plant life makes for countless photo opportunities in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Bird Watchers Paradise

Bird watchers will also have a lot to see in Cloud Forest, as the reserve also serves as a sanctuary of sorts for several species of migratory birds. September through Feruary in particular make for excellent bird watching, since many species from across North America migrate to the warm Costa Rican jungles during this season. Notably rare species making a home in the area include the Elanio Tikereta, the Quetzal, the Piratic Flycatcher and the Vireo Cabecigris.

Amazing Hiking

The Monteverde Reserve covers an area of about 26,000 acres (10,526 hectares) most of it is reserved only for animals. Although the portion for hiking can take all day if you choose to hike all the trails. So plan for the entire day to hike around the cloud forest, as an admission pass is good for the whole day. This will give hikers ample opportunity to explore the muddy, but well-kept trails that criss-cross throughout the facility. The terrain itself can at times be challenging, thanks to the undisturbed natural growth of plant life, as well as several occasional rocky hills. Yet hikers can also look forward to nearby tours like zip-lining (also called Canopy Tours), the Bat Jungle (a spectacular museum about bats), nighttime walks through el Bajo del Tigre and the gorgeous and serene San Luis Waterfall that is located within a 45 minute walk from the San Luis Research station.

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