Travel Guide for Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica - Pura Vida !

After successful post on Monteverde town of Costa Rica, there was sudden ask for writing more about Monteverde Could Forest Reserve and how to plan a day around this beautiful place in Costa Rica. All that made us compiling this blog-post so soon on Monteverde Cloud Forest which talks about how to reach Cloud Forest from different parts of the town, what are good hotels/resorts to stay around the reserve, how much time to plan inside Monteverde Cloud Forest, planning meals/snacks, cloths/equipments etc. Check out this post to make best of your visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest or taking a wonderful tour with us to the forest full of surprises.

After successful post on Monteverde town of Costa Rica, there was sudden ask for writing more about Monteverde Could Forest Reserve and how to plan a day around this beautiful place in Costa Rica. All that made us compiling this blog-post so soon on Monteverde Cloud Forest which talks about how to reach Cloud Forest from different parts of the town, what are good hotels/resorts to stay around the reserve, how much time to plan inside Monteverde Cloud Forest, planning meals/snacks, cloths/equipments etc. Check out this post to make best of your visit to Monteverde Cloud Forest or taking a wonderful tour with us to the forest full of surprises. 


Let's talk about how to reach Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve from different parts of Monteverde town or Santa Elena :     BUS : There are buses running between Monteverde Town and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The route of bus and timings are not very clear so when you are in town, figure out these details from Monteverde mall where bus stand is situated. Bus usually stops at any place on the route if you ask it to. This is cheapest way to reach Cloud Forest.    WALK : If you are staying within 2/3 kilometers of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, I would recommend take a walk. It's a beautiful region to walk so it would not hurt if you walk and start exploring natural beauty even before entering the forest.      TAXI : You can book taxi through your hotel as app based taxis don't work in Monteverde. It may cost somewhere between $5 to $12 depending upon where you hotel is. Make sure you fix the price before boarding otherwise expect some random price.

Let's talk about how to reach Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve from different parts of Monteverde town or Santa Elena : 

BUS : There are buses running between Monteverde Town and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The route of bus and timings are not very clear so when you are in town, figure out these details from Monteverde mall where bus stand is situated. Bus usually stops at any place on the route if you ask it to. This is cheapest way to reach Cloud Forest.

WALK : If you are staying within 2/3 kilometers of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, I would recommend take a walk. It's a beautiful region to walk so it would not hurt if you walk and start exploring natural beauty even before entering the forest.  


TAXI : You can book taxi through your hotel as app based taxis don't work in Monteverde. It may cost somewhere between $5 to $12 depending upon where you hotel is. Make sure you fix the price before boarding otherwise expect some random price. 

Entry Charges for Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve :    Entry ticker charge for Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is $22 per person and if you want to go inside the forest with a guide, charges for $20 per person.    These guides are quite knowledgable about different kinds of plants, trees, birds and other forest residents. These guides carry very powerful binoculars with tripods to show you birds. Certainly they know much better about where can they find which bird inside the forest.

Entry Charges for Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve :

Entry ticker charge for Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is $22 per person and if you want to go inside the forest with a guide, charges for $20 per person.

These guides are quite knowledgable about different kinds of plants, trees, birds and other forest residents. These guides carry very powerful binoculars with tripods to show you birds. Certainly they know much better about where can they find which bird inside the forest. 


Any restrictions on carrying stuff inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve :    No, there are no restrictions. You can carry snacks, drinks or other eatables to ensure that you have enough to eat/drink if you plan to spend longer time inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.    We were carrying energy bars, some snacks, juices and some fruits. It helped us a lot as there is no place inside to buy eatables, which is very good decision to keep the forest cleaner.

Any restrictions on carrying stuff inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve :

No, there are no restrictions. You can carry snacks, drinks or other eatables to ensure that you have enough to eat/drink if you plan to spend longer time inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

We were carrying energy bars, some snacks, juices and some fruits. It helped us a lot as there is no place inside to buy eatables, which is very good decision to keep the forest cleaner. 

If you plan to carry stuff inside, please ensure that you take the trash back and put in dustbins located near entry gate. 


If you don't want to carry stuff and want to be free while walking, you can plan your walks inside the forest in such a way that you come back to entry point where some restaurants are located and then go back on other terrains. It's feasible and one ticket is applicable for whole day, so you can come out and go in again during the same day when ticket was bought. 

Timings of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve :     Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve opens at 7am in the morning and that's probably the perfect time to see lot of birds inside the forest.    Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve closing time is 4pm and it varies at times on weekend vs weekend and special days.     Be aware that on specific days shuttle bus does't run, so may need to hire taxi for picking and drop.

Timings of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve opens at 7am in the morning and that's probably the perfect time to see lot of birds inside the forest.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve closing time is 4pm and it varies at times on weekend vs weekend and special days. 

Be aware that on specific days shuttle bus does't run, so may need to hire taxi for picking and drop.

What are best locations or Hotels/Resorts to stay in Monteverde ?     In a grand scheme of things, location in Monteverde doesn't matter a lot unless you have specific needs. If you want to be around the area where you can easily buy general use stuff, plan to find a hotel/resort around Monteverde Mall or Bus stand apart from area around Santa Alena market.     Lot of folks prefer staying around the Cloud Forest Reserve and I can tell you that it's a beautiful area to stay but don't expect shots or restaurants, so you need to rely on hotel/resort for everything unless you have car with you.     If you are looking for pocket friendly option with decent location surrounded by green landscapes and reasonable access to shops/restaurants, we will share more about our hotel and it's very god value for money we spent. We got one room per night for $40 including breakfast.

What are best locations or Hotels/Resorts to stay in Monteverde

In a grand scheme of things, location in Monteverde doesn't matter a lot unless you have specific needs. If you want to be around the area where you can easily buy general use stuff, plan to find a hotel/resort around Monteverde Mall or Bus stand apart from area around Santa Alena market. 

Lot of folks prefer staying around the Cloud Forest Reserve and I can tell you that it's a beautiful area to stay but don't expect shots or restaurants, so you need to rely on hotel/resort for everything unless you have car with you. 

If you are looking for pocket friendly option with decent location surrounded by green landscapes and reasonable access to shops/restaurants, we will share more about our hotel and it's very god value for money we spent. We got one room per night for $40 including breakfast. 

How much time to plan inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve ? :     We strongly recommend whole day with relaxed walk and hike around most of the trails inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. There is so much to soak in, but we aware of weather condition. Many times Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve sees rain in the evening, so it may not be possible to stick around for whole day but if you have an option, do it.    That reminds me that do carry a poncho, umbrella or rain-suit.

How much time to plan inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve ?

We strongly recommend whole day with relaxed walk and hike around most of the trails inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. There is so much to soak in, but we aware of weather condition. Many times Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve sees rain in the evening, so it may not be possible to stick around for whole day but if you have an option, do it.

That reminds me that do carry a poncho, umbrella or rain-suit. 


How to plan a day inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve ?     Let me put some quick stuff here and then go into a little more details :    1. Click a photograph of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve map which is available at ticket counter.     2. There are lot of terrains, so plan accordingly. I recommend taking extreme right trail and go towards the observation deck and come down through the trail connected through bridge. Follow signs at every turn inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.     3. Don't miss Waterfall inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which is pretty close to the entry gate and reachable through left-most trail.     4. Avoid crowded places and walk calmly. You certainly see lot more photographs if you maintain peace inside the forest.     5. Make good use of seating areas inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Walk slowly and take rest at regular intervals.     6. There is a fixed spot inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to watch Resplendent quetzal. It may be your patience test but all worth. We waited for 1.5 hrs to watch Resplendent quetzal to come back to it's nest. Sighting is more probable when it's breeding season.

How to plan a day inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Let me put some quick stuff here and then go into a little more details :

1. Click a photograph of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve map which is available at ticket counter. 

2. There are lot of terrains, so plan accordingly. I recommend taking extreme right trail and go towards the observation deck and come down through the trail connected through bridge. Follow signs at every turn inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. 

3. Don't miss Waterfall inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which is pretty close to the entry gate and reachable through left-most trail. 

Blogpost related to forests/Birds - Muir Woods National Monument, California (USA)

4. Avoid crowded places and walk calmly. You certainly see lot more photographs if you maintain peace inside the forest. 

5. Make good use of seating areas inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Walk slowly and take rest at regular intervals. 

6. There is a fixed spot inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to watch Resplendent quetzal. It may be your patience test but all worth. We waited for 1.5 hrs to watch Resplendent quetzal to come back to it's nest. Sighting is more probable when it's breeding season. 

Above photograph shows typical landscape of cloud cloud forest wherein moss is covering almost everything inside the forest. The only exception in above photograph is this observation deck which is a very special point in the forest from where you can see 2 ranges of mountain. Rains falling on one sides goes into the pacific ocean and from other goes into Caribbean sea.

Above photograph shows typical landscape of cloud cloud forest wherein moss is covering almost everything inside the forest. The only exception in above photograph is this observation deck which is a very special point in the forest from where you can see 2 ranges of mountain. Rains falling on one sides goes into the pacific ocean and from other goes into Caribbean sea. 


Above photograph shows one of the observation decks inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and this one is most interesting point from where you see 2 mountain ranges. Rain-water falling on one mountain ranges merges into Pacific Ocean and rain hitting the other one is merging into Caribbean sea.

Above photograph shows one of the observation decks inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and this one is most interesting point from where you see 2 mountain ranges. Rain-water falling on one mountain ranges merges into Pacific Ocean and rain hitting the other one is merging into Caribbean sea.  

Another photograph depicting lush green landscapes of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and do you know the difference between Cloud Forest and Rain Forest?    Cloud Forest is actually a forest which sees fog or mist most of the times which keeps a level of moisture all around. Over a period of time the reach of sunlight inside the forest keeps decreasing and that also is related to vegetation inside the forest.

Another photograph depicting lush green landscapes of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and do you know the difference between Cloud Forest and Rain Forest?

Cloud Forest is actually a forest which sees fog or mist most of the times which keeps a level of moisture all around. Over a period of time the reach of sunlight inside the forest keeps decreasing and that also is related to vegetation inside the forest. 


Shapes and size of trees inside Monteverde Cloud Forest has been surprising us almost at every step.

Shapes and size of trees inside Monteverde Cloud Forest has been surprising us almost at every step. 

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has huge variety of amphibians and reptiles as well. During our walk around Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, we also came across a shiny green snake crossing by. It was thin, long and with very fast movement. Monteverde is known worldwide as the habitat of the golden toad, which we didn't see and it seems it's close to impossible to see them in the forest and some claim that it's not there anymore.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has huge variety of amphibians and reptiles as well. During our walk around Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, we also came across a shiny green snake crossing by. It was thin, long and with very fast movement. Monteverde is known worldwide as the habitat of the golden toad, which we didn't see and it seems it's close to impossible to see them in the forest and some claim that it's not there anymore. 

Blogpost related to forest and birds - Our trip to the Keoladeo National Park || An Overview

Monteverde's bird species are long distance migratory birds, which reproduce in North America and pass through Monteverde during their migration or spend the winter in the area. Certainly we only saw native birds of Costa Rica at Monteverde and will be publishing about it separately to share about 40+ species.

Monteverde's bird species are long distance migratory birds, which reproduce in North America and pass through Monteverde during their migration or spend the winter in the area. Certainly we only saw native birds of Costa Rica at Monteverde and will be publishing about it separately to share about 40+ species. 


The resplendent quetzal moves seasonally from high elevation nesting sites to lower elevations on both sides of the Continental Divide.     The mammals of Monteverde include representatives from both North and South America as endemic species - species of marsupials, muskrats, bats, primates, edentates, rabbits, ground hog, squirrels, spiny mouse, long-tailed rats/mice, porcupine, agouti, paca, canids, mustelids, procyonids, felines, wild pigs, deer & tapirs.

The resplendent quetzal moves seasonally from high elevation nesting sites to lower elevations on both sides of the Continental Divide. 


The mammals of Monteverde include representatives from both North and South America as endemic species - species of marsupials, muskrats, bats, primates, edentates, rabbits, ground hog, squirrels, spiny mouse, long-tailed rats/mice, porcupine, agouti, paca, canids, mustelids, procyonids, felines, wild pigs, deer & tapirs.


There are plenty of Epiphytes inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and when I read more it seems they are almost ~30% of the flora with 800+ species which was certainly impossible for me to identify and appreciate. The Monteverde region is also known as the site with the largest number of orchids in the world, although during the month of May we couldn't see any.

There are plenty of Epiphytes inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and when I read more it seems they are almost ~30% of the flora with 800+ species which was certainly impossible for me to identify and appreciate. The Monteverde region is also known as the site with the largest number of orchids in the world, although during the month of May we couldn't see any. 

There is a waterfall inside the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and we loved the fact that there is a nice observation deck made around it. You can sit there for some time. When we visited it was little over-crowded so we didn't stay for long time but it can be a great place to enjoy peaceful moments with water sounds in the background mixed with bird sounds.

There is a waterfall inside the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and we loved the fact that there is a nice observation deck made around it. You can sit there for some time. When we visited it was little over-crowded so we didn't stay for long time but it can be a great place to enjoy peaceful moments with water sounds in the background mixed with bird sounds. 

If you visiting Costa Rica and love bird watching or roaming around the natural beauties, Monteverde is must go place.     Please drop you questions, suggestions through comments section below.

If you visiting Costa Rica and love bird watching or roaming around the natural beauties, Monteverde is must go place. 

Please drop you questions, suggestions through comments section below. 

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