"Monteverde Cloud Forest Hike" Monteverde Cloud Forest Tip by MozBrad

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica: 36 reviews and 49 photos


<p>The Monteverde Cloud Forest is a type of rain forest at high altitude. The ecology is unlike any other in the world, as the combination of altitude, humidity, and proximity to the equator make a forest in the clouds. The temperature and humidity vary wildly over the course of a day, and it might be sunny one minute and pouring rain the next.</P>
<p>This reserve is pretty difficult to get to. Our tour included transportation, and we were picked up at our hotel by our driver. A guide was also included, although the guide was only with us for the drive, not the hike in the mountain. The base of the mountain is about 2 hours drive from our hotel in Guantacaste, then about 1 hour drive up the mountain. The distance is not far for that final leg, but what makes it take so long is the road, which is intentionally difficult to navigate. The owners of the reserve have purposefully resisted any attempts to make travel easier because they feel that it would cause a huge influx of travelers who would spoil the reserve with the high traffic. Thus, the road is unpaved and full of potholes. Our average speed while climbing up the mountain was probably 5 mph - if we had the endurance we probably could have walked faster! On the way up our driver and guide noticed a group of howler monkeys in some trees along the side of the road, and we stopped for about 15 minutes taking pictures and listening to the males howl!</P>
<p>Once we reached the top of the mountain, with sore behinds we made our way to a restaurant, where lunch was included with the tour. I'm a big fan of reptiles, so I insisted that we visit the Monteverde Serpentarium [506-645-5238]. This is a small building with housing for about 50 different species of native snakes, including both venemous and non-venemous varieties. The staff was very friendly, and allowed us to hold some of the more docile species - good photo-ops!</P>
<P>We then made our way to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and went on a Sky Walk. This inlcuded a tour guide, who took us first to a hummingbird feeder. There were at least a dozen hummingbirds there, of all different species - incredible and beautiful! We then went on our walk thorugh the cloud forest. Our guide stopped along the way every now and then to tell us about the ecology of the forest. Our hope was to see animals, but due to the time of day (afternoon) we basically only saw birds. The forest itself was very impressive though.</P>
<p>We ended our trip with the 3 1/2 hour drive back to our hotel - this trip took the entire day, but was well worth it!</P>
<p>Since the temperature of the Clouds Forest is pretty chilly (about 50F), you'll want to wear jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, and bring a spring jacket.</P>
<p>My only recommendation would be that if you really want to see the entirety of this ecology, you would probably want to spend a night or two in Monteverde. There are hotels in the mountains that would allow you to get up early (before dawn) and get out into the forest at dawn to give you a better chance of seeing some of the more incredible animals that are there. We spent about 7 hours travelling for about 2 hours worth of site-seeing, so spending a night would give you more time for your effort.</P>
<p>The picture above is of my family on one of the rope bridges in the Forest Canopy</P>

Address: Monteverde National Cloud Forest Preserve
othercontact: 506-645-5238

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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