One of Costa Rica’s most famous nature reserves, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a lush green, mist-shrouded wonderland.

The ethereal cloud forests of Costa Rica are a magnet for all types of adventurers, from wildlife lovers to thrill seekers and escapist dreamers. Tiptoe over suspension bridges, listening to the sounds of the rainforest as you venture from one side to the other. Or up the exhilaration factor by ziplining through the tree canopy.

In the glorious Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, take gentle hikes through the trees, pausing to gaze upwards to spot a colourful bird, peek through the undergrowth to spot a shy creature, or admire one of the beautiful orchids that bloom here, all with a soundtrack of birdsong and jungle calls among the ever-lingering mistiness.

Talk to our Costa Rica travel experts about the wonders of Monteverde and more about the kind of experience you can expect.

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Monteverde Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Monteverde

Hotel Belmar

Overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya, this nature-immersed hillside lodge is big on eco-adventures, far...

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

Perched 5,000 feet above sea level, Monteverde Lodge and Gardens is to sleep in the clouds and ru...

Senda Monteverde

A mindful and meditative mountain escape where wild orchids bloom, ferns reach the sky and rare w...

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The Hanging Bridges of Selvatura

Experience the cloud forest of Monteverde on a two-hour guided walk across a series of eight hanging bridges. Selvetura Park’s Treetop Walkway is a 1.9-mile trail through the cloud forest. The suspension bridges blend seamlessly with their surroundings and are an incredible way to get close to the birdlife and wildlife. You might spot white-faced capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, or the more difficult-to-spot spider monkeys. All the while, you can listen to the sounds of the jungle.

• Daily departures from Monteverde
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

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Monteverde Cloud Forest Hike

Join a four-hour walking tour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest to spot incredible birdlife. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has 13 km of well-kept trails through lush vegetation. Your walking tour is accompanied by a local English-speaking guide, who will tell you all about flora and fauna of the region, considered by most Costa Ricans as one of their seven wonders. There are over 300 species of birds in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, including the famous quetzal.

• Daily departures from Monteverde
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Costa Rican Coffee & Chocolate Experience

Visit a local plantation and join a guided tour to learn about Costa Rica’s sugar, coffee, and chocolate production. A Costa Rican family owns the El Trapiche, or sugar mill, tour. It begins with a walk around the plantations, where bananas, plantains, macadamia, oranges, sugarcane, and coffee are grown. You’ll learn the sugarcane cultivation process and watch how coffee is produced, from planting to crushing, peeling, and roasting processes. Next, there’s a short ride on an oxcart to see cocoa and learn the chocolate-making process before returning to the sugarcane to see how sugarcane liquor is produced. You will see the three types of typical sugarcane mills: a manual trapiche, an ox mill, and a water mill. The tour ends where artisanal sugarcane candy and caramel are made, with the chance to make your own sweets. The trip concludes with a tasting of gallo de arracacha, a tuber plant snack, served with a cup of local coffee, lemonade, or Aguadulce sweet water.

• Daily departures from Monteverde
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

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The Nature Reserves of Monteverde

Choose one of three Monteverde Nature Reserves to explore and decide whether you want an easy nature-themed hike or something more challenging. All options spend half a day in the reserve you choose, either Monteverde Reserve, Santa Elena Reserve or Curicancha Reserve. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and, on the way to the reserve, will tell you more about Monteverde's natural environment and history and share cultural anecdotes. Your guide will explain the intricate interactions of the different species of flora and fauna of these ecosystems and give insight into the unpredictable and ever-changing conditions. You’ll likely spot various forms of famous Costa Rican wildlife in your cloud forest experience.

• Daily departures from Monteverde
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

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Get to know Monteverde and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT -6 hours


Costa Rican Colón


11 hours


Christianity (majority Roman Catholic)


Spanish; five indigenous languages are also spoken

Where is Monteverde?
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve extends down the slopes of the Guanacaste Cordillera — a volcanic mountain range around a four-hour drive northwest of San José and the Central Valley.

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Monteverde Wildlife
The wildlife steals the show here. Spot delicate hovering hummingbirds or take a torchlit stroll after nightfall and wait as nocturnal animals emerge — perhaps a two-toed sloth or an armadillo. Few, if any, wildlife lovers leave the cloud forest disappointed.

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Activities in Monteverde
Whether you want to fly through the trees on a zipline, take a slower pace on a self-guided wildlife hike, or sway through the tree canopy on a hanging bridge to spot the residents that live in the treetops, there’s a wide variety of activities on offer in Monteverde. Or you could join a coffee or cacao tour to learn more about Costa Rica’s major exports.

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Food & drink
The restaurants here champion local ingredients — expect to find a farm-to-table concept wherever you roam in these parts, with most ingredients proudly farmed from organic gardens and the immediate area. Hyper-local, super-fresh ingredients aside, the dishes are extraordinarily delicious and perfectly paired with delightful South American wines.

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