Perched at an elevation of 1400 metres, Monteverde is Costa Rica’s most famous cloud forest and another of the country’s prime visitor attractions. Visitors flock to the region year-round, meaning that Monteverde is not the quietest area of cloud forest you will encounter in the country, but we do feel its popularity is well-deserved. Not only is it home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, but it also offers a wide range of activities to help you experience the cloud forest in different ways. Some of the best hotels in Monteverde are located on the edge of the cloud forest reserves a little out of town – this gives them a tranquil feel, but if you do venture in you will find a laid-back vibe and a good selection of cafes and restaurants.
One of the first activities we recommend during a visit to Monteverde is an early morning guided walk through the cloud forest with a naturalist guide. This will give you the best overview of why the ecosystems are so special here, and will also provide your best opportunity to look for wildlife. Sloths can be glimpsed curled up in the highest branches of the trees, oblivious to the call of noisy oropendula birds and croaking toucans around them. Poison dart frogs spring through the undergrowth whilst shimmering blue morpho butterflies float along the edges of forest trails as if carried by the breeze. Once you have had your fix of nature on the ground you can begin to take in the forest from a different perspective, exploring the suspended canopy walkways, horse riding or flying through the tree tops on a zip lining tour.