Monteverde is a small town in Costa Rica that is extremely ecotourist focused. It is best known for its Cloud Forest Reserve, which consists of over 26,000 acres of tropical rainforest. My family and I visited this area in March of 2013 to explore everything it had to offer. Upon arriving, we first went to our hotel, El Establo, to settle in. The hotel grounds was originally home to a group of Quakers who were escaping punishment in the United States. It was transformed into a hotel in 1991 and now offers quality accommodations with a gorgeous view, restaurants, swimming pools, and tennis courts. It is also rather close to both the Cloud Forest and the main town, Santa Elena.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest was established in 1972 and contains an enormously rich ecosystem. It supports 20% of the world’s plant diversity and 16% of the world’s vertebrae diversity. Being the most famous cloud forest in the world, it contains over 100 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds, 120 species of amphibians and reptiles, over 3000 species of plants (over 500 of which are orchid species,) and tens of thousands of insects.
Entry into the forest is $9 for students and $17 for adults. They have many different trails built throughout the forest for locals and tourists to walk through. All paths run deep into the rainforest and lead to different viewpoints, including a small waterfall and a suspension bridge. My family and I even witnessed a stampede of anteaters, which is a popular specie in this rainforest.
The hike through the Cloud Forest is both a great workout and a wonderful attraction that you’ll want to explore the next time you find yourself in Costa Rica.
Photos: Iris Agrafiotis
What do you think of the Cloud Forest in Monteverde? Let us know in the comments.