Stepping Into The Cloud Forest


What Is The Cloud Forest

The Costa Rican cloud forest are created by vast trees and vegetation at elevations greater than 1,600 meters that help to produce a humid environment. These trees collect the mist from the weather being so humid and wet, which then creates the look of clouds. Hence, a delicate ecosystem is created. In addition, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is present to 2.5% of the worlds biodiversity, just within its borders.Want to know more about the area, then check out this website

What You Need To Know

Fee:  Costa Ricans $7 Adult   $4 Child (6-12 yo)   $5 Student

          Foreign         $22 Adult  $10 Child (6-12 yo) $10 Student 

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Elevation: ~5000-6000 ft

Best Season: Dry Season (Dec – May), but most expensive and crowded. 

Second Best Time: Beginning of Wet Season (May – July) would work for you as well, just be prepared for wetter conditions.

Facts: Reserve was founded in 1972 after 328 hectares of land was donated and opened to the public in 1973. Now the reserve encompasses over 10,500 hectares. As a result, visitors can find numourous types of exotic birds to observe. 

Official Website:

Map of Monteverde, Costa Rica

How To Get There

From San Jose Airport: 


  • Will need a high clearance vehicle.
  • 87 mile
  • 3 hour drive
  • Route 606
  • Fuel cost approximate: $13 – $19 


  • 13 min by Bus, San José-Alajuela (Real Cariari)
    • leaves every 10 mins
  • 5 hours by Bus, San Jose-Santa Elena
    • only twice daily
  • 15 min by Bus , Santa Elena-Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
    • 5 times a day
  • Fee: $6 – $15 


  • 5 min by Bus, San José-Alajuela
  • 45 min by Bus to Naranjo
  • 2 hr 20 min by Taxi Naranjo-Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Fee: $142 – $182


  • If you can find someone willing to uber you that far and they have a high clearance vehicle, then cheers!
  • Fee: $85 -$110

From Liberia Airport: 


  • Will need a high clearance vehicle.
  • 64 mile
  • 2 hr 10 min drive
  • Route 1, 145, 606
  • Fuel cost approximate: $9 – $14 


  • 1 hr 20 min by Bus, Liberia – La Juntas 
    • 6 times a week
  • 1 hr 9 min by Taxi, Las Juntas – Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
    • 21.7 miles
  • Fee: $48 – $59 


  • 2 hr 10 min by Taxi Liberia-Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Fee: $120 – $160


  • 3 hr 24 min by Shuttle, Liberia – Monteverde
    • every hour
  • Fee: $45/person

Why You Should Take A Tour

Let me say, I have a Biology degree with concentration in wildlife, and honestly, I knew better than to assume I knew what to look out for. This forest is home to 161 species of reptiles/amphibians, over 91 species of birds, 6 species of mammals, 58 species of bats, and you get the idea. It would be in your best interest to hire a tour guide that will help you identify different species and vegetation in this lush landscape. 

When hiring your naturalist guide, you should have the entrance fees included, as well as transportation. No you can not walk to the reserve. A guided tour will take about 3 hours. In addition, the guide will be equipped with binoculars and identification guidebooks. 

In our experience, our guide was phenomenal. He was able to do various bird calls and was very dedicated to spotting organisms or fauna we would otherwise of passed up. In addition, you can choose one type of tour or all three, which would include the natural history tour, bird tour, and night tour.  

If you prefer to just hike the trails and are not that intrested in identifying wildlife, then try downloading a self guided info and be your own tour guide. 

Where To Find Your Guide

What To Bring

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Clothing for Hiking in
  • Raincoat 
  • Insect Repellent 
  • Waterproof Camera
  • Water
  • Snack
  • Cash for Tipping Guide

The Other Two Cloud Forest

Children’s Eternal Rainforest is the less crowed of the three cloud forest, yet it is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica. It’s Spanish name is Bosque Eterno de los Noños or BEN for short. In addition, its the most biodiverse and has 7 different life zones.  

Santa Elena Cloud Forest is more wet and has more clouds since its at a high elevation. Due to the location you will be in, on a clear day you might be able to see the top of the Arenal Volcanoe. 

Other Things To Consider

Monteverde Night Walk: There are many animals that are nocturnal, so the best time to see them is at night. Also, you have a chance to see a sloth, since they are nocturnal. We unfortunately did not see one on our walk,  instead we had one fall into a river on us while staying at The Springs Resort. Some examples of animals we did see were a few Tarantulas, a Viper, ants, and a few sleeping Toucans. 

To give you an understanding on trying to take a picture on the night walk. More of a seeing tour then photo tour.

Zipline Over the Cloud Forest: One of the best ways to see the cloud forest or part of Costa Rica is to take a zipline tour. It’s a great place to learn more about the habitat and it’s organisms while you get to see it from a different view. 

White Water Raft the Sarapiquí: Another alternative to seeing what nature in Costa Rica means, is by rafting down a river while your surrounded by the rainforest and it’s sounds. This country has other great rivers to raft on as well, like the Pacuare River, which has been considered one of the best rapids in the world by many. 

Hummingbird Garden: This garden is attached to the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Great place to see or photograph some of the exotic hummingbird’s. 

Monteverde cloud forest humming bird garden

SkyAdventures: This park is an eco-adventure park if you plan to stay in the area for a few days you should check it out. 

Accomendations in the Area

Budget Hotels

Mid-Range Hotels

High End Hotels/Boutiques

Have you hiked Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve? Did you enjoy yourself and would you recommend it to others? Have any other trails or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips. 

The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves.  Opening hours, trail closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable. 





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