Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

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The highlight was seeing 2 resplendent quetzal. Another Canadian saw 4 the same day. May is breeding season.

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… The “song” is a treble syllable described as kyow or like “a whimpering pup”, often in pairs, which may be repeated monotonously. …

It was something closer to a puppy whimper than a kitten’s sound.

… classified as near threatened on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss. …

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde) … founded in 1972 … visited by roughly 70,000 visitors a year. …

… extremely high biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects, has drawn scientists and tourists since. …

I hiked all the trails in less than 4 hours. A number were closed. They looked to me to be closed permanently.

trail map

I did take one of the closed trails for a few hundred metres, just to compare. It seemed about the same but without trail maintenance.

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For lunch I propped myself up against my pack under a giant tree. And enjoyed it so much that I left behind a Summit Stone.

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A second highlight was the bridge through and above the forest canopy. Dangling plants living only on “air” are amazing.

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Cost for entry in 2015 was $20 for a foreign adult. Locals consider that high compared to a similar experience in the other reserves.

On the other hand, this is the only official local hiking area that reaches the continental divide.

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Though you are not likely to see any animals … (I saw only one mammal fleetingly) … I recommend this hike.

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Transportation between San Jose and Monteverde is relatively painless. You can easily get to the Arenal volcano, as well.

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I recommend it. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the best hikes in Costa Rica.

more photos

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