Our top attractions, highlights and insider tips
Draped in vines, rainforest, and verdant air, Monteverde is a natural paradise. Allow this prehistoric land to move you before looking up to spot the resplendent quetzal bird. If cats take your fancy, pumas, ocelots, and margays reside within this cloud reserve. At 1,440 metres above sea level, prepare yourself as you enter a mountainous environment full of treetop trails that reveal why Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
Santa Elena Reserve
Monteverde Butterfly Garden
Biological Reserve Monteverde
Let the adventurer in you to roam free in a park brimming with tropical forests and a suspension bridge that carries you across the sky, between tropical flora. Zipline through trees and feel the extreme side of adventure; feel alive as you hike through Selvatura Park towards a harmonizing butterfly exhibition, name checking some of Central America’s rarest birds along the way.
Smaller than Monteverde’s Cloud Forest (but still 300 hectares), Santa Elena provides astounding biodiversity. Brush against thick moss that grows on trees as you blaze trails abundant with sweeping vine and rooted fern. A lower volume of visitors provides an intimate experience that’ll allow you to indulge in Costa Rica’s nature trove.
A place for reptile and amphibian lovers alike, the Monteverde Serpentarium lets you enjoy a more venomous side of your tropical setting. The snake exhibit includes over 40 species, as well as the colourful poison arrow frogs and turtles. Staff provide information as to how these creatures exist in the wild. A guided tour is highly recommended, and provides thrilling insights into the quirks and habits of local wildlife.
Nestled in the mountains of Monteverde is a nature centre that brims with over 30 species of delicate and colourful butterflies. A busy colony of leafcutter ants showcases the strength and militant work ethic of some of nature’s smaller creatures. Also on show are a variety of Cerro Plano’s eight legged (arachnids) creatures.
Spanning 5,000 hectares, this reserve more than impresses with the enormity of its biodiversity. Around 3,000 plant species, including 500 orchids and rare plants not found anywhere else on earth, are here. Multi-night stays are available if you wish to immerse yourself further, with accommodation provided for the perfect nature retreat.
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