Monteverde (Northern Highlands)
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is world renowned for its Resplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbirds, an abundance of orchids, and a beautiful forest. The climate is fresh and sometimes described as an eternal spring. The views of the Gulf of Nicoya from 1400 meter elevation are spectacular, particularly at sunset. Monteverde is great destination for relaxing and enjoying the wonders of the tropics. We recommend a visit of at least two nights. Watch a 2 minute video here:
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the Americas and includes eight distinct ecological zones. 400 species of birds are found here, including close to 30 species of hummingbirds and the Quetzal. More than 100 species of mammals live in the park, including howler and capuchin monkeys, all five species of cats, deer, tapir and sloths, plus 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles, including venomous and non-venomous snakes, frogs and toads. There are 2,500 species of plants, 420 of which are orchids & the tens of thousands of insects and 5,000 species of moths.
Quakers from North America came here in 1951, drawn by Costa Rica’s lack of ARMY. They set up a business that now makes some the finest cheeses in the country. The Quakers bought milk form neighboring farmers and invited them to become shareholders. Today there are about 430, including milk producers, employees and neighbors.
Weather: The temperature at Monteverde Area ranges 56ºF to 68ºF (16ºC-20º). The average annual rainfall is about 118 inches (3,000 mm) but it can get up to 236 inches (6,000 mm) in the reserve. None of the hotels have a/c since it is not needed. There is an ever increasing number of activities for the naturalist traveler in Monteverde: Butterfly gardens, guided hiking tours through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve or the Santa Elena Private Reserve, canopy tours, walking bridges, horseback riding, zip lines, Sky Tram and more. Roads in Monteverde are mostly gravel roads.
Approximate driving distances to Monteverde: From San Jose 3.5 hours, from Arenal 4 hours, from Guanacaste 3.5 hours, from Jaco under 3 hours, from Manuel Antonio 3.5 hours.