Monteverde is a magical place, located high in Costa Rica’s central mountain range in the ethereal cloud forest. A cloud forest is a high-elevation tropical rainforest with abundant rainfall and cool temperatures, characterized by nearly constant fog because it’s at cloud level. Dense, moist vegetation is dominated by shorter, gnarled trees covered in moss, lichens, ferns and other epiphytes, or “air plants,” that grow on trees.
Monteverde is Costa Rica’s most famous cloud forest, with over 400 bird species, 100 mammal species and some 750 types of trees — more tree species than there are in the entire United States. It’s home to the elusive and gorgeous resplendent quetzal, as well as jaguars, ocelots, pumas, monkeys, deer and bats. Take your pick of hiking trails at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the Santa Elena Reserve, the CuriCancha Nature Reserve and the Children’s Eternal Rainforest.
Monteverde is also one of Costa Rica’s top adventure spots, with ziplining, bungee jumping, hanging bridges, horseback riding and much more. And it has a small but charming town, Santa Elena, full of restaurants, shops and exhibits of frogs, snakes and other local wildlife.