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On the edge of Puntarenas province around 2.5 hours from Costa Rica’s capital, San José sits Monteverde. This is region favoured with naturalists, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts and boasts activities to suit all ages. Situated 1,440 metres above sea level, this verdant land is home to the magnificent Monteverde Cloud Forest and home to over 100 species of mammal, 400 bird species and 2,500 rare plants.
Whether you wish to hike cloud forest trails and across canopy bridges, visit Selvatura Butterfly Garden or spend time in the Monteverde Orchid Garden with almost 500 different varieties, you can do it all from here. Birdwatchers will enjoy spotting the native Quetzal in the forest, or you if you feel more daring, why not try an adrenaline pumping zip-line adventure!
Horseback riding is available in Monteverde Cloud Forest, as is a tour of the local coffee plantation. Costa Rica is known for its rich, aromatic coffee and in Monteverde you can discover the entire crop to cup process, while indulging in a flavourful cup or two at the same time!
If you’ve experienced the cities and coastlines of Costa Rica and wish to view wildlife and birdlife in its natural habitat, you should visit Monteverde. With less than 3% of woodland and jungle in the world being cloud forests, and a rapidly changing climate, the environment won’t remain like this forever. So, if you are a wildlife lover, relish adventure and wish to learn more about Costa Rica’s diverse eco-system, you should take time to visit Monteverde during your tour of Latin America.
Weather in Monteverde Cloud Forest is usually misty and humid, and much of the year it gets a lot of rainfall. Temperatures don’t vary too much, ranging from a balmy 78 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime to 64 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit at night. If you want to avoid the bulk of the rainfall travel between December and late April, however anytime of year is a good time to visit Monteverde Cloud Forest.
You can reach Monteverde via bus from San José, Puntarenas, Liberia, Guanacaste and several more destinations in northern Costa Rica. Bear in mind that if you choose to drive, some roads are not well-paved so journey times can vary. Usually it takes around 3 hours from San José and Liberia by car and a couple of hours from the coast.
Juntas has a rich history, In the late 1800’s, during the country’s gold rush, the town became a magnet for treasure hunters and fortune seekers. It turned overnight from a small rural community into a busy town which visitors can still see remnants of today in mines, architecture and museums throughout the city. These days Juntas is more focused on nature than gold with cascading hot springs and luxury resorts focusing on health and wellbeing. You can also enjoy hiking or biking in the mountains and foothills, and at less than 20 miles from Monteverde Cloud Forest, it’s a great place to relax and unwind.
One of the most recognisable landscapes in Costa Rica is that of Arenal Volcano. Set inside a national park, this still-active volcano is currently passive, and while you cannot hike to the summit for safety reasons, you can take a guided tour along lava flows and nature trails abundant with wildlife. It’s a great place for outdoor adventurers with zip-lining and canopy tours, or you can stay on the ground and explore the shores of Lake Arenal.
A unique fact about Children’s Eternal Rain Forest is that it was founded by children from around the world. Children from over 40 countries help to preserve this magical rainforest filled with myriad wildlife including monkeys, jaguars, birdlife and over 700 butterfly species. The region can be explored on foot with a naturalist guide who can help you gain the most from your excursion, and if you feel brave enough, sign up for a twilight tour to observe nocturnal creatures of the rainforest.
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