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“Quetzel viewing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
35 km (22 mi) southeast of Tilaran | 167 km (104 mi) northwest of San Jose, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve 55-5655, Costa Rica
2645-5123
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$1,259*
and up
11-Day Tour from San Jose: Monteverde Cloud...
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Attraction details
Alexandria, VA
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Quetzel viewing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

This apparently is the best place in Costa Rica to view the long-tailed Quetzel. One morning, very early (5:30 am) we were very lucky to see 3 quetzel birds from the parking lot! Apparently that's the best time for viewing them when they feed on berries of a nearby tree. There are a number of rainforest trails with lush vegetation -- found a Halloween crab in the crack of a tree! Main trails are reinforced with paving stones but the north/south trail (Sendero Chomogo) is steep and mostly dirt so could be VERY slippery if wet. Takes 80 steps to get down to waterfall on Sendero El Rio. Entire perimeter trail also is steep in places and takes over 2 hours. The hummingbird garden next door is worth visiting to see over 10 species of beautiful hummingbirds feeding (while you sit on benches to watch). While at the Reserve it's worth the cost of taking the canopy walk at Selvatura Park. There are 8 suspension bridges which are just above the canopy (the bridges are very steady, but note, if you fear heights, the walk is metal mesh so you can look straight down). Zip line ($45) is even higher than the bridges. Great adreneline rush but not practical for taking pictures or much viewing.

Visited February 2013
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Manchester, United Kingdom
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Guided tour focuses a short visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We arrived in Monteverde just after lunchtime and chose to visit the reserve for a couple of hours before it officially closed at 4pm. To make the most of the time, we opted for a guided tour by Ricardo Guindon, a highly experienced expert guide for birds, wildlife and flora in Monteverde. He was able to take us straight to sites most likely to give us the best sightings at that time of day. We were lucky enough to see a family of spider monkeys, a quetzal, orlingo (spelling?) and a nesting hummingbird among many other exciting discoveries. Next time - and there will be a next time - we would feel confident enough to explore independently. Well worth paying for the expertise for a 1st time visit. The gift shop is also good value.

Visited January 2013
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Grosse Pointe, Michigan
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“It is like walking through the Avitar movie”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I had 2 enjoyable days walking the cloud forest. I would recommend getting a guild for at least the first day. However, be sure to call ahead and get a reservation. the guild associated with the biological station seem to be consistently good. You will see so many more birds and things with a guild. Oscar was our guild and his knowledge of the forest was very extensive.

In addition go early. The forest opens at 7:30 but they start letting people in at 7:00. However, I wish I had set up a guild to met us there at 6:00 as I was looking for birds. There is long hiking trail ~ 4 hour I took. Very few people walked this trail so you were quite alone. The mist and epiphytes are truly magical. If you just sit down and be quiet the forest will come alive.

You would need a taxi or your own car to get there this early in the morning. the bus back to town is really easy. I could spend a week walking these trails and not see everything.

Visited February 2013
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Omaha Ne
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Zip Line Canopy Adventure and Hanging Bridges”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

The entrance at Selvatura Park, in the cloud forest reserve is pretty commercialized and I would skip the butterfly garden in favor for the hummingbird gallery. Yet, it was a good place to relax after such a great experience. The hanging bridges experience was enhanced by having a guide as long as your group is small. If there are too many, you cannot hear and it goes too slowly. The cloud forest's unique ecosystem is really an awesome experience! The 13 zip lines also gave us a first time experience and there were enough of them for you to get use to the routine and actually look around as you were on top of the forest canopy. To view the difference of walking the forest floor to flying in the tree tops is a complete experience. We stayed at the Arenal Springs Resort outside of La Fortuna and felt it was a perfect picturesque retreat from our busy day. Three restaurants: The Tree Top, the Butterfly Cafe, and the Tramonati (Italian) and all in La Fortuna were good. One was known for its peanut butter pie which others raved about!

Visited January 2013
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Freeport, Maine, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Use a guide, but then explore more on your own”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We enjoyed our visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest very much, but like any natural area, seeing wildlife can be hit or miss. A knowledgable guide helps locate animals and identify flora and fauna, and is certainly worth the expense. Again, a good guide can be hit or miss. We walked a very easy 2 1/2 hours with our guide which you can book as you walk into the park, and wished we had timed our trip earlier in the day so we could have spent more time exploring on our own after that excursion. Maybe they have extended walks that go beyond the very limited portion that we explored (out to the waterfall and back); if so, I would recommend that you pursue that.

Visited February 2013
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