This reserve is fairly new (3 yr, I believe). The vegetation and views are typical of the whole area. Our guide was knowledgeable of the birds and could imitate their calls. He had a scope that allowed us a closer view of the birds and even took pictures through the scope with our small cameras. We saw spider monkeys, a toucan, tarantula, Costa Rica wrens, hummingbirds, and small frogs--tadpoles actually. The land originally belonged to one of the Quakers who settled here and wanted to preserve the area. There are lots of paths criss-crossing the area so a guide is necessary. Go in the morning for the best chance of avoiding rain.
Tours may be arranged at various "tourist centers" that dot the area. We stopped at the first one we saw and set up a tour for Curi-Cancha the next morning.Be sure you understand the total cost. Even with someone in our party who spoke Spanish and a "salesperson" who spoke English, we still did not know how much we were paying. We put down a deposit of $15. The reserve was $12 each, we thought. The guide was separate and was $12 each, but when we arrived at the reserve, we had to pay $12 each to enter, then the guide said we owed him $12 each.
I'm not sure how this reserve compares to Monteverde since we did not get to go to Monteverde. All the reserves are part of the same cloud forest and are not far apart so the land and animals must be similar. Our guide wanted us to have a good experience, but he can't guarantee you'll see any animals. He knew where to look for them, though.
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