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“Impressive to see, but no animals” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
6 km (4 mi) north of Santa Elena, Costa Rica
2645 5390
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Ranked #8 of 26 Attractions in Monteverde
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Activities: Viewing wildlife
Attraction details
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Impressive to see, but no animals”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013 via mobile

Impressive to see the real cloud forest (above 1400 meters). Unfortunately we didn't see any animals although we went with a guide! 2,5 hours walk at 7:30 in the morning, completely different climate then the tropical rain forest. Make sure to wear a jersey and a raincoat or poncho!

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176 reviews from our community

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English first
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“You got to see that forest”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

My wife and I had this activity as the last one in Monteverde area, before traveling to Manuel Antonio NP. The day before we did Zip-Line and Hanging Bridges tour also in Santa Elena Reserve, so the cloud forest itself was very similar to the one we walked the day before. The main advantage of this last tour was that we had a private guide. We left the hotel at 7:30 am and drove into the reserve for about 0.5 hour on very bad roads. In the park we did the longest trail, because the guide told us it was our best chance to see wildlife. Honestly, we had seen very little animals and birds, but we really enjoyed the quiet walk in this primary forest. You definitely need some rain gears and good shoes/boots to be comfortable walking for about 3 hours as you make the loop. As we walked straight through continental divide, the guide explained to us the differences between the forests on both sides – water draining to Pacific or draining to Atlantic oceans and they do look differently. Very nice tour..

Visited December 2012
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nice walk in the forest”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We were hoping to see monkeys and sloths but didn't. Maybe it just wasn't a lucky day... Our guide made up for their absence with his vast knowledge of the cloud forest. He did find birds to show us with his binoculars (excellent equipment!) such as the very rare Quetzal.

Visited January 2013
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Palo Alto, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Enjoyed a nice hike, few animals”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

This cloud forest area is worth the visit, especially with a guide. Animals are not really abundant here, but the guide found several for us, including the elusive Quetzal bird.

Visited December 2012
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Branford, Connecticut
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Absolutely fantastic. MUCH quieter than Monteverde, with really neat trails. Beautiful forest. Get a guide for the morning to really maximize your experience. It is way too easy to miss things in the cloud forest. Go to Monteverde too, but give yourself a solid half day to explore the trails here.

Visited January 2013
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