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“Nice hike” 4 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
San Antonio, TX
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Nice hike”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

The sites were wonderful, but the altitude was very high and at times it was difficult to take a full breath. Beautiful flora and fauna.

Visited June 2012
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178 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Raleigh, NC
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This is a beautiful cloud forest and well worth the time to take the short hike around the reserve. We didn't get to see much wildlife, but could hear the howler monkeys in the distance. I would suggest hiring a guide to learn more about the flora and fauna.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but mostly flora & fauna”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Stunningly beautiful, and not nearly as crowded as the Monte Verde Reserve. Good range of well-kept hiking trails ranging from easy to intermediate. Only mild criticism is there was very little wildlife to be seen.

Visited March 2013
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“An Opportunity to see Primary Forest”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Bring a rain jacket!

This is an opportunity to see primary forest, that has not been cut down; this should be one's primary focus in coming to Monteverde, the real deal cloud forest, before one ziplines, visits cheese factories, and does all of the heavily promoted commercial tourist stuff.

There are extensive trail options here, some could take 3-4 hours. There are also shorter trail options that are good for kids. I would recommend planning a day here, some with a guide.

The shorter trails we went on were actually well built, even paved and I wonder if you might plausibly go through them on a wheel chair (with someone strong pushing). We only did the short trails because it was very wet, we had kids with us and the family got cold. I wish we could have pushed in deeper.

We arranged to be on a tour with Orlando (he is mentioned in other reviews). This was arranged at the ticket booth. We signed up for a "public tour" but the group size is very constrained and it turned out that no one else signed up for him for that slot. So our family got a private tour. We really appreciated his knowledge and care. The post cards in the gift shop are all from photos by Orlando.

There is a cafeteria and nice gift shop at the base camp.

Visited March 2013
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Shingle Springs, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Excellent rainforest trails”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Great, well-marked trails, with lots of stuff to see. MUCH less crowded than Monteverde. Could go back and spend a couple of days just hiking in this forest, skipping Monteverde altogether.

Visited February 2013
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