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“Beautiful forest atmosphere, tour guide not necessary, though.” 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 28 attractions in Monteverde
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Viewing wildlife
Attraction Details
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful forest atmosphere, tour guide not necessary, though.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

The forest is really beautiful and when I was there, there weren't a lot of people around, so that I could hear a lot of birds and beetles. just standing there for a few minutes is amazing. Unfortunately, my trip was spoilt by the tour guide. It was quite boring and it turned into a bird hunt rather than a nice tour. Also, he used words that I wouldn't recommend for children. So if you want to go, just go on your own and enjoy the forest!

Visited May 2013
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161 reviews from our community

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ontario
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Noisy gravel trails”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Alot of the reviews say that this park is better than monteverde because it's less crowded. That is true; however, the trails we hiked were covered in gravel which made a lot of noise, so any chance of seeing birds (and other wildlife) was lessened because they'd be frightened off by the sound of the gravel moving around when hiking. I found the trails less challenging here than in Monteverde; however, I did not have a chance to do the outer loop trail. It was sunny the day we hiked so didn't have the opportunity to experience the "cloud" forest. We hired a guide as recommended by others on tripadvisor. While we did see a sloth and a tarantula, our guide spent most of the time asking us questions which were better suited to a group of children. That said, some information was interesting. Alot of time was spent standing around rather than moving forward on the trail. He seemed to treat it as a chore.... In the end, we would have preferred to hike alone. There is a washroom and very small cafeteria at the entrance. The highlight was at the end of the day when we watched a pizote (racoon like animal) foraging near the parking lot for insects. He gave quite a show!!! Also, on the shuttle bus ride, driven by a very nice friendly driver I might add, there is an opportunity to see wildlife. Our driver spooted peccaries in the fields and allowed us to get out for photos/viewing.

Visited May 2013
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Rochester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Nice gentle hike on well maintained paths”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Spent a very pleasant 3 hours at the reserve, hardly anyone else there. Very atmospheric and damp, didn't see that many animals although we heard lots! Worth visiting a cloud forest as very different to other forests, a bit spooky with the mist etc.

Visited April 2013
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San Antonio, TX
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction 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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Raleigh, NC
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
19 helpful votes 19 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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