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“Beautiful and peaceful” 5 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
Website
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Ranked #9 of 28 attractions in Monteverde
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Viewing wildlife
Attraction Details
Buckinghamshire
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Beautiful and peaceful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

You will miss allege crowds going here, we only saw one person whilst we were out in the cloud forest. I haven't been to monteverde cloud forest but have been told by numerous people that it is very crowded.

The cloud forest itself is beautiful and very atmospheric with the mist/cloud covering. Don't expect to see any animals though, and if you do see one it will be a bonus - we saw a deer and some insects. I wouldn't say you need a guide, we did it on our own.

The one thing I was a little disappointed with was I thought they could have had leaflets or a poster or two in the entrance bit describing and giving more information about cloud forests, but I guess that's what you get a guide for.

It's a $4 return minibus to Santa Elena which picks you up from your accommodation. There are certain times it picks you up and returns from the park. Wear wet weather gear and sturdy footwear as it is wet up there!

Visited May 2013
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153 reviews from our community

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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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ontario
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
67 helpful votes 67 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
6 helpful votes 6 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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