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“Great hike and bird viewing -- less crowded than Monteverde”

Curi Cancha Reserve
Ranked #2 of 68 things to do in Monteverde
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: To protect of natural resources of the planet operating through an economically and environmentally sustainable business that preserves local forests and biodiversity, benefits people of the area, and provides the highest quality experience for the visitor. Walk along beautiful natural trails with an experienced guide and see different species of birds and mammals. Learn about the amazing diversity of the cloud forest.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We visited Curi-Cancha during a three day visit to Monteverde. We also hiked in Monteverde and enjoyed that too -- more primary forest. But our guide, Rafael, was super fantastic. We did a four hike with him starting at 7:30 a.m.

This was our third trip to Costa Rica with our kids (age 6 and 9) and Rafael was hands down the most knowledgable guide we have ever had. We saw bell birds, lime toucans and queztals with Rafael but he also told our kids (and us) some really interesting facts about the native plant life too. I appreciated that the reserve was less crowded than Monteverde. I recommend visiting it if you are in the area and drop Rafael an email to ask him to show you around.
His email is Rafael Elizondo Vargas <r.elizondov@hotmail.com>

2  Thank Splitchanka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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718 - 722 of 1,080 reviews

Reviewed March 24, 2013

My husband and I toured Curi-Cancha with Cristian, one of their guides, and it was certainly a memorable experience. The place is a gem and Cristian is a very knowledgable, passionate, and interesting guide. The tour was supposed to take about 3 hours and we were with him about 4 1/2 hours! He spent time explaining the flora, fauna, and history of the area and answered our many questions. We we able to see many things, including 4 quetzales, a couple of toucans, sloth, owls, numerous varieties of hummingbirds, wild orchids, deer, and many other things. All in all, a highlight of our 6 week trip to Central America. His cell is 89752015. Don't miss this place!

2  Thank radean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Guides are top notch and the reserve covers a variety of habitats. Trails are well maintained and not too steep.

1  Thank petegrube
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

A group of us just last week had the unforgettable experience of taking a tour through the Curi-Cancha Reserve which is located in the Monteverde area. Having been open for only a few years the reserve is much less well known and therefore much less traveled than the Monteverde Reserve (which we also visited and which pales in comparison).

Rafael Elizondo (r.elizondov@hotmail.com, ph:88388145) was our amazing guide for the entire morning and was the best guide we had during our stay in Costa Rica. He has been leading nature tours for over a dozen years, is extremely knowledgeable (about bird, animal, insect and plant life), has a great eye for spotting things of interest in the dense foilage and has such a great personality I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone planning on doing a tour around Monteverde.

Our tour lasted about 5 hours from around 7am until noon. We saw an amazing variety of wildlife, plants and insects while walking through the different areas of the park but it was the abundance and variety of birds that really made the park stand out from the others in the area. We of course saw Replendent Quetzals - both male and female - but not just a few - someone called it a "Quetzal bonanza".

We also saw Blue-crowned Motmots, Emerald Toucanets, White-fronted Parrots, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Elegant Euphonia, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Bare-shanked Screech Owls, 7 kinds of hummingbirds, and also Thrushes, Tanagers, Jays, Guans, Wrens, and Warblers - some 40 different species of birds in all. Amazing for half a day.

If you are into birding or just nature in general put Curi-Cancha on your must see list of things to do around Monteverde!!!

1  Thank GuruB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Others have called Curi-Cancha a hidden gem, and I couldn't agree more! And for me it was quite unexpected. After visiting the Monteverde Reserve and other nearby sights I found myself with a free morning at the end of our trip. While my wife wanted to relax, I was up for more birding, and someone recommended visiting Curi-Cancha.

My visit could not have been better. The Reserve arranged for my transportation and a personal guide -- all for a very modest fee. My guide, Cristian Chaves, is an experienced naturalist who speaks excellent English. Cris was full of stories about his grandfather who had helped him develop a love for the cloud forest, and he clearly enjoys his work.

Most important, Cris knows where to find the most interesting wildlife. We started at the big avocado tree. Surrounded by other birders and their guides, we saw about ten M & F quetzals come and go.

Then we went on to see other birds that I never could have found on my own: A tiny nesting purple mountain gem, a colorful spangle-cheeked tanager, two species of trogons, and, perhaps rarest of all: a pair of bare-shanked screech owls -- right where Cris predicted they'd be. Along the way we came across a green tree snake that had come down from the windy canopy to warm itself.

Curi-Cancha is little-known, having just opened to the public within the last couple of years. That's part of what makes it so special. The Monteverde Reserve, by comparison, is bursting at the seams with visitors. That may be part of the reason why the wildlife is so accessible at the hidden gem next door. Curi-Cancha was clearly the highlight of a spectacular visit to Costa Rica.

Rick Morgan
Washington, DC USA

2  Thank Rick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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