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“Off the beaten path”

Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Ranked #6 of 64 things to do in Monteverde
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: It is a community non profit project, located near Monteverde, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. The Reserve has an extension of 310 hectares, covered by a majestic Cloud Forest, in which you can observe a great variety of plants, Orchids, trees, ferns, heliconias and others. Also hundreds of residents and migratory birds, as the Quetzal and the Bell bird. Entrance Fee foreign Regular $14 Entrance Fee foreign student $7 Regular Guided walk $15 + Entrance Fee Private Guided Walk $75 + Entrance Fee
Newport Beach
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Off the beaten path”
Reviewed December 10, 2012

Monteverde is awesome, but it's popular among folks willing to make the trip. Do yourself a favor and drive a little further along a (rough, rough) road to Santa Elena. It gets a fraction of the visitors to Monteverde, but it's absolutely beautiful.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Erik P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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449 reviews from our community

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Irvine, California
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Peaceful walk through the rainforest.”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

We had a wonderful peaceful walk through Santa Elena. Our hostel suggested we arrive early, so we took the first bus we could get on (before 7am!). We opted to do the guided tour, and were so glad we did! First off, it can be nearly impossible to spot wildlife in these forests because they are so big and dense. The guides are experts, and our guide could even recognize various birds and animals by their calls. We were there the day after a big rain. We didn't see a huge amount of wildlife (the guide was surprised, normally the day after rain, animals are very active), but the walk through alone was worth the price. We learned a lot about the local flora and fauna, and even got to see a plant that has been around since the time of the dinosaurs. The trails are actually gravel and are very well maintained... at one point you have to climb up quite a few stairs, so be ready for that... But I'm not in the best shape (unless you consider round a shape) and I made it fine, so don't worry. We chose Santa Elena over Monteverde because it was less expensive, and it was definitely worth what we spent.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Hike”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Santa Elena Reserve ha some well maintainde trails, and the scenery is beautiful. The amount of plant life in there was unbelievable! We did not see much wildlife, but that was likely because we got there around 7am. I would probably spend the money on a taxi to get there earlier in the future. Cheap transportation is all over Monteverde though. All in all, a fantastic hike!

Visited October 2012
Thank Jordan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Small but full of flora reserve”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

we liked this small reserve even if it is small. The Cloud forest is excellent, We consider than even prettier than Monteverde. Entrance fee is cheaper than monteverde 14$ instead of 18$. The trees are filled by epyphites.

Visited September 2012
Thank Maria_del_Mar_I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Delightful slice of rainforest”
Reviewed September 15, 2012

This cloudforest/rainforest is much less crowded than the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. The lower parts are secondary forest but at more than 20 years old can only be distinguished as such by a trained observer. The primary forest on the upper slopes is in pristine condition. There is a watch tower you can climb to get a good view from above the canopy at the continental divide. If you don't have a guide or a degree in tropical ecology, you won't get nearly as much out of your visit, so hire someone to walk with you.

Visited February 2012
1 Thank maggieeisenberger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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