Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde

Wildlife Reserve in Monteverde & Around

Image by Paul Souders Getty Images

This beautiful cloud forest reserve came into being in 1972, when the Quaker community (which had already set aside a third of its property for preservation), spurred on by the threat of encroaching squatters, joined forces with environmental and wildlife organizations to purchase and protect an extra 328 hectares of land. Today the reserve totals 105 sq km.

Because of the fragile environment, the reserve allows a maximum of 160 people at any given time. So as not to miss out, get there before the gates open, or better (and wetter), come during the off-seasons (usually May through June, and September through November). Taking a night tour or staying overnight in one of the lodges will maximize your chances of spotting wildlife.

Some of the reserve's walking trails are very muddy. Even during the dry season (late December to early May) the cloud forest is wet. Many trails have been stabilized with concrete blocks or wooden boards and are easy to walk on, though unpaved trails deeper in the reserve turn into quagmires in the rain.

This fragile environment relies almost entirely on public donations to survive.