Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

This beautiful reserve is situated about 7 km from the town center of Santa Elena de Monteverde.

The Santa Elena Cloud Forest is one of those destinations where you can escape your routine and connect with nature. Although the reserve is smaller than the Monteverde Biological Reserve, both serve the same goal of preserving the forest and welcoming more tourists to see it for themselves.

The clouds that surround the forest form a constant fog that covers everything, caused by the reserve’s elevation of 1,600 meters above sea level. The cool mountain temperatures mean that the forest is always humid, making it an ideal ecosystem for many species of orchids and ferns.

The reserve is rich in fauna as well, providing habitat for wild cats like pumas, jaguarundis, jaguars, and others. You’ll also have the chance to see sloths, spider monkeys, snakes and species of frogs. There is also a vast array of birds: in fact, the reserve is considered to be one of the best places for birdwatching, with an estimated 500 species of birds in the area. You may even spot the majestic quetzal here.

monteverde extreme

You can also enjoy other activities such as hiking, hanging bridges, orchid gardens and even tours of coffee farms.

The refuge has three main lookouts: the Observation Deck, the Observation Tower, and the Caño Negro Lookout.

The Observation Tower offers views of three volcanoes: Tenorio, Miravalles and Rincón de la Vieja. On clear days, you can even see the Platanar Volcano, Cerro Congo, Lake Nicaragua, Lake Arenal, Cerro Chato and Cerro Pelado.

If you would like to go on a guided hike, we recommend that you make your reservations one day in advance by calling 2645-5390. There is no need to reserve self-guided hikes, just show up at the park.


All the information you need:

Single-use plastic (plastic bags, disposable water bottles, etc.) are not allowed in the park.

You also cannot bring any type of food onto the trails; food is only allowed in the restaurant.

Parking: free.



Tel: 26455390.

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Self-Guided Hikes

Costa Ricans: Adults $6 | Seniors (+65) $5 | Students $4 | Children $2

Foreigners: Adults $18 | Seniors (+65) $15 | Students $12 | Children $9

Guided Hikes

Costa Ricans: Adults $21 | Seniors (+65) $20 | Students $18 | Children $9

Foreigners: Adults $35 | Seniors (+65) $33 | Students $30 | Children $25

 Specialized Private Hikes

Costa Ricans: $85 (1-3 people)

Foreigners: $125 (1-3 people)