The off the beaten path alternative to Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

The small town of Santa Elena has expanded massively since the Monteverde Cloud Forest gained popularity, and Costa Rica became the destination for biodiversity. Hesitating between exploring the very touristy Monteverde Cloud Forest, or the off the beaten path Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, only a few kilometres away, we opted for the latter.

Run by a local organization, hiking its well-maintained tranquil trails is a fantastic way to take in its fenomenal flora and fauna where animals such as jaguars, tapirs, vampire bats, jaguarundis and peccaries live, and birds such as turquise-browed motmots, resplendent quetzals and violet sabrewings can be found.

Marcella & Claire

Travel tips:

  • Arriving at the Monteverde Cloud Forest to visit the hummingbird garden, we were welcomed by a few kilometers of cars, parked on each side of the road, leaving us very happy with our decision to explore the Santa Elena cloud forest instead.
  • Both cloud forests are only a few kilometres apart and share the same ecosystems. 
  • The Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena is a non-profit community-run initiative.
  • Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!

One thought on “The off the beaten path alternative to Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

  1. Pingback: The ultimate guide to Costa Rica | Best regards from far,

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