Hiking in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve {Costa Rica}

What could be better than starting off the day with a hike in the incredible Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. We parked the car in their parking lot and boarded the shuttle bus that would take us to the actual entrance to the reserve. We had gone back and forth about whether we should sign up for a guided hike or just go on our own. Ultimately, we decided to take the trail on our own which proved to be a good decision.

We purchased our tickets and went through the turnstile where four different paths were before us. Someone had recommended we take the path furthest on the right for the best views. And so right we went, which proved again to be a good decision.

We began our hike up the trail and marveled anew at the lush green everywhere. While our day before had taken us to the top of the forest along the canopy, today we were in the heart of it all. Seeing the Cloud Forest from the top to the bottom was incredible.

We were thrilled to find that we would need to cross another bridge through the forest. The bridge was long and straight and not nearly as swinging as the bridges we crossed the day before in the canopy.

We passed a group of people on the bridge and heard the guide say that they would be turning around to go back down. We were so glad that we had opted to not go with a guide because we were anxious to keep going and seeing what else we would see on the trail.

The trail continued higher and higher through the forest. Two different times I almost stepped on a crab before it scuttled away off the trail. Never would we have expected crabs on a mountainside, they must have taken a detour from the beaches miles away. The forest continued to give us beautiful views around every corner and we wanted to explore every trail that branched off from where we were.

As we were reaching near the top, the trail became like a tunnel through the green. We were walking along the Continental Divide where water would run down to both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. To walk along the Divide made the decision of which path to take seem all the more right.

At the top we looked out over the beautiful mountains of the Cloud Forest and imagined that we could almost see the ocean. Now we could say that we had seen this area from every angle.

We went up a little farther to the lookout point towards the other ocean. After we had soaked up the views as much as we could we began the climb back down the trail. On the way down we made one more good decision and took one of the smaller trails that branched off from the main one.

On our hike we had run into a number of people from all over the world. A man from India who had taken a month off work and was moving his way through 4 continents before going back to the grind. We met a couple from the Netherlands who were on their honeymoon. And we met a family from Pennsylvania traveling for their first time internationally. Not only was the trail itself wonderful, but so were the people we met along the way.

We followed the winding path back down to the bottom enjoying the smaller trail and smaller views of the forest it gave. The day had been filled with good decisions that had given us an amazing day being so consumed by the forest.

If you enjoyed this, here are some other forest hikes that you may be interested in:

Fautaua Trail- Tahiti, French Polynesia

Johnston Canyon- Banff National Park, Canada

Hawks Nest State Park- West Virginia, USA

Thanks for coming along on this hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. May you climb higher and see farther everywhere you go.

23 responses to “Hiking in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve {Costa Rica}”

  1. Wow, great post and so many amazing photos. I especially love the red hanging bridge with views of the lush valley and a variety of orchids, ferns, mosses, and more. What a truly amazing place to take in the area’s abundant nature, Meg! The misty cloud forests of Monteverde make it an appealing destination for travellers looking to immerse in nature. Thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful day 🙂 Aiva xx

    • Thank you Aiva 🙂 it was spectacular being so immersed in the forest and in the whole feel of the natural world. I was almost overwhelmed by green. I hope you have a great day!–Meg

  2. Again, bringing back so many great memories, the fabulous lush greenery of the rain forest. Don’t you just love the thought that you’re at the point of one of the World’s greatest watersheds, run-off heading to the two different oceans from that very point. We loved that feeling. I wonder where you’re heading next….La Fortuna?

    • It was a cool thought thinking we could follow the water and find either ocean. Sadly, La Fortuna wasnt in the cards this time but it is firmly at the top for our next visit here. We spent most the time here in Monteverde and then a couple days down at the beach.

  3. Well Meg, I think you guys must have toasted to an excellent day full of good decisions. It looks like an absolutely breathtaking hike from start to finish, proper bucket list stuff. Crabs on a mountain trail, I’d have thought you were pulling my leg if you didn’t have the photographic evidence. Stunning view of the mountains and the shot of you and Tess from the viewing platform. Amazing stuff Meg, stay safe out there!

    • Thanks Leighton 🙂 I never would have expected to see crabs on the mountain trail. It near scared me to death when I about stepped on them. But I feel very glad to have seen crabs instead of the tarantulas that other people saw on the trail. The whole hike was incredible and definitely worthy of a toast afterwards. I hope you have a great rest of your week. I’m looking forward to your next series of posts!

  4. I’m glad everything went right on your beautiful hike. I’ve never seen entrances to four different trails lined up right together like that before. Reminds me of something I might see in a Survivor challenge.

  5. The Monteverde Cloud Forest looks like an amazing spot to hike. How fun that there’s even a suspension bridge. Good call on not signing up for the guided hike as this way you got to explore more of the trail, including the lookout.

    • I was so glad that we didn’t go with a guide- we would have missed out on so much! The whole forest is incredible and seeing it from the bottom to the top really made for a great hike 🙂

  6. I did this hike six or seven years ago and loved it, so reading your post brought back some great memories. The cloud forest and the views are spectacularly beautiful, and your photos are superb.

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