“Green Mountain” a very appropriate name is given to this cloud forest where frequent precipitation keeps everything green. This private reserve is known worldwide for maintaining the original environment where endemic species of different kinds have survived.
The reserve has an extension of 10,500 hectares and is at an elevation of 4662 feet, right in the middle of the Continental Divide between the Atlantic and Pacific regions. The variable climate and high altitudinal gradient has helped produce amazing biodiversity. Spectacular wildlife includes the Jaguar, Ocelot, Baird´s Tapir, Three-wattled Bellbird, Bare necked Umbrella bird and the famous, and elusive, Quetzal.
There are 6 distinct ecological zones in this park. It is called a cloud forest rather than a rain forest because of its altitude: the forest is enveloped by the clouds. The canopy is extremely rich with birds, insects, butterflies, and thousands of plants. A favorite of bird wathcers from around the world. The resplendent Quetzal is usually seen in the March-April nesting season.
From San Jose, take highway #1 to Liberia. Drive 147 km, all the way to Rio Lagartos exit. Turn right and go for another 35 km on a dirt road with awesome sights. It is definitely recommended to have a 4x4 vehicle for this trip. Standard cars will bottom out in the ruts and valleys of the road. It will take about 3 hours from Lagartos to Monteverde. It is a precarious journey when the road is wet. We recommend you consider a guided tour if you plan on visiting during the rainy season (mid April-mid November)