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Monteverde / Santa Elena
The small town of Santa Elena/Monteverde is nestled in the beautiful Tilaran Mountain Range. Straddling the Continental Divide at 1440 meters (4662 ft), the Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest area offers one of the most interesting places to visit in all of Costa Rica. Travelers will be greeted by friendly people, scenic views of the Gulf of Nicoya, wild flowers, lush tropical cloud forest, cascading waterfalls and wildlife everywhere you look. The two cloud forest reserves are home to more than 130 species of mammals including 5 species of cats, over 400 species of birds including 30 species of hummingbirds, tens-of- thousands of insect species with over 5,000 species of moths and 3,000 species of plants with 450 different kinds of orchids.The area is so diverse and rare that it has been acclaimed as one of the most outstanding wildlife reserves in the New World Tropics.Both Monteverde and Santa Elena Forest are given the title of "cloud forest" rather than "rain forest" because of their altitude. Due to their elevation clouds tend to travel through and sit/come to rest within the forest.Monteverde Cloud Forest is a private non-profit reserve administered by the Tropical Science Center and contains 6 distinct ecological zones. Santa Elena Cloud Forest is a state owned non-profit reserve.It tends to have more clouds and is wetter than the other reserve because of its higher elevation.Monteverde was settled by nine Quaker families from the United Sates back in the 1950's.The settlers named their town Monteverde, which means "green mountain". With them, the Quakers brought a sense of community, a culture of peace and a work philosophy that spurred the beginning of the region's now flourishing dairy industry.In 1953, they founded the Cheese Factory, that along with the flourishing coffee farms have further fueled area growth.
The families purchased 3,460 acres and decided to reserve one-third of their land to protect the watershed above their new settlement.Today the private reserve spans more than 25,000 acres, of which 90% is primary forest. And is the major cause for tourism being the number one industry in the area.

Monteverde & Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve Guided Tours
Guided Night Hikes
Coffee Plantation Tours
Birding Tours
Some Of The Biggest Canopy Tours In The Country
Hummingbird Exhibits, Butterfly Gardens and Reptile Exhibits
Hanging Bridges Tours
Spa Treatments
Horseback riding
Just to name a few...
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