FAQ

Will I see wildlife?

Seeing wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, quetzals and bellbirds, is certainly more possible with a seasoned guide such as Pasión Costa Rica’s guides, but wildlife is never guaranteed.  The trails in Monteverde area represent a miniscule portion of the actual forests, so if you don’t encounter wildlife on your tour, it’s because it is hanging out in the vast majority of the forest that we don’t see on the trail.

How do you accept payment?

Cash in USD, Euros, or colones. Or, by PayPal at an email address we will provide.

How long are tours with Pasión Costa Rica?

Tours are approximately 3-3.5 hours at a leisurely pace, and cover usually about 1/2 to 1 mile.  Please remember, it’s an educational tour and will have lots of stops.  If you’re interested in hiking to cover distance and uneven terrain, please inquire for other types of tours.

What should I wear?

Normal walking/hiking shoes (closed toed) are fine on the cloud forest, birding and night tours.  Nothing too special or hi tech is needed.  Wear layers.  And bring your camera!  We will provide binoculars on birding and cloud forest tours.

What is the trail terrain like?

All trails are walking accessible using good walking shoes.  For wheelchair accessibility please contact us.

Which reserve should I choose?

If you book a private tour, you have all the flexibility you need.  You can talk to your guide upon meeting, and at that time decide which reserve or trail would be the best option for that day.

Do you have trail maps?

Yes. We have maps for each of the four reserves we take our customers to most.

How long should I stay in Monteverde? 

We recommend a minimum of 2 full days, which means 3 nights.

Do I need a 4×4 to get to Monteverde?

No, you do not need a 4×4.

Questions about the Area

What exactly is Monteverde?

Monteverde is the general area encompassing the towns of Monteverde, Santa Elena, Cerro Plano, Los Llanos, and Cañitas.

  • Popular hotels and lodging in “Monteverde” include Fonda Vela, Hotel Belmar, Trapp Family Lodge, and Mariposa B&B
  • Popular hotels in “Cerro Plano” include El Establo, Cabañas Los Pinos, Monteverde Country Lodge, Cala Lodge, and Historias B&B
  • Popular hotels in “Santa Elena” and “Los Llanos” include Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, Arco Iris, Ficus, Poco a Poco, Casa Batsú, Valle Campana, La Pradera Monteverde, El Sol (La Lindora)

All of the above can be considered Monteverde.

Are the Monteverde Reserve and the cloud Forest one in the same?

Yes.  However there are many other trails where you can see cloud forest, as well.  The main cloud forests in the Monteverde area can be found at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, SkyWalk hanging bridges, and Selvatura hanging bridges.  Curi Cancha Refuge has a section of cloud forest, and much is tropical premontane forest.  Tropical premontane forest can also  be great for seeing wildlife, so definitely consider Curi Cancha Refuge and the Ecological Sanctuary in your plans.

Is the Monteverde reserve a national park?

No. In fact, there is no national park in Monteverde.  The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is also called the Monteverde Reserve.  It is a privately owned reserve, not a national park.

What is the elevation of the Cloud Forest?

The general Monteverde area falls between about 1,200-1,700 meters (approximately 4,000-5,600 feet).  Other cities with similar elevations (but not cloud forest) include Denver, Kathmandu, and Guatemala City.

Is Monteverde near the continental divide?

Yes. The Monteverde Reserve trails are on the Pacific side of the slope.  The Santa Elena Reserve and Selvatura trails are on the Atlantic/Caribbean side of the slope.

How many Hanging Bridges / Suspension Bridges are in the area?

Hanging bridges, also called suspension bridges, are found at SkyWalk, Selvatura and Aventura.  There is also one bridge in the Monteverde Reserve, called the Wilford Guindon bridge.

What is the weather like in the Monteverde area?

  • January-February: generally windy, sometimes rainy or misty in mornings and evenings.  Cool temperatures.
  • February-April: generally the wind dies down, and April is the peak of the dry season.  Quite warm, even hot.
  • May-mid-July: generally the rainy season begins.  Sunny and warm mornings and showers in the afternoon.
  • July-August: small decrease in rain.  Sometimes breezy
  • September-October: the most rain
  • November-December: rain begins to slow down, and wind and mist increase.

**Please note these are general guidelines specifically for the Monteverde area and do not necessarily apply to other areas of Costa Rica.

What is the weather like during the day in Monteverde?

Many cling to the idea that mornings are clearer and afternoons are cloudy and rainy.  However, this is a HUGE generalization.  Please be prepared for any weather pattern at any time of day and for unpredictable weather patterns.  Also, keep in mind that because Monteverde saddles the Continental Divide, the weather varies greatly even in areas that are quite close.  For example, it is typical that when it’s raining on the Pacific slope, the Caribbean/Atlantic is drier, or vice versa.  This can mean that just getting to or from your hotel to a tour can mean a weather change!

What time of day is the best for a tour?

Do not fall into the “earlier is better” trap!  Enjoy your morning and breakfast, and inquire with us about a slightly later start to your tour (tour start times subject to availability).  Also, consider an afternoon cloud forest walk as a great alternative to a morning cloud forest walk.  This is especially important during peak season dates (Christmas, New Years, Spring Break and Easter) when morning tours take place in the “crowd forest” rather than the cloud forest, and afternoon walks are much more peaceful.

Are there any waterfalls in the Monteverde area?

A small waterfall is found at the end of the ‘’el rio’’trail in the Monteverde Reserve.  It is small and for observation only, not swimming.

What is a naturalist guide?

A naturalist guide educates about the cloud forest and, through experience and good eyes and ears, works to spot interesting flora and fauna.  A cloud forest tour is not a safari or a zoo-like experience!  First and foremost it is a natural history walk.  Quetzals, bellbirds, sloths, monkeys and other awesome wildlife sightings are goals we aim for every tour, and we will do our darned best to encounter them.  Remember, mammals are sometimes easier to see during a night tour. View information about our premier Certified Naturalist Guide.

Is a guide really necessary?

You can certainly visit the cloud forest of Monteverde without a guide. we, however, recommend them. It’s like our friends at Casa Batsú say, you can visit a museum and browse without a tour guide, but unless you have someone to show you the intricacies of the works of art, you won’t be able to fully appreciate them.  This is how we feel about our cloud forests.