We made some reservations in Monteverde with our hotel desk. Our first stop was the Santa Elena cloud forest reserve. This is one of the two main cloud forest reserves (the other being Monteverde cloud forest reserve), but this was was closer to our hotel. We had booked a 7am tour at the reserve. A shuttle bus picked us up at the hotel and took us to the forest, where the tour started. As expected, it was raining and soggy in the forest, so I bought a poncho.
The cloud forest looked very similar to a rain forest, but I suppose the vegetation is a bit different because of the height. The entire forest had a very misty and foggy appearance. The guide diligently explained all the flora and fauna in the forest to us. He even spotted a tarantula!
After spending a couple of hours at the reserve, we headed over to Selvatura park right next door (we could walk to it). This park, among other activities, had hanging bridges which we wanted to try. The hanging bridges trail took around 1 hour to complete and was pretty easy. Hanging bridges are essentially long walkways amongst the canopy layer of the trees.
Some of these bridges were at a very high height, but you couldn’t quite grasp it because the ground was hidden under dense fog and vegetation.
Dense fog and mist at the canopy level of the cloud forest, as seen from the hanging bridges.
By this time, it was afternoon and time for us to leave Monteverde. A shared shuttle picked us up and took us back to San Jose by evening. In San Jose, we stayed at Casa 69, which had a really nice decor. We had a private room with bathroom, for a very reasonable cost. We headed back home the next morning.