This beautiful, natural reserve is home to several bird species and boasts a cooler climate. Meet the Resplendent Quetzal or Emerald Toucanette as you wander the magical cloud forest.

As most visitors to the region choose the other reserve, Santa Elena Cloud Forest is a hidden treasure with plenty of wildlife and a lot less people. While hiking, one will have the opportunity to experience the amazing cloud forest which produces life on top of life! These forests are home to a great number of creatures such as monkeys, sloths and many species of birds. Birdwatchers will delight with the prospect of spotting species such as quetzals, toucanettes and bellbirds.  Groomed trails go to all areas of the reserve as well as a canopy observation tower that looks out over the tree tops.

Facilities at the Santa Elena Cloud Forest include a coffee shop, souvenir shop, and a restaurant. Santa Elena town is located within a short drive and offers a wide variety of accommodations, shops and restaurants.

Weather and packing list

Located in the cloud forest, the weather in Santa Elena is fairly predictable. Expect cool and damp conditions and dress for rain. Daytime temperatures average in the low 70s with night time lows averaging in the upper 50s. The most consistent rain is experienced between the months of May through November with the heaviest rains September through November.

Visitors should pack shorts, tee shirts, appropriate shoes, rain gear, sun block. It is also advised to bring at least one pair of pants, a long sleeve shirt, and even a sweat shirt or light jacket.

Fun Fact: Resplendent quetzals and emerald toucanettes can be spotted here most of the year.

Nearby Destinations

Monteverde9 km
La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano112 km
Nuevo Arenal67 km
Puntarenas75 km
Alajuela138 km


Latitude: N 10° 20' 36.56"
Longitude: W 84° 47' 45.64"

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