Luxury Travel to The Central Cloud Forests
Costa Rica’s central highlands are dotted with a number of exquisite and captivatingly biodiverse cloud forests.
Typified by elevated and tropical evergreen forest land with 100 per cent humidity the area is therefore almost always shrouded in clouds and mist. Costa Rica is fortunate enough to have at least six cloud forest zones concentrated in the central highlands and in the central south.
Monteverde is the country’s most renowned destination for cloud forests. A small town hemmed in by the Santa Elena and Monteverde Reserves, it is also very close to the Arenal volcano area. Here you can hike along the trails that traverse these copious habitats of lichen, moss and orchids, populated by ocelots, butterflies, umbrella birds and the endangered Quetzal.
To the south-east of Monteverde and 1.5 hours north of San Jose is Bajos del Toro and the Bosque de Paz Biological Preserve. This cloud forest is sandwiched between the Juan Castro Blanco and Poas Volcano national parks and home to a large number of bird species such as four types of heron, hawks, falcons, eagles, doves, parakeets, owls and hummingbirds.
The closest to San Jose to the west is San Ramon. Just over an hour’s drive from the capital, this area is characterised by tranquil coffee plantations and the magnificent Peñas Blancas and Alberto Manuel Brenes Reserves. See deer, black guans, 57 different types of mammals and the clay-coloured Robin among much more.
When to go
Temperatures generally stay the same at about 29°c (84°f) all year round. December to May are the dry months and are perfect for travelling.
What to do
- Rappel majestic waterfalls
- Zip line through the misty canopies
- Stroll along lofty suspension bridges
- Horseback riding through the forests
- Trek and hike to your hearts desire
Itineraries including The Central Cloud Forests
Accommodation in The Central Cloud Forests
Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options
El SilencioThis relaxing and wholesome eco-lodge imitates rural Costa Rican style and “pura vida”. The 16 luxury, free-standing and stilted casitas peer over the 500-acre private reserve cloud forest canopy on the edge of the Juan Castro Blanco National Park. They are built with the immediate nature very much in mind, based on cottages lived in by local people and using light and dark woods, bamboo and glass, yet they remain elegantly modern, minimal, spacious and comfortable. There are no TVs to detract from the natural world around you but all rooms are equipped with gas fireplaces, private terraces and jacuzzis making your casita feel especially cosy and romantic at night. The hotel strives to exist in harmony with its bio-diverse and delicate fauna setting. Organic gardens, a greenhouse and small farm help to sustain the hotel and its ethical concepts; guests see and taste the delicious and fresh benefits of this at El Silencio’s Las Ventanas and Hierbabuena Restaurants. Take part in spa treatments, eco-adventures, expeditions to the Poas volcano or even do your bit and plant a tree; these are just some of ways to while away the tropical hours at the hotel. Only two hours north of San Jose, with its relaxing and private atmosphere you’ll feel a whole world away at El Silencio.