Introduction to Monteverde

Monteverde, Costa Rica is infamous for being up in the clouds. The town itself was founded in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers who had recently been released from jail for dodging the Korean war draft. Monteverde became a tranquil retreat from the rest of the world, in which its inhabitants were able to live in peace. Today this ethos continues to thrive, and the town operates traditionally, reaping the benefits of the land and surrounding areas. Visitors can even attend a meeting in the Friends Meeting House on Wednesday and Sunday mornings to experience a real taste of this unique community. It is also worth visiting La Lechería, a cheese factory which was set up by the Quakers and continues to produce tasty cheeses that are enjoyed throughout Costa Rica to this day. Monteverde is a unique place to visit, having resisted modernisation at any cost, the roads are unpaved and the town seems to have remained in a time warp. Whilst on the one hand this means that there aren't endless tourist attractions to visit, the real beauty lies in the atmosphere and life of the town and its people.

However, the region is undoubtedly most famous for the Monteverde cloud forest reserve (Reserva Biologica bosque nuboso Monteverde), covering 10,500 hectares of beautiful rainforest. The reserve offers visitors an unforgettable trip with something for everyone; hikers will be in their element with a multitude of different routes to explore, whilst the less energetic among us can also enjoy the shorter, less strenuous trails. A canopy tour is a magical experience not to be missed, allowing visitors to venture out onto suspended bridges which get swallowed up by the dense expanse of cloud which stretches out ahead. Wildlife and nature lovers will also be able to spot all kinds of flora and fauna as the rainforest is home to 2,500 plant species and a plethora of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects.

The equally stunning but sometimes overlooked Reserva Santa Elena can also be found when exploring the Monteverde area. This reserve was opened in 1993 and receives no more than 20,000 tourists per year and therefore is better suited to those travellers who wish to dodge the crowds. An even more personal experience is a visit to the Sendero Tranquilo Reserve. Here, tour groups contain a maximum of six people. however, as a private reserve, tours are a bit more pricey.

Whatever your taste, a trip to Monteverde will be a unique and unforgettable experience which awakens your senses and becomes a lasting memory.

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