Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve © Velorian at wts wikivoyage
Monteverde is a small community scattered along several kilometres of road that leads to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Originally bought for dairy farming, the reserve today is an integral part of Costa Rican society, known especially for their distinctive cheese that is sold throughout the country. After more hectares were added, it became the famous cloud forest reserve now so popular with tourists today. The village of Santa Elena is the closest settlement to the reserve and has a cloud forest reserve of its own, although much less visited. Monteverde has a number of other attractions, such as the Butterfly Garden, the Serpentarium, a cheese factory, and art galleries. CASEM Handicrafts Cooperative, made up of 140 local artisans, sells handmade goods and the profits go towards supporting the local community. There is also the Hummingbird Gallery near the entrance to the reserve that has feeders attracting several species of hummingbird. Several nature and hiking trails allow visitors to amble through coffee and banana plantations or up onto the hilltops for views of the cloud forest. On a clear day, you might get a chance to spy Arenal Volcano, and lots of birds and wildlife.