Santa Elena, Costa Rica

Heads in the clouds at Reserva Santa Elena

by The Storytellers MTL

After having explored several European countries, we wanted to leave our comfort zone to live a totally different adventure. Not being great fans of the Canadian winter, we jumped at the opportunity when we saw that Costa Rica was offering airplane tickets at an almost ridiculous price, even in the middle of December. Thus, we discovered an authentic country, rich in culture and vegetation, but especially in varied and exhilarating experiences. Each region brought a lot of surprises and hidden treasures, but we particularly enjoyed our trip to the Reserva Santa Elena.

It is a huge verdant tropical forest also known as cloud forest. You have probably already seen pictures of her neighbor and her suspension bridges, the Monteverde Reserve. Intrigued by its calm and little popularity with tourists, we decided to venture there and we were not disappointed. After a two-kilometer walk through the cloud forest of the Santa Elena Reserve, we arrived at the observation tower. Ten steps later, we took advantage of the wonderful landscape that you can see in the picture on the left. We were so high in the trees that the vegetation was covered by the mist. For a moment, we were alone in the clouds, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the soothing sound of birds singing their most beautiful chorus.

The trails of the forest are very well defined and the indications are very clear. Reserva Santa Elena is also full of colorful animals that will probably accompany you during your excursion. In addition, there are several types of trails of different lengths that allow you to modulate your walk in what looks like a peaceful jungle.

The entrance to the reserve costs about 14 US $ and you will have to drive to get there. The roads are very mountainous and rocky, so make sure you have a reliable vehicle. Moreover, renting a car is a must if you want to visit all the main attractions of the country (Rio Celeste, Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Montezuma, Monteverde, La Paz, etc.). You will have to drive a lot since the majority of the attractions are located two or three hours away from each other. Even if it is an additional expense, you will be able to discover the whole country and immerse yourself in the culture and the specific environment of each region. If you are a roadtrip lover, you’ll be well served crossing Costa Rica. The breathtaking scenery worthy of Jurassic Park that you will admire on the way is definitely worth it!

In Costa Rica, every day is a celebration! Have fun!

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