Monteverde, Costa Rica is a small community in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, located in the Cordillera de Tilarán. Roughly a four hour drive from the Central Valley, Monteverde is considered a major ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. The area is host to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and numerous other reserves, which draw considerable numbers oftourists and naturalists.
National Geographic has called the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve “the jewel in the crown of cloud forestreserves”. Newsweek has declared Monteverde the world’s #14 Place to Remember Before it Disappears.” By popular vote in Costa Rica, Monteverde was enshrined as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Costa Rica, along with Isla del Coco,Volcán Arenal, Cerro Chirripó, Río Celeste, Tortuguero, and Volcán Poás.
This article deals with Monteverde and its surrounding zone. This includes the larger town and tourism hub Santa Elena, as well as the nearby cluster of homes and businesses known as Cerro Plano, along with numerous reserves and attractions on the periphery of the town. Resting roughly at 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level, Monteverde is misty, humid, and windy, with a mean annual temperature of 18 °C (64 °F) (Nadkarni 2000: 17). Annual rainfall averages around 3,000 millimetres (118 in). Humidity oscillates between 74% and 97% (Nadkarni 2000: 34). In recent years rapidly increasing numbers of tourists has brought a sizeable influx of Costa Ricans into the area. Now, an estimated 250,000 tourists visit Monteverde a year. Improved goods and services, including partially paved roads, have arrived in recent years. In 2007, Costa Ricans voted Monteverde one of Costa Rica’s Seven Wonders, along with Isla del Coco, Tortuguero, Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chirripó, Rio Celeste and Poás Volcano.