Reserva Curi Cancha – Monteverde, Costa Rica - Atlas Obscura

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Reserva Curi Cancha

This wildlife refuge is home to more than 200 species of birds, as well as monkeys, lizards, and other wildlife. 


Reserva Curi Cancha is a family-owned nature reserve in Monteverde, Costa Rica, an area best known for its cloud forest climate. But visitors can experience a diversity of terrain making it an ideal place for birdwatching and night tours. The reserve offers over three miles (5 km) of trails full of flora and fauna, meant for meandering solo or with a naturalist guide. 

Many of the animals are adept at camouflage. You don’t realize how much is hidden in plain sight until a guide points to a creature chilling amidst the branches, a reminder of our relative insignificance within the forest’s precious ecosystem. The guides also bring their telescopes so you can see the wildlife in action, especially those typical of the region such as the chancho de monte, white-faced monkey, and coati. 

Bird watching is particularly popular at Reserva Curi Cancha which boasts over 200 types of birds on the grounds. While you won’t see them all in one visit, you’ll likely see (and hear) the blue-crowned motmot or orange-bellied trogon, as well as a variety of colorful and very cute birds endemic to Costa Rica like the popular toucans and hummingbirds. Monteverde is one of the few places in the country where it’s possible to spot the vibrant resplendent quetzal, and this is a great place to try your luck. 

At night, you can experience the cacophony of frogs and insects as they emerge in the dark. Tarantulas, bats and other nocturnal beings move about, completely unbothered by nosy humans. Families of all ages and sizes can enjoy the grounds and its trails since the trails are relatively short and well-maintained. The climate can vary across the trails, with traversing more dense forest areas and others offering more open space and sunny skies. Since it is a cloud forest which can be damp and cool, layering is a solid strategy, particularly light long pants and sturdy sneakers or hiking boots.   

Know Before You Go

Relevant information travelers would need to find or visit this place: open hours, admission prices, accessibility, directions, nearby accommodations/restaurants, etc.

Open daily from 7am - 3pm for self-guided tours, guided tours may end at 4pm, and night tours begin at 5:30pm. Prices vary by tour and depend on group size or private. Visit the website for specific details. Reservations are not required but it’s best to reach out in advance particularly for night tours. 

The Monteverde Cheese Factory is the landmark to turn off of the main road towards the reserve.

Free wi-fi is available on the grounds.

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