You can have it all! There are so many incredible animals and plants in Costa Rica’s gorgeous jungles, and thousands more that have not been discovered. If you love learning about and experiencing wildlife, it can be hard to figure out which activities in Costa Rica will provide you with the best glimpses of rare animals. If you want it all, then consider Selvatura Park! It is one of the most fantastic destinations for any animal lover!
What to Expect
Selvatura Park is a cloud forest conservation project located in the famous area of Monteverde. They have pretty much every activity you can think of wanting to do in the jungles from zip lines to guided tours. At the park they have a butterfly garden, canopy tours, zip lines, a hummingbird garden, a huge rainforest insect display, and a reptile and amphibian center. You can also learn more about cloud forests. There are restaurants, private guides available, and free transportation to and from the park. So get a hotel in Monteverde and you could practically have your whole vacation in the park!
The Monteverde zip line is super exciting and really popular. There are fifteen different cables to and from eighteen platforms. There is a great variety of views from each zip line. Some of them are really long and a lot of them were really high. You actually go through the trees and the clouds on the zip lines, and the experience can often be as exhilarating as a rollercoaster!
The canopy tour, by contrast, is much more relaxed. There are huge bridges that are built into the cloud forest instead of above it. The bridges were actually built in San Jose and then transported to Monteverde. Workers had to carry the pieces of the bridges on their shoulders and assemble them inside of the cloud forest so that the forest could stay as pristine and undamaged as possible. The park boasts both the longest, safest, and strongest bridge system in all of Costa Rica. The tour is very peaceful and takes between an hour and a half and two hours.
The butterfly garden at Selvatura Park is one of the world’s largest butterfly exhibits. After a forty-five minute long guided tour, you are allowed to stay in the butterfly garden for as long as you wish. There is also a “Jewels of the Rain Forest” exhibit of insects. It is one of the largest private insect exhibitions in the world, and there are over a million bugs on display.
Also, you will probably want to see Selvatura Park’s hummingbird garden. There are over fourteen rare species of hummingbirds native to the Monteverde region on display in the garden. The birds actually get so close to you that they will accidentally fly into you once in awhile!
Tips for Visiting
If you are planning to visit Selvatura Park in Monteverde, it is good to know in advance that if you decide to do multiple activities, you will get a discount. Also, there are discounts available for students.
If you are planning on doing the zip line, do not wear flip flops, because they will fall off into the forest. Also, if is a good idea to wear longer pants because the harness will make shorts ride up.
Don’t sign up for the zip line tour hoping that you will get to see a bunch of animals. The zip lines are really just for the high-speed fun they provide; you won’t cruise right past a quetzal or a pack of monkeys on a zip line. If you are more interested in the nature aspect, then you should go on the canopy tour. If you go on the tour group and get a guide, they know everything about the animals of Monteverde. They are especially adept at spotting wildlife hiding in the forest canopy, so make sure and bring your own binoculars, if you own a pair!