Founded in the 1950’s by a group of U.S. Quakers escaping religious & political persecution in the USA, the cloud forest here is one of the original eco tourism sites in Costa Rica. Keep in mind that this is high up in the mountains and they get 80% of their precipitation vertically, the nights are cool and light weight rain gear is a must.
The town of Santa Elena is the tourist center of the area, where you will find artisans offering incredible wood carvings and sculptures, along with most of the hotels and restaurants. The eco system in the cloud forest is unique in its flora and fauna and is the nesting ground for the elusive Quetzal.
As soon as you check into your hotel be sure to make reservations for the morning hike through the cloud forest, after the hike sit and get up close and personal with the hummingbirds at the hummingbird gallery located at the entrance to the cloud forest. Other points of interest in the area are night hikes, the frog & snake museum, the orchid gallery, the aerial tram and the cheese factory. We recommend at least a 2 night stay in Santa Elena, the road into the area is pretty challenging to say the least, a 4WD vehicle is a must if you are driving there, not so much that you will need the 4WD but you will need the ground clearance.