Planning a tour of an area that you don’t know can be a little stressful; however, there are guides and tips online that can help you. Look for places rated highly by Local Guides on Google Maps; view the places that are in the upper ratings on Tripadvisor or Yelp, and look at the lists on Foursquare to get inspiration.
Make a list of places, and pin them on your map, then plan a route to take you from spot to spot. Give yourself plenty of time for queues, traffic, and exploring the tour list to have fun.
If you are planning to travel overseas, it is good that you know what you can do to ease the journey. Here are some of the most important international travel tips:
Planning a tour can be tricky, particularly when you visit a destination for the first time. This is why it’s better to hire a travel and tour company to do it for you. Like this, you will be able to focus on enjoying your tour to the full, without worrying about the various problems that may occur.
The other reason why you should outsource your tour planning to experts is that they may be able to negotiate better deals with hotel managers and restaurant owners. If you do everything by yourself, you will never benefit from volume discounts.
The town of Monteverde is situated in the Tilaran Mountain Range in North Puntarenas about 150 km from San Jose and is Costa Rica’s most visited site. The town is renowned for its biodiverse forests high up in the clouds where the famous Cloud Forest Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife species including ocelots, jaguars and the resplendent, colorfully plumed quetzal. Marked trails cut through the forest where ferns and orchids grow wild and way above the forest canopy there are suspended bridges that allow you to explore the terrain above.
With its astonishing variety of flora and fauna, the cloud forest is one of the rarest habitats to be found on Earth.
The unique Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is different from other rainforests in Costa Rica as the high humidity at this height of 1,600 m above sea level creates a constant mist that looks like clouds, hence its name. The name Monteverde means “green mountain” in Spanish, aptly named for the rolling green hills that stretch down the mountain to the town below. Being so high up in the mountains it can get quite chilly so dress warmly when visiting the cloud forest reserve.
Monteverde is actually more like a rural village than a town with some conveniences, but the nearby town of Santa Elena offers a gas station, bank, restaurants, pharmacy, and Internet cafes. Several dairy farms situated in the area produce delicious cheeses. These farms were established by the many Quakers who migrated to Costa Rica from the United States to avoid the World War II draft and they were instrumental in preserving the cloud forests and developing Monteverde.
There are 8 distinct biological zones in this moisture-rich environment which has several thousand species of plants and animals spread across 26,000 acres of preserved land. It is a bird-lover’s paradise with more than 500 bird species among which are the magnificent Quetzals with their green plumage and red chests, the Three-Wattle Bellbirds, and the blue-throated Toucans.
Wildlife includes monkeys, sloths, pumas, and the endangered jaguar. Look out for the red-eyed frog that is a Costa Rican icon and the golden toad, known to live only in the cloud forests. Apart from the teeming wildlife, there are more than 420 orchid and 200 fern species growing in the reserve.
The cloud forest has more than 13 kilometers of forest trails that are great for hiking and the most exciting way to view the forest canopy is by zip-line tour. At his height, you get a stunning view of the cloud forests spread out over the continental divide. The longest zip-line of 770 meters gives you enough time to take in the amazing wonders of the cloud forests and their surrounds far below. Another option is the smaller sky-walk that connects with trails and stretches across canyons and offers the same dazzling views as the zip-line experience.
Monteverde’s Butterfly Garden offers thousands of insects as well as numerous butterfly farms that showcase the amazing variety of butterflies with stunning colors and patterns, including the striking black and yellow Swallowtail, the bright blue Morpho, the longwing Zebra with black and white stripes, and the fabulous Glasswing with its translucent wings.