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* The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: A private biological reserve dedicated to the conservation of the rare flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem. The reserve is 26.000 acres and is an important link in the growing network of protected areas in Costa Rica. It attracts birdwatchers from around the world. All entrance fees go to maintenance of this rare cloud forest reserve. Hotel Fonda Vela is one of the closest hotels to the Reserve
* The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve: The flora and fauna are similar to the more famous Monteverde Reserve. This reserve is located 12 km away from Hotel Fonda Vela. On clear days, there are beautiful views of Volcano Arenal. All entrance fees collected go to the improvement of regional education.
* Canopy Thrills: Ziplines, attached from one mountain top platform to another, allow you to glide through the forest canopy with the use of special equipment.
* Suspension Bridges: These bridges, spanning from mountain top to mountain top, allow you to walk through the �tree top� canopy of the cloud forest.
* The Monteverde Cheese Factory: Where the tastiest cheeses in Costa Rica are made. Started by the early Quakers, the cheese-production process can be seen on tour or through an observation window.
* CASEM: At the Women's Artist Co-op in Monteverde, one can find hand-crafted souvenirs such as stationery, jewelry and clothing decorated with the famous quetzal.
* The Butterfly Garden: This is a study center and garden which have many stunning butterflies, including the Blue Morpho.
* Slide Show At The Hummingbird Gallery: Learn more about the natural history of the region through a slide show and an exhibition of photographs of Michael and Patricia Fogden (professional photographers).
* Orchid Garden: More than 430 native Monteverde species are on display with guided tours.
* Bajo de Tigre Trail: Also known as the Childrens� Eternal Forest, this transitional forest has more than 3 km. of trails, an arboretum and Children's Nature Center. All entrance fees go to the maintenance of this non-profit reserve.
* Aerial Adventure: Consists of metal rails, which extend for approximately 1.5 km. The rails carry electrically propelled cars, each with capacity for two people.
* Frog Pond of Monteverde: A herpentarium with more than 20 species of frogs and other amphibians of Costa Rica.
* Serpentarium: Tropical snakes of Costa Rica on exhibit, including the deadly Fer-de-Lance and Bushmaster!
From San Jos�, take the Inter-American Highway north for about 138km. 1.3 km after passing the restaurant Cuenca and Rio Aranjuez (Aranjuez River), use the right turn only lane to turn right onto the paved road to the small town of Sardinal. In Sardinal, turn left at the soccer field onto another paved road. Proceed to the village of Guacimal (the pavement ends about halfway between Sardinal and Guacimal). At the �T� intersection in Guacimal, turn right to Santa Elena. From Santa Elena, continue to Monteverde. Follow the MANAKIN LODGE and/or Monteverde Reserve signs to the Manakin lodge. T
Note: Much of the road from the Inter American Highway to Monteverde is not paved and can be rough in spots. A dual range 4X4 is highly recommended for any mountain area in Costa Rica. While it isn't the most comfortable of rides, the scenery and views are spectacular. But please watch the road!!
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