Curi-cancha Reserve is one of the most beautiful forested areas in Monteverde. If you are a birdwatcher or a mere nature lover, this is a walk you don’t want to miss.
A little about the Curi-cancha Reserve:
Curicancha is a reserve situated in the Arenal-Tempisque conservation area in the core of the amazing region of Monteverde. It preserves 205 acres (83 hectares) of 50% primary forest, 45% secondary growth, and 5% in open pasture.
Height above sea level goes from 1450 to 1615 meters with 40% lower montane wet forest and 60% Premontane wet forest. Seven kilometers of natural trails allow guests to discover the tropical cloud forest, fauna, and flora.
Curi-Cancha is a birdwatcher’s Eden. Elusive species like The Resplendent Quetzal, Three-Wattled Bellbird, Blue-Crowned Motmot, and the Orange-bellied Trogon, and several others are commonly seen. In fact, over 200 species of birds have been recognized nesting in Curi-Cancha.
Regularly sighted mammals include coatimundis, nine-band armadillos, agouti pacas, kinkajous, ocelot, two-toed sloth, and three monkey species: mantled howler, white-faced capuchin, and spider monkey.
How to get there and Safe Travels Protocols
Curi-Cancha is very close to the Monteverde Cheese Factory. And although the way in is a dirt road, any cars will be able to go on it. As you arrive in the parking lot, you will see a small office, and the washing hands sink in the outside.
You are required to wash your hands thoughtfully before entering the information area. And only 12 people, including the staff, are allowed in. Always keeping the necessary social distance.
If you are one of our passengers, you will probably be with an expert guide that will grant you that the walk will be enlightened by great and fun information. The visit to Curichancha Reserve may become an unplugged documentary.
Although you are driving your own vehicle, we highly recommend you to go with one of the guides the reserve offers.
Going in Curi-cancha with a guide will enhance your experience tenfold as the tour guides know where birds and some of the elusive mammals usually live and move. But even most importantly, they will share their knowledge and passion throughout the whole walk.
The trails are well laid out, and the walking is relatively easy. There are no steep parts, and it is ideal for people of all ages. It is important, though, to bring a hat as there are areas that are uncovered.
My Experience in Curi-cancha
Walking in the forest, for some of us, is a needed pleasure. Never mind the woods, how hot or how rainy it may be, the rainforest pulls our heart like a magnet, and it is a call that we listen to and follow.
I guided tours in the Central American rainforests for decades. I have kayaked through the hot and humid magnificence of the Tortuguero canals and walked -more times than I can count- through the intense Corcovado National Park trails.
However, the highland tropical forests have their own very unique magic. When you walk through the Curi-cancha Reserve, this mystical sensation goes with you throughout the whole walk.
First of all, I must say, I went by myself, and I am in my late fifties, and not the all-terrain girl I used to be; however, the trails are so easy to walk that my two hours and a half walk was comfortable and even soft throughout the whole experience.
The trails are wide and clean, very well kept, and along the path, you will find sitting areas quite often. Ideal for bird watching but also as a thought for families with small children or people with limitations.
As you get in you, find in reserve a very distinctive mixture of luscious pastures and breathtaking rainforests, with an abundance of the weird-looking and impressive Ficus Trees.
Ficus or Strangler Trees have small feathery seeds that germinate on the top of a host tree. The seedling lives as an epiphyte until its roots ground in the soil. After that, it expands and suffocates its host, ultimately becoming a free-standing tree in its own right.
These trees are quite impressive, and some in the Curi-Cancha Reserve are big enough for you to walk into the tree. These fascinating giants provide shelter to an infinite number of living creatures, from all sorts of epiphytes to birds, reptiles, mammals, and all sorts of invertebrates.
In the Curi-cancha Reserve, you will also find a great hummingbirds garden, several outlooks to see the landscapes surrounding Monteverde, the Pacific Ocean and the Nicoya Gulf, and even the Continental Divide.
When you come to Costa Rica, and if you are a passionate nature lover, our highest recommendation in the area of Monteverde is a visit to the Curi-cancha Reserve. Please let us know when you are coming, and we will make this adventure part of your trip!