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One of the best ways to see wildlife in Costa Rica is going on a night walk in Monteverde, Costa Rica through the dense Cloud Forest. Animals become very active at night, so it’s the best time to see them. While there are plenty of things to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica, a night walk in Monteverde through the jungle to see wildlife is one of the best!
If you are trying to go on a Cloud Forest night walk, there are a few different companies that offer tours, either labeled as night walks or night hikes in Monteverde. All of the groups are fairly similar and and led by experienced guides who know the best places to see wildlife.
This was on the top of our list of things to do in Monteverde when we visited. Seeing wildlife in the Cloud Forest is probably something most people visiting Monteverde want to do too. We looked into a bunch of night walk tour companies to find the best one and found some disappointing results.
When you read the night walk reviews, you will probably find the same thing. There were some where people said the animals were fake, with our favorite being someone who wrote that their guide pointed out a “sleeping bird.” The person said it had to have been fake because the bird never moved, and it was just a prop setup by the company to attract people to spend their money there.
We were a little skeptical after reading some of these bad reviews but decided to go anyways, and we are so glad we did!
And to that person who wrote the “sleeping bird review,” on the night walk in Monteverde, the guide pointed out a sleeping parrot. It definitely looked fake because it had its head tucked in under its wing and it was almost motionless. However, when a big gust of wind came and shook the branch it was on, the parrot woke up and moved!
It wasn’t a fake bird put out to make visitors have an experience, but rather that’s just how birds sleep. Who knew?! Apparently not that guy!
Obviously, if we felt that the night walk in Monteverde was a scam in any sort of way, we would not recommend it. In fact, we would be writing the exact opposite of what we’re writing right now!
The night walk is absolutely something you should consider doing in Monteverde, but there are a few things to know before you go!
Be Prepared for Rain
Monteverde, Costa Rica sits high up in the Cloud Forest, which means it gets a lot of precipitation, and you will get wet.
Most people have not heard the term Cloud Forest before, but while it’s not exactly the same, if you think of it as a rainforest, you will get the idea.
The night walk in Monteverde will most likely be humid, wet, muddy, and maybe a little cold. Make sure you have good hiking shoes that can get dirty, a waterproof backpack, and a waterproof jacket or poncho.
You will also probably want a camera to take photos of all the unique wildlife you will see. Having a waterproof camera or a waterproof place to put a camera to keep it out of the elements is essential.
The night walk companies will sell ponchos there, so you can always buy one and add an additional waterproof layer if you want.
If you are visiting Costa Rica during rainy season it will rain, so make sure you are prepared before you arrive. Check out our Packing List for Rainy Season in Costa Rica to make sure you have everything you need!
Be Prepared to Walk
During your entire night walk in Monteverde you will be, well, walking. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but you will be hiking at night and up and down hills.
It’s a fairly easy walk, and people of all ages and abilities can do it. You will essentially walk in a guided line or group with flashlights that they give you. Your guide will help you avoid mud, puddles, holes, or any other difficult spots on the trail.
You Are Not Out There Alone
If you are nervous about being out walking in the Cloud Forest at night, don’t be. You will have your guide and your group close by. There will also be other groups with their guides in the same general area. The guides often communicate via walkie talkie about where animals are so either you can see them or other guides can get to wildlife you just saw!
The groups generally stay pretty spread out though, so you don’t feel like there are tons of groups really close to yours. You will really feel as though you are out in the jungle with just your guide and your group.
You Will See Wildlife
While it’s not 100% guaranteed that you will see a sloth, snake, parrot, or any specific animal, it’s almost guaranteed that you will see wildlife. These experienced guides know the area and where animals generally live and stay. Their walkie talkie system also helps guarantee that you will see interesting wildlife.
It may take some time and some animals will be far away, but you will see some wildlife. We can almost guarantee that!
On our night walk in Monteverde, we saw walking sticks, snakes, parrots, quetzals, and spiders. Our guide really tried to help us see a sloth, but we unfortunately weren’t able to see one. While we were disappointed, we were able to see them at our next stop in Costa Rica: La Fortuna.
If you want to see a sloth in Costa Rica, do the Sloth Trail in La Fortuna. It’s one of the best places to see a sloth in Costa Rica!
There Are Multiple Night Walk Companies in Monteverde
When you look into doing a night walk in Monteverde, you will find that there are a ton of different companies that do it. Some of the most popular are:
Kinkajou Night Walk
Monteverde Night Tour
Santamaria’s Night Walk
We went with Kinkajou off of the recommendation of where we stayed at—Casa Jungle Monteverde B&B—and had a great experience. Most other night walk operators will offer a similar experience.
The night walk’s start between 6 and 8 p.m. when it starts to get dark.
They will cost about $25 person with pick-up and drop-off. Don’t pay more if you can avoid it.
Check out the different night walk companies’ websites, read reviews, and ask where you are staying in Monteverde if they have a discount with one of the night walk tour companies. Sometimes they’ll get you a better price because they have a partnership with one of the tour companies.
Overall, the night walk in Monteverde is absolutely worth it and is one of the best ways to see wildlife in Costa Rica, especially because most people wouldn’t go venture out into the jungle at night alone just to see wildlife.