The protected area is located on the land that was once owned by former Costa Rican President Rodrigo Carazo.
This beautiful area is located just 1 and a half hours drive from San Jose and is hidden from tourists’ eyes, so it is one of the last places from Costa Rica that amazed you with its untamed nature and secluded feeling.
Very few tourists have ever heard about it and fewer chose to visit it so you have high chances to have the whole reserve just for yourself.
Los Angeles cloud forest in Costa Rica is located at 2.300 meters above sea level and has about 1.950 acres of protected forest.
Inside this unique habitat live more than 350 species of birds and many animals and thousands of plants, trees, and orchids.
I like to say about this cloudforest that while walking inside the forest you spot more birds and animals than tourists, that secluded it is.
Hummingbirds, toucans, and even the rare and beautiful resplendent Quetzal can be spotted hidden between the canopy inside of the Los Angeles cloud forest reserve.
How to get to Los Angeles cloud forest Costa Rica
The easiest and fastest way to get to this private reserve is by car and if you travel from San Jose there is an hour and a half drive to this mountain town.
If you get to Costa Rica by plane and land at Juan Santamaria International airport then you can pick your car from the car rental office at the airport and head directly to San Ramon.
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Entrance fee and opening hours
Los Angeles cloud forest Costa Rica biological reserve is open on a daily basis from 8 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon and the entrance fee is around 20 USD per person.
Things to do in and around Los Angeles cloud forest
This private reserve located close to Santa Elena and right near San Ramon is perfect for bird-watching tours as there are thousands of birds singing and flying around the canopy.
As the number of tourists is quite low, the forest is wild and untamed so if you keep silent and hire a good guide you will definitely see a lot of animals around.
Hiking and night walks
Inside the protected area you can find some trails to walk on and observe wildlife; the most popular are:
- Anastasio Alfaro which is about 1.2 miles long and
- Alberto Manuel Brenes hiking trail is about 2.4 miles long.
Both trails mentioned above are classified as easy to moderate when talking about the difficulty level and the first one takes about 2 hours, while Alberto Manuel Brenes is 4 hours long.
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During your hike inside cloud forest Los Angeles Costa Rica take your time and admire the local flora and fauna from this amazing part of the country.
Prepare your camera for some memorable shots with sloths, ocelots, frogs, white-faced monkeys, coatis, and even the elusive jaguar.
Canopy tours or zip line
Like all the cloud forests from Costa Rica, Los Angeles cloud forest Costa Rica is not an exception and offers to its visitors a relaxing canopy tour high above the ground to have a quick look at the forest from the sky.
As the cloud forest is less crowded, the queues for zip lining are extremely short but the experience is equally beautiful and unique as the ones from Monteverde cloud forest.
Horseback riding tours
Explore the cloud forest from the ground without a lot of effort and enjoy what this unique habitat has to offer.
Hop on the back of a horse and let yourself be lost in nature, observing local fauna and flora from this secluded place of Costa Rica.
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What to pack for Los Angeles cloud forest reserve
When preparing your trip to this cloud forest make sure to have with you at least the following items:
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Hiking shoes
- Long pants
- Mosquito repellent
- Bottles of water to stay hydrated
- Cameras and other gears for taking photos and filming
These are the new essentials you have to pack for your trip
10. First aid kit
Best time to go
The dry season that lasts from December to April is the best time to visit the Los Angeles cloud forest in Costa Rica.
Bear in mind that cloud forests have their own microclimate and even during the dry season it might rain in the afternoon so take with you a raincoat.
The wet season from May to November is rainy, windy, and cooler and some parts of the trails might be extremely muddy and slippery so it is more difficult to explore the forest.
Everybody who visits the Los Angeles cloud forest is tempted to stay at Villa Blanca cloud forest as it is located in the middle of the private reserve.
I personally like more secluded and hidden accommodations, so that is why we chose to stay at The Retreat Costa Rica, which I must say was the best accommodation from the entire trip.
This 5-star resort is nestled in the middle of the forest and features elegant rooms with breathtaking views of the forest, an outdoor pool, and a great spa.
The restaurant from the resort is one of the best, serving healthy food prepared from local ingredients and organic wines.
This private reserve located near the town of Santa Elena is the best place to go to get a good feeling about Costa Rica without the hassle of dealing with crowds.
Prepare your camera for some incredible moments and unique wildlife encounters on your tour across the cloud forest.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.