Monteverde is home to a diverse variety of animals, but they can be surprisingly hard to find without a guide. As one guide eloquently put it, you only see animals when they choose to let you. So even though I had explored the Monteverde Reserve and other rainforests nearby, I saw very few animals in Costa Rica until I took the Night Walk Tour. Now, I recommend it to everyone! It’s such a unique way to see a huge variety of Costa Rican wildlife.
Like many tours in Monteverde, the tour includes door-to-door service, so transportation is not an issue. A bus will pick you up and bring you to the reserve, and after a few minutes of instruction, you’ll begin the hike.
The hike itself is fun -- it’s dark (everyone is only given a small flashlight), and you constantly hear the screech of insects in the quiet night. You walk along trails in the reserve, with the guide pointing out animals whenever he/she finds them. On our tour, we saw a sloth with her baby, a possum, a scorpion, a poisonous snake, two tarantulas, a bird, multiple butterflies, and many more little insects. I saw more animals on this one tour than I had in my entire 5 weeks in Costa Rica prior. As you are spotting animals, the guide will give you information and interesting facts about the wildlife.
Occasionally, when another guide nearby spots an animal, the whole group will quietly run to the site. This was one of my favorite parts of the tour, as you see just how passionate the guides are about the wildlife (and about making sure you have an eventful tour).
Despite not knowing what to expect beforehand (and being deathly afraid of spiders), this has become one of my favorite tours in all of Costa Rica. Costa Rica is known for having a diverse variety of plants and animals, and this tour is a great way to experience that.
Wear closed-toe shoes - Monteverde does have poisonous snakes and spiders
As always, chat with the guides!