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Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

Baton Rouge...
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Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

We'll be in Santa Elena May 2-6. I'm pretty sure it will be hot there, but what about when we go up into the cloud forests? I haven't been able to find much in the way of weather information for them. Is rain a certainty? Will it be both cool and hot depending on where in the forests we are? What about mosquitos?

Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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1. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

When we went to Monteverde it was nice during the day, but at night it got really chilly. Enough that our hotel had the fireplace going. We wore sweatshirts and fleece at night and had a lot of rain while we were there.

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Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Slovenia
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2. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

I've visited Santa Elena in August but it surely was not hot at all! Nice warm during the day (if the sun shined), some pretty heavy rain showers in the afternoon, and one morning a strong wind blew. In the evening it was chilly but not as cold as up in the Cerro de la Muerte area. Santa Elena is about 1400 m asl.

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Santa Elena
Santa Elena
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Baton Rouge...
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3. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

Cloud forests are generally cooler and damper at higher elevations with good amount of rainfall. However when we visited a few years ago in March, it was very dry and hot. All the guides were worried about the drought. There were absolutely no clouds and I love hiking with the clouds wisping through the trees.

Santa Elena is the town located near both the Monteverde and Santa Elena reserves. I don't know where else you are visiting, but this will probably be one of your cooler spots. I'd bring a lightweight fleece along with a rain jacket.

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Santa Elena
Santa Elena
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

I drive at least once a week to Monteverde...you may need a nice golf jacket...or win breaker...just bring some insect repellent...

roadadvisor

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Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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5. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

We also packed rain ponchos and were glad we did as we got caught in some big downpours, more so in the evening than during the day.

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

You can bring ponchos - or just buy them here. However, I have found that taking a small umbrella works much better since if you are wearing ponchos, you can get really hot underneath them.

If I think it's going to rain when I am walking somewhere, I just stick a small umbrellas in my backpack or just carry it if I don't have a backpack. The rain is not cold so if you get a little wet, no big deal.

Usually it happens this way: I look at the sky and try to estimate whether it will rain soon or not. If I take my umbrella, 75 times out of 100, it doesn't rain. However, if I am optimistic and don't take the umbrella, 75 times out of 100, it will rain! Lol. But.... no worries. I either shelter on a porch along the way (or at a shop or restaurant, etc) for the hardest part of the rain (about 5 minutes) or just keep walking. It's actually pretty refreshing to get that nice shower and I just change my clothes when I get home. The rain here is not a big deal. After all -- it's only water. And because the air temperature is generally hot, it feels good.

If you are hiking in the rainforest, it can actually be a treat to hike in the rain. Not only does it cool you off, but you get to see just how the whole ecosystem operates. Google "drip tips" and you will see what I mean. Also - many times in the rainforest, the canopy acts as an "umbrella" and keeps off most of the rain. Also part of how the ecosystem works.

Texas
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7. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

For us, the ponchos have worked better for hiking. The guides are constantly telling you to look up to see the wildlife, and umbrellas got in the way for us.

We got some lightweight ones at Target pretty cheaply, and they fold up into a little zippered pouch.

Costa Rica
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8. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

I agree that hiking in the forest with an umbrella is not a good idea!

Basically, when I hike in the forest, I don't use either an umbrella or a poncho. I just get wet. And then I get dry. I really don't understand why so many people are so afraid of the rain while hiking.

I don't like ponchos for hiking in the forest. They are noisy, restrict your movements and hot underneath. Although - sometimes hiking in the Monteverde area can be a bit cool so a poncho might be welcome there.

Another option is just to use a very lightweight waterproof windbreaker which can also double as a jacket for the cool evenings in the Monteverde area.

Edited: 24 April 2013, 16:45
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Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
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9. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

Thank you Hattie I love your answers with such a good grammar and of course your great old English...and very few people knows more about that part of the country as you do...well for some reason you live not very far away from Monteverde...so different to read your first hand advice ...and even bettger that you are here and love our country...!

roadadvisor

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Monteverde
Monteverde
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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10. Re: Wondering about heat and rain in Santa Elena/cloud forests

Hattie, I think part of the reason people don't like to get wet is that it's hard to get your clothes to dry, and if you're traveling you're having to pack up wet clothes. But I agree with you that sometimes a nice rain really cools things off.

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