Strung between two lovingly preserved cloud forests, this slim corridor of civilization consists of the Tico village of Santa Elena and the Quaker settlement of Monteverde, each with an eponymous cloud-forest reserve. The cloud forests around Monteverde and Santa Elena are premier destinations for everyone from budget backpackers to well-heeled retirees. On a good day, Monteverde is a place where you can be inspired about the possibility of a world in which organic farming and alternative energy sources are the norm. On a bad day, Monteverde can feel like Disneyland in Birkenstocks. Take heart in the fact that the local community continues to fight the good fight to maintain the fragile balance of nature and commerce.
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