One of Costa Rica’s top places to visit, Monteverde is slightly reminiscent of a tropical Switzerland, with its charming wooden houses and alpine climate.
The environment creates a constant game between drizzle and warm sunshine, and in our opinion, Monteverde is Costa Rica’s most stunning and pristine cloud forest. As well as birds and monkeys flying through the trees, you will also find people! Zip-lining, and as they call it here, Tarzan Swinging, is very popular, along with other adventure pursuits, such as Sky Walking, horseback riding, and hiking.
CLOUD FOREST PARADISE , ZIP LINES & MORE
Despite its popularity, Monteverde is none the less an exceptionally well looked after nature reserve. This is partly down to a group of Quakers who left the US around 1949 in protest of the Korean War and settled there to pursue a peaceful dairy farming lifestyle. As well as making some great cheese, the Quakers did a lot to protect the region. However, Costa Rica also has some of the most strictly enforced regulations regarding ecology and development, which means no asphalt roads in Monteverde. The absence of paved roads creates a protective circle around the forest and keeps the birders, nature enthusiasts, and adventurers at bay… or at least to a manageable number.
build your clients trip with our experts
WHAT NOT TO MISS IN
Selvatura Adventure Park
Over 1,200 acres (486 hectares) of protected cloud forests are situated in Selvatura Adventure Park. Explore the butterfly garden, Hummingbird garden, Herpetarium, Insect Museum, and a canopy tour of Monteverde’s cloud forest. The benefit of Selvature is that without having to shuttle all over Costa Rica, you can spend a day exploring activities in this eco adventure park.
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
You probably know the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the most common cloud forests in the world. But do you know the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve which is equally lovely? The peacefully beautiful village of Santa Elena offers natural beauty, cultural learning, cheese and ice cream which is an excellent part of the history of the region.
Don Juan Coffee Tours
Costa Rica Don Juan Coffee Tour provides a fascinating opportunity to learn about Costa Rican coffee and folklore. Guests will have the privilege of choosing coffee and taking part in the various coffee-making processes. Experience the tradition of coffee growing in Costa Rica firsthand. only two kilometers outside of Santa Elena.
Frog Pond Ranario
In this area thrive over 20 species of frogs and other amphibians, the excursion enables tourists to understand and learn about the uniqueness of the amphibian areas in the natural world. The large Marine Toad, the colorful Poison Arrow Frog and the famous Red Eyed Tree Frog are amongst the species. The aim is to educate and encourage others to be involved in preserving amphibious life and nature.
Sky Adventures Monteverde Park
The park is situated inside one of the world’s most popular and stunning cloud forests, located in the high mountains of the province of Puntarenas, Monteverde and has a variable climate which has enhanced extremely high biodiversity. Experience a wide range of cloud forests, take advantage of high-altitude fun, explore tree-tops and eventually find out about the marvelous destinations.
Monteverde Butterfly Gardens
Known locally as the Mariposario, the Butterfly Garden is situated in Cerro Plano, between the town of Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve. It contains four climated butterfly gardens, a plant medicinal garden, a biological center and a live colony of ant leafcutter. Visitors can observe beautiful and interesting butterflies from the regions, great excursion for family’s with young children.
|San José, Costa Rica||Sprawling and chaotic at first sight, San José is nonetheless a vibrant capital with plenty to see and do. There are still pockets of colonial gems around San José and some very fine museums and green spaces, as well as a lively cultural life.Read more…|
|Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica||In the Manuel Antonio National Park you’ll find sloths, iguanas and the rare squirrel monkey among many other species. In the pristine waters around the perfect bays there is a flurry of marine life from dolphins and turtles to whales and colorful tropical fish.Read more…|
Arenal & La Fortuna
|Volcán Arenal, Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica||The presence of the impressive Arenal Volcano is everywhere. Whether strolling around La Fortuna village, canopy rappelling in the forest, boating along Lake Arenal, horseback riding or hiking the countryside…adventure lies around every corner.Read more…|
|Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa Rica||Home to Costa Rica’s most stunning and pristine Cloud Forest where you can find birds, monkeys and people (zip-lining of course) flying through the trees! There are plenty of adventures from the Sky Walk to horseback riding and hiking.Read more…|
|Tortuguero, Limón, Costa Rica||On Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean Coast,, Tortuguero is a water world made up of canals, lagoons, streams and dense rainforest. Known as the ‘Land of Turtles’, Tortuguero is one of the world’s most important turtle nesting sites!|
|Limón, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica||The laid-back pace of this Caribbean beach town is bound to win you over. Here you’ll get a taste of Costa Rica’s Creole culture and enjoy the adventures of the nearby Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve as well as relaxing in its calm Caribbean waters. Read more…|
|Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa Rica||This once small, unassuming fishing village on the Pacific Coast has become the center of Costa Rica’s high-end beach scene. Tamarindo offers designer shopping, incredible restaurants and plenty of nightlife for those seeking a not so quiet beach setting.|
|Península de Nicoya, Costa Rica||Jutting out out into the Pacific, this tropical peninsula is a mountainous and sparsely populated area with an abundance of wildlife. The stunning coastline is dramatic and unspoiled with long stretches of sandy beaches backed by jungle.Read more…|
Rincon de la Vieja
|Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa Rica||There are many ways to experience the area ranging from hiking, rappelling, rock-climbing and canopying to relaxing horseback rides and soaking in the volcanic hot springs flowing from the mountain – one of the major draws of the region.Read more…|
|Cordillera Central, San José, Costa Rica||This region has some of the highest mountains in Costa Rica with cool, misty cloud forests and rushing rivers. It runs from Nicaragua to Panama and separates Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, creating two very different climatic regions. Read more…|
|Peninsula de Osa, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica||The Osa Peninsula is an untouched natural wonderland with wildlife-filled rainforests and palm-backed Pacific beaches. Visit the Osa Peninsula’s Corcovado National Park where almost one-tenth of all the mammals found in the Americas live! Read more…|
|Heredia, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica||Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in the lush Caribbean lowlands is known for its natural environment filled with tropical flora, and for the broad Sarapiqui River that flows through it. Read more…|
Depending on your client’s preferences, we can help you determine the best experiences tailored for your clients. From where to visit, when to go, what to do and how to get there safely, our travel experts will help you create an experience your clients will love.
to visit Monteverde
As in most of Costa Rica, Monteverde has a dry season (December – May), when prices are usually higher, and more visitors. The green (rainy) season is between May and December, with August to November being a particularly wet time and not great for hiking. If you visit Independence Day (September 15th), expect the streets to be filled with dancers and singers’ parade. The biggest annual event is the two-month Monteverde Music Festival (January to February), when jazz, Latin, and classical music fills the air. The best time for birding is between February and May, when flocks of birds migrate to the area to nest.
HOW TO GET THERE
There is a bus terminal in downtown Santa Elena, where if you are planning on staying in Monteverde, you’ll need to walk or take a taxi or transfer to your accommodation. If you do decide to take the bus to Monteverde, keep an eye on your luggage and keep them by your feet and not in the overhead bin, particularly on the San José–Puntarenas leg, as well as on the Monteverde–Tilarán run as thefts and “lost” luggage can occur.
If you’ve hired a car, the roads here are shockingly rough and an adventure in itself. Even if you arrive on a relatively newly paved road, you’ll still want a 4WD to get around to the more remote lodges and reserves. If you’re driving from Arenal, consider taking the lakeside route through Tronadora and Río Chiquito, instead of going through Tilarán. The terrain and roads are rougher, but the panoramas of the lake, volcano and surrounding countryside are well worth the effort.
Most communities in Costa Rica would love to have paved roads in their region, preservationists in Monteverde have done the opposite meaning the roads can be somewhat treacherous but it does mean that this magnificent ecosystem remains beautifully preserved.
WHERE TO STAY
Santa Elena and Monteverde offer plenty of accommodation options, affordable B&Bs, friendly farm stays, and heavenly and luxurious mountain lodges. They are packed into the village streets and spread out on the forested hills around town.
Budget travelers will probably want to stay in Santa Elena, where they have more options and more comfortable transportation.
Midrange and high-end travelers might want to consider staying in nearby Cerro Plano or Monteverde, or even further afield. Although out of town, these places promise closer interaction with nature, though you’ll need a 4WD vehicle to reach any of these places if you are driving yourself.
More highlights of Costa Rica
With eight local offices in Latin America, we have the perfect base to help you build the perfect trip for your clients. Unrivaled experience with a wide selection of bed & breakfasts, small posadas, unique boutique hotels and world class luxurious lodging.