Monteverde Travel Guide

  • Elephant Leaves
    Elephant Leaves
    by grandmaR
  • Monteverde
    by grandmaR
  • Looking out over the Cloud Forest, on a sunny day.
    Looking out over the Cloud Forest, on a...
    by Tom_In_Madison

Monteverde Highlights

  • Pro
    frank_delargy profile photo

    frank_delargy says…

     Wonderful opportunity for rainforest activities 

  • Con
    pollon profile photo

    pollon says…

     colder weather than I expected... 

  • In a nutshell
    BEETLE_VERTE profile photo

    BEETLE_VERTE says…

     So much to take in 

Monteverde Things to Do

  • Sloth Sanctuary in Monteverde

    Sloths are such cute animals, and these guys take care of injured animals or otherwise in need of help.The 1 hour tour starts with a short (10-15 minutes) video about the sanctuary history, followed by a 15 minutes explanation, and culminating with the view of some 10 sloths - 2 and 3 toe types residing there. The cost is a stiff $20 per person...

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  • Zip through the jungle!

    Selvatura Park is one of the best places to try zip lines through the jungle. They have 15 cable zip lines and 8 suspension bidges as well as a tree swing. I have taken my students here twice and they had a great time.

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  • Monteverde Biological Reserve

    This cloudforest is a private nature park. It was founded by Quaker families that came from the US to Costa Rica back in 1951.At the entrance you will receive a map on which all the trails are indicated. There are trails ranging from a few hundred meters to several kilometers. The trails are well maintained, clearly signed, and it is quite easy to...

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Monteverde Hotels

Monteverde Restaurants

  • Gest Gallo Pinto I Had

    As guests at the Cabinas Pueblos Hostel, the lady recommended to us to go to a certain soda up the hill. We went there, and didn't exactly enjoy it. Turns out from the guidebooks, it's her mother's soda. For our next breakfast we decided to try Soda Mary's, right next door to Soda Amistad. It had a few tables, it was very clean, you can see right...

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  • Good local cuisine

    Nice restaurant designed around a butterfly theme. Upstairs just across from the big supermarket. Meal was very good, a veggie casado of salad, half a fried plantain, steamed veggies and of course rice & beans. I also had a very tasty lemonade. The bill includes the 10% automatic tip and the 13% additional tip because it's a fancy restaurant--came...

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  • upscale a bit

    I should have known by the guy standing outside asking if you want to eat. It ws good, but overpriced at $15 for a small pizza & very tasty lemonade. Veggie pizza has the usual, plus carrots and enough cheese to make a Wisconsinite blush.

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Monteverde Nightlife

  • Dancing and Drinks

    La Guarida has stained glass..amazing food..tasty drinks and beautiful bathrooms! What more would you like?? Dress code depends on what you are looking for..dress to impress!

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  • Slide Show

    The Monteverde Lodge had a slide show one evening about animals of the rainforest. I went there for dinner first (which I found a bit ordinary after eating at El Sapo Doro), and then went to the slide show afterwards. It was extremely interesting. The animals that we saw during our trip included this semi-tame coati which was near the entrance to...

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  • Perfect place to meet locals and other...

    This bar has live music (that kind of sucked..they had all kinds of technical problems) but the atmosphere is great. Locals and tourists mix here (I met the guide from the Frog pond here) and everyone is totally down to earth, relaxed, and eager to have a good time. We also met a British girl that volunteers in the rain forest and a Canadian couple...

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Monteverde Transportation

  • GPS in Costa Rica

    When arrived we have rented a 4-wheel car (which is absoluyely a must in Costa Rica) with GPS. It turned out to be hard to use. The map of Costa Rica was not complete and lacked a lot of distanations. Take into account that there are no precise addresses over there. A tipical address sounds like. "go about 300m, you will see a churce on your left,...

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  • Getting to the coasts without going thru...

    Everything seems to go to or from San Jose. I didn't want to spend all day on the road going back there and then on to the Pacific coast. The local cheap buses would have taken up at least a day, maybe more. Flying back would have taken 2 days because of the timing. So I had a driver drive me from Monteverde to Samara. Took about 4 hours, and the...

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  • Bus to Rain Forest

    This is actually a city bus that runs up and down the street between Santa Elena ad the Monteverde rain forest.It's an old yellow bus, with the words Pulaski County on the side. Goes from the triangle in St Elena to the MCF in about 20-30 minutes. Runs 5 times a day. 600Colones, or about $1.25

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Monteverde Shopping

  • Souvenir shop

    There is a big shop in the center of Santa Elena where you will find all kind of souvenirs. Buy you souvenirs here as it is cheaper than in the rest of the country. You can also enter the shop through the supermarket.

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  • Monteverde Poster

    Actualy, we saw this poster in many shops. Two I can remember are the SkyWalk / SkyTrek shop in Santa Elena, just beside the bus stop and Chunches Library . I fell in love with the Monteverde poster. It makes an amazing souvenir and a beautiful and colorful art piece for my living-room. Plus, it helps the Cloud Forest school. All proceeds from the...

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  • Inexpensive shopping

    I already described this place in my restaurant tip, but wanted to make a point about their good price and availability. Everything is possible here, from buying a guided tour, a shuttle fare, the jeep-boat-jeep ride to Fortuna, a hotel room, a phone call, a meal, arts & crafts, coffee, cigars, exchanging currency.The only thing that make you want...

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Monteverde Local Customs

  • Draft animals are still used for...

    Be careful on the roads as you may quickly come up to an ox-cart or horses. In many ways these make more sense than a tractor, but I'm sure 20 years from now all we will see is tractors. You will of course still need to watch out for those!

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  • mantenimiento caminos y carreteras...

    when you arrive at Santa Elena and Monteverde at the end of all those holes of the bumpy ride and you are asked a free offer of 100 colones (less then 20 cents of euros) for the maintenance of the roads, you don't even think to say no thanks ;-)...

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  • Monteverde Hotels

    19 Hotels in Monteverde

    246 Reviews and Opinions

Monteverde Warnings and Dangers

  • Canopy tour

    I personally don't like the canopy tour, in which you whizz from one platform to another above the rainforest using a cable system. It is mainly for those who love the thrills. Keep in mind that you can't truly enjoy nature this way as you zip quickly across.Accidents do happen, ensure you do enough research about the companies before taking a...

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  • have I got a room for you!

    Beware. When taking the jeep-boat-jeep to Monteverde(actually Santa Elena), the driver will arrive in Monteverde and pull over. An ‘owner’ of a local hotel will probably be there, and give you a great deal on a few rooms she has left. For one, it probably isn’t her hotel, for two it may not be a great deal. Hotels often pay someone to lure...

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  • Road newly paved: no sidewalks

    The main drags in Monteverde and Santa Elena were recently paved, and no sidewalks were placed. The cars will drive extremely close to you, so be very careful and walk in the ditch when at all possible.

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Monteverde Tourist Traps

  • Beware package deals from Flora and...

    The tour desk at Hotel Helicona was very pleased to sell us outrageously overpriced package tours that we were impossible to even take. For example, despite my numerous skeptical inquiries, they assured us that we could complete both a zipline tour, a canopy skywalk tour, and visit the snake and insect houses during a trip departing the hotel at...

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  • Buy tickets to atractions separately

    We made a mistake since we bough a package of tickets for snakes, frogs, and butterfly exhibitions and for sky walk in one of numerous agencies. Late we figured that If you pay each fee separately at the entrance the price is the same. For sky walk nobody was asking for tickets so we could have done it for free.

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  • Save the worst for the last...Butterfly...

    I think we only saw 2-3 interesting butterflies in here. For $8 we expected more than that. As soon as I stepped out of the building, right outside I saw a couple of much nicer species...actually they were everywhere but in the Butterfly Garden.Guide was excellent though and she made our visit interesting. Serpentario and Frog Pond are more...

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Monteverde What to Pack

  • Rain proof

    Small rucksack for your day trip in the cloud forest Bring light cotton cloths, a sweater or jacket for the nights, good walking shoes, and a raincoat. Don't forget your sunglasses and head protection. Insect repellant with DEET, good protection for the intensive sun (factor 20). Medical precaution: hepatitis A and B.We didn't bring anything...

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  • Camera Hints

    Soft side bags Sandals that can get wet . The mud in the rain forest is pretty sticky. It took me a long time to clean it off my sandals, and it wasn't even that muddy when we were there.No denim jeans - they are too heavy and take too long to dry. Insect repellant. Leave makeup and hair dryers at home. Settle for a well-scrubbed look. Be sure...

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  • Don't forget to carry a flashlight with...

    Rain jacket is necessary because you are in a cloud forest! The humidity is always high and it can be wet, even in the dry season. The flashlight is essential, especially if you plan to walk away from Santa Elena, which is more like a downtown area. The road out of Santa Elena doesn't have street lights and can get very dark at night.

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Monteverde Off The Beaten Path

  • Hotsprings in Monteverde!

    Okay, so you need to take a 45 minute shuttle to get to them.. but they are owned by a Monteverde Hotel...?? Sooo worth it, nothing but virgin forests and pools of different water! Call the Hotel El Sapo Dorado for an excursion, they don't smell either! The attendant fed us fresh fruit from the surrounded trees, and we watched monkeys in the trees...

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  • Cheesy

    After we had enough of the Reserve, we stopped by the Cheese Factory. Two reasons - it was FREE, and I was interested in whether the cheese making vats would be Confined Spaces (some were). I took pictures for work.You can observe cheese making in Monteverde Costarica from a window in the sales room. We didn't buy any locally made ice cream and...

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  • Now that's a spider

    Tarantulas are plentiful in the forests and jungles of Costa Rica. They are big animals (for invertabrates) and will feed on lizards and even very small mammals. But tarantuals are little concerned with people. They are nocturnal and you are not apt to come across a tarantula unless you stick your hand into a burrow in a tree or under some roots....

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Monteverde Sports & Outdoors

  • Cannoping in MonteVerde

    Canopy is a must right here, it's a little extreme but it worth. We do at Sky Trek and it was little scary at the begining, they give you like 6 training cables, and the ending 5 are great. You can't see the end in some of them. We do it in Sky Trek and they provide all the equipment.

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  • ZIP lines!

    There are 4 different zip line tours in Monteverde. We went on the Skytrek. We got to do 16 cables (don't know why the site says 11). It was so cool to whip through the trees and even above them. After you get over your inital fear of dying it is tones of fun. It is provided. And you are always attached to the cable, but the pulley and a safety...

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Monteverde Favorites

  • Weather in Winter

    In Arenal and Monteverde it can be cloudy most days that time of year, especially at Arenal and La Fortuna. At the coast, the weather is very good. It is considered the dry season (as well as the high season) but that is mostly at the coast. The later you go in March the better chance you will have in seeing Arenal Volcano. I have been there 6...

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  • Cloud forest

    Cloud forests are found at an altitude of at least 1500 m. The forest is shrouded in mist for 9 months of the year. The mist and clouds come with the trade winds of the Pacific Ocean. The vegetation is somewhat different from the rest of the rain forest. Here you will find plants that grow well in this colder and more humid environment like moss...

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  • 12 Zones-30 Kinds of Rain Forest

    In 1947, the biologist L.H. Holdridge introduced a system of classifying vegetation types or "zones" by analyzing combinations of temperature, rainfall, and seasonality. Each zone has a distinctive natural vegetation and ecosystem. Costa Rica has 12 such zones, ranging from tidal mangrove swamps to subalpine paramó, with its stunted dwarf plants...

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Explore Deeper into Monteverde
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Things to Do
Guided walk in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Things to Do
Ecological Farm Twilight Walk
Things to Do
Learn Spanish while in Monteverde
Things to Do
Animals in the trees
Things to Do
Night hike in the jungle
Things to Do
Cloud Forest Reserve
Things to Do
Canopy Tours
Things to Do
Hummingbird Garden
Things to Do
Get a guide for the Cloud Forest
Things to Do
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Things to Do
Internet - pricey
Things to Do
Ziplining
Things to Do
Frogs!
Things to Do
Jeep-Boat-Jeep
Transportation
Night hike in Monteverde
Things to Do
The Serpentarium
Things to Do
Hiking in the Monteverde Cloud Forest National Pk
Things to Do
Zip Lining and Hanging Bridge Tour
Things to Do
Getting to Monteverde
Transportation
Reserva Santa Elana...
Things to Do
Stray dogs
Things to Do
Unique Ambience
Restaurants
Take a guide!
Things to Do
Sky Trek - Monteverde
Things to Do
Hanging bridges
Things to Do
Guided night walk
Things to Do
Hike The Forest
Things to Do
Don't Feed the Dogs
Warnings and Dangers
Four Wheel Drive Vehicle
Transportation
If you do nothing else, do the ZIP LINE!!!!
Things to Do
Hummingbird garden
Things to Do
Bumpy road
Transportation
Sofia
Restaurants
Morphos
Restaurants
Hummingbird Gallery
Things to Do
Monteverde Biological Reserve - Reason for Going
Things to Do
Decent Brick Oven Pizza
Restaurants
Great Coffee & Good Food
Restaurants
Jeep-Boat-Jeep
Transportation
Map of Monteverde

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