Monteverde is a small town located in Costa Ricas Cordillera de Tilarán region. Monteverde is a place of cloud forests and coffee plantations, monkeys, mist, and friendly locals. The town of Santa Elena is small and quaint, filled with tasty restaurants and folksy artisan shops, while the nearby rainforest hosts a remarkable amount of biodiversity. This blog is a quick guide to Monteverde covering things to do in Monteverde and other travel tips.
Things to do in Monteverde
If you love the outdoors, you will love Monteverde.
Monteverde Cloud Forest: Is one of the most famous cloud forests in the world, and for good reasons. The impressive tropical cloud forest has a rich ecosystem with over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 120 species of reptiles and over 3000 plant species. Everywhere you look is a vibrant shade of green and if you look hard enough you are guaranteed to see animals. Within the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve you will find a hanging bridge and waterfall. Well worth the visit. Entry is $18 or $9 with a student card. See more photos here.
Santa Elena Cloud Forest: Is much like Monteverde Cloud Forest but cheaper and has less tourists. Santa Elena costs $14 or $7 for students.
Canopy/Zip line Tours: There are many companies offering Zip Lining tours in Monteverde. All zip line tours cost roughly the same amount ($45). 100% adventure has the longest zip lines and is said to be the most extreme.
I went with Extremo Canopy as I combined my zip line with a bungee jump (total cost $100). I absolutely loved the zip line tour and would highly recommend it. With Extremo Canopy we did a 90ft repel, (below) Tarzan swing and superman cable.
Bungee Jumping: Have you been wanting to take the jump? I have wanted to bungee jump for years and finally faced my fears in Monteverde and absolutely loved it. For $60, why don’t you just go for it? Extremo Canopy is the Bungee Jump Company.
Animal Sanctuary’s: In Santa Elena/Monteverde you will find a bat jungle and butterfly garden. If you have a spare day and this sounds like something you are interested in, check it out for a small fee.
Other adventurous activities include Horseback Riding, bird watching, white water rafting and ATV tours. You can also tour chocolate and cheese factories.
Recommended length of stay
I recommend staying in Monteverde for 3 nights.
US Dollars or Costa Rican Colons.
Getting to and around
If you are coming from overseas, you would fly into San Jose airport. From San Jose, buses depart to Monteverde at 6:30am and 2:30pm, costing around $6 for the 5-hour ride.
Getting to Monteverde from Panama or Nicaragua is challenging, as it is an isolated community with bad roads.
If you are coming from Panama, you will have to go via San Jose. From San Jose you would take a 6.30 am or 2.30pm bus.
Coming from Nicaragua, you will have to take a bus from the border to a town called Limonal, and another bus from there to Monteverde.
Santa Elena is the community of Montevede and is most likely where you will find accommodation (Santa Elena is the cheapest place to stay). You can walk everywhere in Santa Elena.To get to Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest, you can catch a public bus for around $2 one way.
Where to stay
Vista Al Golfo hostel: Is located right in the center of town and has an information center inside. This hostel was clean, had a kitchen and free breakfast. Overall it was good, just don’t trust the information center, you dont’ need a guide for the cloud forest.
Search for cheap accommodation options here.