Monteverde, located in the northern part of Costa Rica, is famous for its cloud forest. It lies around 1’330 m over sea level and is a much cooler area than the rest of the country. It has a completely different climate. It is located about 3 hours drive from La Fortuna.
Monteverde is the most famous region for Coffee plantations and home to many different species. In this blog post, we share our top things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica and where to stay and eat in the area.
5 Top things to do Monteverde Costa Rica
Hike Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Most people come to Monteverde for the Cloud Forest Reserve. The cloud forest is a protected area and is about 10’500 hectares big. Monteverde’s name which means “Green mountains,” is a very suitable name for the evergreen and lush forests in this area.
The forest is home to huge biodiversity and a popular place to visit for eco-travelers. The reserve opens at 7 am, and the entrance fee is 18 USD per person. There is an official parking lot where you can leave your car, and from there, they have a shuttle available to bring you to the entrance. Shuttles from town are available too.
There are different kinds of routes to take inside the cloud forest, and you can choose whether you want to do a guided tour or go on your own. We hiked for a half-day by ourselves, and we spotted a few animals like an Armadillo, an Aguti, Hummingbirds, and Squirrels. But we must say it isn’t easy to find the wildlife yourself in the cloud forest. So if you go mainly for that reason, we’d recommend taking a guided tour because you will see much more. We did this in other Nationalparks in Costa Rica, and it was very worth it.
It’s a magnificent forest with trees that are up to 500 years old, and the clouds in between these lush green trees made it such a mystical experience.
Go Ziplining over the Jungle
A very popular and fun thing to do in Costa Rica is to go ziplining. You can do this in pretty much every part of the country, but we recommend doing it in the northern region because you will get the best views over the jungle.
We went ziplining in Monteverde with Sky Adventures. It was very well organized, and the staff was so lovely. You could really see they have so much fun in their job. Well, why wouldn’t you love zipping above the jungle every day? You get to the highest point of the zipline with a sky tram from where you start to zip back down to the bottom. The views were breathtaking, to say the least. This package is called Sky Trek and costs 84 USD per person.
Sky Adventures offer river rafting as well if that is something you would like to do.
Visit Santa Elena Reserve
Santa Elena Reserve is called the little Sister of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and if you like the cooler temperatures and the hiking you might want to stay longer and enjoy Santa Elena Reserve as well. It is higher in elevation, smaller, and less crowded than Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The entrance fee is 16 USD and it opens at 7 am too.
Learn more about Coffee in Monteverde Costa Rica
If you are a coffee lover like us then a very nice thing to do is to do a coffee plantation and roastery tour and taste some of the local coffee as you can do at Café Monteverde
It’s especially interesting to learn about sustainability and the local history of coffee in the area.
Enjoy the Sunset over Monteverde
One of the most magical sunsets we have seen was in Monteverde Costa Rica. The view of Monteverde’s Viewpoint is spectacular. This spot can’t be missed when in Monteverde you will see lots of people pulling their car at the side of the road heading over to enjoy the sunset from here. You can enjoy a spectacular view over the hills of Monteverde until the Golf of Nicoya and Nicoya Peninsula.
Where to stay in Monteverde Costa Rica
If you look for a nice hotel to stay in Monteverde, you should check out Monteverde Lodge & Gardens. It’s such a beautiful and relaxing place to stay.
For budget accommodation, we recommend staying at an Airbnb. This is the lovely Casita Moss we stayed at.
How to get around
The easiest way to travel around in Costa Rica is by renting a car. Roads around Monteverde are usually good and paved, so it’s easy to drive. But we would always recommend renting a 4×4. We rented our car using Discover Cars and recommend this platform.
If you don’t drive yourself, then most hotels will offer shuttles to the cloud forests.
Grocery Shopping in Monteverde
We highly recommend going to Monteverde Wholefoods to buy food. If you like to cook your own meals at your Airbnb like us, this is the place to shop for groceries. Their fruits and vegetables are all organic and very fresh. Besides, they have many other delicious foods, and they are located right new to Café Monteverde, where you can taste and buy the coffee from the region.
Environment / Climate
Monteverde is a totally different climate, and if you travel around Costa Rica and come from the coast to Monteverde, it can be a bit of a temperature shock. At least it was for us (It was more than 10 degrees less than where we came from at that point). So don’t forget to bring long pants, leggings, closed shoes and socks, and a rain jacket for your time in Monteverde. And lots of bug spray 😉