Guide to Monteverde, Costa Rica

Welcome to the Cloud Rainforest!  A different and unique experience walking amongst the clouds, there is plenty to do.  If you are on a budget, it may be wise to only choose a few as like many other Parts of Costa Rica, simple activities as hiking tend to cost.  Here it goes- your Moteverde Guide

The Details

Location: North of Arenal, South of Liberia.  

Recommended Time: 1-2 Days (depending on your travel style)

When to visit: Depends what you’re looking for- dry season has a smaller possibility of rain but is notably more expensive.  I visited during the rainy season and loved it!  (Our first day of ziplining did get cancelled due to lightning but it was no big deal to reschedule for the next day)

Parking: Depends where you go!  We parked at our hostel and most main restaurants, galleries, and cloud forests will have parking as well.  Tours often provide the option of bus pickup. 

Things to Do

Hike the Cloud Forest

We did not do this with a guide, nor did we feel the need to.  We learned from other tours a primary purpose of this is for wildlife spotting.  Trained professional guides tend to have the eye for scouting exactly where a bird or other animal may be spending the day- even if we wouldn’t have thought to look there!

Monteverde is not part of a national park.  There are three preserves you can visit.  We recommend choosing one if you are on a budget like we were!  The three are as follows: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, Bosque Eterno De Los Ninos. 

The one we chose to visit was Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Entrance Fee: $25 (check prices upon arrival as many articles list different prices). 

Parking: drive about 10-15 minutes up the winding road until you see a giant blue sign on your right.  You can park here and pay a roundtrip shuttle to take you up to where the trails start, and back down ($5) or park for free at the top.  Rangers let you know your car will not be watched over at the top of the hill, however we saw very many cars there.  

Trails: We hiked two trails- the Sendero Bosque Nuboso to the Continental Divide, and Quebrada Cuecha to the waterfall.  

Sendero Busque Nuboso Trail- leads to three viewpoints of the Continental Divide.  It was a very cloudy day when we visited with slight views which we still found to be very cool as we were hiking among the clouds.  You can either make it an out and back and head back the way you came, or take the Sendero Camino Trail back for a change of route.  

Along Sendero Busque Nuboso, you can start the Sendero Pantanoso trail where you can walk across the red suspended bridge and follow a different trail to make your way to the waterfall from there.  When we visited in 2021, the bridge was CLOSED due to safety so it is important to always check local regulations and conditions with park guides upon arrival (a general rule of thumb)!

 

Continental Divide Viewpoint

Quebrada Cuecha Trail- allowed us to access the waterfall.  In about 15-30 minutes depending on your pace, weave up and down the winding forest hills until you reach a beautiful viewpoint for the waterfall.  Amongst the lush jungle, it’s a gem!  You can either make this an out and back or take the Sendero Tosi trail back for a change-up. 

Adventure

Calling adrenaline junkies!  This actually was the one place we had agreed to drop some dollars on an additional activity/tour.  We heard Monteverde was one of the best places to zipline, so we went for it!  (However, Arenal did look pretty cool as well!

This IS a rainforest!  And when visiting during the wet season (generally from March to November), it’s not uncommon for some of your activities to get rained out.  So roll with it!  (Like you’ve got to when travelling, right)?  Anyways, we were all ready to go with gear on and safety explanations provided for our canopy tour when a guide informed us there was lightning in the area and it would be unsafe to go out on the lines.  

Other adventure activities/tours in the area include: tree climbing, canyoning, bungee jump, .

Soar through the Cloud Rainforest!
Do you dare experience the 120 foot drop?? I almost didn’t!

Enjoy the Scenery

Seriously!  The long, winding hill and mountain ranges are gorgeous.  If some of the clouds make way during your visit, you may be in for a beautiful sunset.  And if not, its still a wonderful moment to capture (among the lush hills).

Views driving back down from Monteverde
A viewpoint with benches in Monteverde. Was hoping hoping to catch a sunset but still not a let down!
Somewhat blurry (Sorry!) sunset along our drive- please take extra caution if driving past sunset PSA

We hope you found our Monteverde Guide helpful, and that you found many things to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica here.  Drop any questions in the comments below!

These are the top three main things to do in Monteverde.  Others would include: Visit an art gallery, walk around the shops, explore some restaurants, etc.

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Alyssa

As a full time employee who loves her job, learn how I honor my wanderlust while working a 9:00-5:00 (because I want to!) This blog welcomes all, and specifically provides resources for those seeking travel intertwined into a busy schedule (3 days to 5 weeks).