Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Monteverde Costa Rica
Here it is some information I’ve compiled over the years from customers and friends who have reached out to me with questions prior to visiting our area.
These are the top 3 most frequently asked questions about Monteverde, Costa Rica:
- Why is Monteverde called the Cloud Forest and why should I visit it?
- How many days should I stay in Monteverde and what should I see and do?
- How far is Monteverde, how long does it take to get there and what options of transportation are available?
Monteverde is a small town located in the lush mountains of Costa Rica, right where the intercontinental line divides the Caribbean and the Pacific. The climate influence from these two in addition to the elevation form an environment known as Cloud Forest, a very rare and particular habitat that is rich in flora and fauna biodiversity.
Once a small farming town, Monteverde has become one of the most visited areas in the country, a tourism metropolis. There is a lot to see and do, whether you are a nature lover or an adrenaline seeker, from guided nature tours to zip lines through the canopy of the trees.
Less than 0.2% of the world is cloud forest. It is not only amazingly beautiful but it is also home to thousands of amazing wildlife species such as the Resplendent Quetzal. The Monteverde Cloud Forest has been listed many times as one of the top 5 most amazing, beautiful and famous forests in the world, and this is why you should visit it!
This will depend on what other places you are visiting in Costa Rica and how many days you have available but generally, the average visitor spends 2.5 days in Monteverde. There are so many things to do that I would probably not recommend to stay less than 2 nights up here.
Here it is the most typical itinerary I have helped organize for our customers:
Day 1 (arrival):
Usually our customers will arrive at around noon. At this point you can visit one of the nature reserves either with a nature guide (recommended if you want to learn more about the forest and to potentially spot some animals) or by yourself (recommended if you just want to connect with nature at your own pace).
Later this day, you can either have dinner and go to bed early to restore your energy levels in preparation for day 2, or you can join an evening or night tour, these tours are light walks in nature with a guide, usually not covering more than a mile (1.2 kilometers) or so. It’s more about spotting and learning about wildlife and so it is not physically demanding. In case you decide to go this route, you can then have dinner either before or after this activity.
Day 2, morning:
A self-guided visit to the Monteverde Hanging Bridges is a must. This is a light walk that takes about 1.5 hours to complete going through the trails of the cloud forest and crossing from multiple bridges along the way. This is great because you will get to experience what it’s like to be deep inside the forest as well as what it’s like to walk above the canopy of the trees, and in some instances, depending on the weather of the day, you might cross the bridges with clouds underneath your feet, experience many refer to as a “sky walk”.
When you have completed the trail/bridges system, you can join the zip lining tour to get that adrenaline rush or visit one of the nature exhibitions like the hummingbird gardens, the butterfly gardens or the reptiles and insects exhibits.
Day 2, afternoon:
There are couple of options here… You could visit a local farm on a horseback ride or you visit a local producer of sugar, chocolate and coffee to immerse yourself in our culture by experiencing the making of these three products.
Once you come back from either of those two tours, if you didn’t do an evening/night tour the day before, then you can do it tonight. Otherwise you can explore Santa Elena town to taste local flavors and to get a feeling of the local life.
Day 3, (departure):
The recommendation here is simple, enjoy our delicious fresh-made breakfast, grab a map and enjoy our beautiful onsite nature trail system. This should only take you 1-2 hours and it get you in the right mood to go on in your adventure to discover other areas of Costa Rica.
This will depend on where you’re coming from as well as your budget for transportation. Most our customers either rent a car or use group shuttles to get around and they come from either Liberia, San Jose, or La Fortuna (Arenal).
From Liberia and La Fortuna (Arenal) to Monteverde, it takes about 3.5 hours, while from San Jose, it takes a bit less, about 3 hours. Best Canopy Walkways in Monteverde | El Bosque Monteverde
Those three cities offer group shuttles leaving at 8 am and 2 pm, arriving Monteverde at around 11 am and 5 pm. Those shuttles are run by private companies, they are not public, however, they are highly recommended over public transportation. They are more expensive but surely a lot more efficient and they’re usually door-to-door, but you need to make reservations quickly before their slots are sold out.
So to recap, the Monteverde Cloud Forest is one of the most amazing forests in the world, it is easy to get to and it has many parks, tours and places to see and do! Our small town is beautiful and our forest is impressive! I invite you to come experience it, and I am sure you will be happy that you made that decision!
Hope this information is valuable to you and as always feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Monteverde, Costa Rica.