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Best Things To Do in Monteverde Costa Rica

The Top Ten Most Unique Things To Do in Monteverde Costa Rica

A person experiencing the best things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica

Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to Monteverde in Costa Rica in search of nature and adventure. And you might be planning on going this route, but you’re probably not sure about the best things to do in the area. 

Don’t worry. Here you will find a one-stop-shop travel guide to help you make the most of your visit to our small town. Many people have asked me for advice on things to do, and I’ve helped them find the best and most unique things to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Whether you’re coming to Monteverde for nature, adventure or culture, this article will list the top ten most unique things to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

Disclaimer: I’m not too fond of ads on educational pages like this one because it ruins the reader experience. Therefore, I keep my website ad-free. However, I still need a way to make a living. Thus, this article contains affiliate links to book the tours and activities I recommend the most, from which I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. After reading this post, if you decide to book a tour, please consider using the links on this post so that I can continue sharing unbiased, helpful information with the travel community with your support. 

Top 10 Best Things To Do in Monteverde Costa Rica

  1. Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour
  2. Monteverde Night Tour
  3. Monteverde Ziplining Tour
  4. Monteverde Hanging Bridges
  5. Monteverde Coffee Tour
  6. Monteverde Waterfalls Tour
  7. Monteverde ATV Tour
  8. Monteverde Horseback Riding
  9. Monteverde Bungee Jumping
  10. Monteverde Hummingbird Garden

Let’s dive in and find out which activities are best for you.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour: Learn Why Monteverde is Important

Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is arguably the best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

Thousands of ecologists, biologists, and general travelers coming to discover Monteverde Cloud Forest’s impressive biodiversity participate in the daily Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour. However, contrary to what some travelers expect, this tour is more about the learning experience and less about seeing animals. Thus, you should expect to learn a lot about why the Monteverde Cloud Forest is essential for the environment. 

On the other hand, you should have low expectations about how many animals you will see during the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour. Primarily because this tour takes place during the daytime, and most animals in Monteverde are not active during the day. About 60% of the wildlife in Monteverde is only active at night when they come in search of food and shelter. 

Nonetheless, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour is fascinating. A certified local tour guide will lead your group and show you the different plants, trees, and animals (mostly birds) that come along. And you get to pick his brain with any potential question you might have about the local habitat. Many customers refer to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour as having a real-life National Geographic experience. 

Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour Summary

Here’s what you will learn and see on the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour and some general information that governs this experience; 

  • Importance of Cloud Forests
  • History of Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • A few wild animals (mostly birds)
  • Smalls Groups led by a Local Guide
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U12) $25, Adults $40
  • Prices exclude the entrance fee
  • Times: 7:30 AM, 11:30 AM, and 1:30 PM
  • Difficulty: Easy (Light Walk) 
  • Location: Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Tickets Here

Monteverde Night Tour: Find Animals in Monteverde at Night

Monteverde Night Tour to Find Animals in Monteverde at Night

The Monteverde Night Tour at El Refugio de Vida Silvestre (i.e., Monteverde’s Wildlife Refugee) is the second best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Most people come to the Monteverde Cloud Forest expecting to see wild animals in their natural habitat. After all, Monteverde is home to more than 4% of the world’s biodiversity, including 400 species of birds, over 100 species of mammals, and 1,200 amphibian species. And more than 60% of these animals are active at night when they come out searching for food and shelter. Consequently, animals constantly move around at night, some hunting and others avoiding becoming someone else’s prey. 

With a flashlight and a local tour guide, exploring the forest at night in search of these animals is incredibly interesting. And even though there is never a guarantee of how many animals you will see on your tour, generally, the overwhelming majority of visitors who take part in a night tour are pretty satisfied with the experience. 

On the other hand, you should have low expectations about how many animals you will see during the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour. Primarily because this tour takes place during the daytime, and most animals in Monteverde are not active during the day. About 60% of the wildlife in Monteverde is only active at night when they come in search of food and shelter. 

Unlike what most people believe, most Monteverde Night Tours don’t occur in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve because the reserve is so extensive that finding animals there is like finding a needle in a haystack. Instead, several smaller private conservation areas offer this attraction in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

You can read our thorough article, which showcases the Top 7 Monteverde Night Tours in Monteverde Costa Rica, to see the differences between each location. However, I can anticipate that of all those places, I recommend El Refugio Night Tour, as this location is the best to see the highest number of animals. For example, every time I’ve been there, I’ve spotted Agoutis, Coatis, Monkeys, Sloths, Snakes, Frogs, a few Sleeping Birds (Toucans, Toucanets, etc.), and a vast number of fascinating insects such as Tarantulas, Leaf Insects, and Walking Sticks. 

Even though El Refugio Night Tour is the most expensive in Monteverde, it’s hands-down the best Night Tour Operator in the area. As I have tested repeatedly, I can guarantee you will see more animals in this conservation area than anywhere else in Monteverde. 

Monteverde Night Tour Summary

Here’s what you will learn and see on a Monteverde Night Tour and some general information on what I consider the best night tour in Monteverde, El Refugio Night Tour; 

  • See a good amount of animals
  • Between one and five mammals
  • Between one and five amphibians
  • Between one and ten sleeping birds
  • Many exciting insects 
  • Smalls Groups led by a Local Guide
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U12) $20, Adults $35
  • Prices include the entrance fee
  • Times: 6 PM and 8 PM
  • Difficulty: Easy (Light Walk) 
  • Location: Monteverde Wildlife Refugee
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Ziplining Tour: Fly Above The Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde Ziplining Tour: Fly Above The Monteverde Cloud Forest

The Monteverde Ziplining Tour at Selvatura Park is the third best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

About 50% of the people who visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest come here to get their thrills ziplining over the canopy of the majestic cloud forest. After all, Monteverde was the first place on earth to offer a ziplining tour back in the nineties. With the rise of tourism in the area, what was once one ziplining tour operator divided into seven ziplining tour companies spread across the Monteverde region. 

As you may have guessed, we’ve already researched, and you can read our thorough article, which showcases the Top 5 Monteverde Ziplining Tours to see the differences between each location. However, I can anticipate that of all those places, I recommend Selvatura’s Ziplining Tour, as this location is the closest to the heart of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. And consequently, this place has the most beautiful scenery out of all ziplining tour operators in the area. 

Here you’ll embark on a 2-hour adrenaline-filled adventure that will take you through a lush green cloud forest, around the most comprehensive ziplining course in the country. More specifically, you’ll go on a 4-kilometer system (2.2 miles) consisting of 13 zip lines, a Tarzan swing, and a fair amount of walking. 

Besides the otherwordly scenery, you’ll experience here, another aspect that separates Selvatura’s ziplining tour from the rest is the wide variety of zip lines they have. Some zip lines go above the canopy of the trees, while others go in between trees, providing a special connection with nature you can’t find anywhere else. 

Monteverde Ziplining Tour Summary

Here’s what you can expect on a Monteverde Ziplining Tour and some general information about Selvatura Park; but you’re also welcome to read my Detailed Review of Selvatura’s Ziplining Tour

  • Fantastic Scenery
  • Zipline above and between trees
  • It has 13 zip lines and a Tarzan swing
  • You can add the Superman zip line
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U12) $39, Adults $55
  • Times: 8:30 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 2 PM
  • Difficulty: Medium (Some walking) 
  • Location: Selvatura Park Monteverde
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Hanging Bridges: Skywalk Above The Cloud Forest

Monteverde Hanging Bridges: Skywalk Above The Cloud Forest

The Monteverde Hanging Bridges or “Skywalk,” as some people call it, at Sky Adventures Monteverde is the fourth best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Many people visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest to experience what it’s like to feel above the canopy of the majestic cloud forest. Some of these travelers get this feeling via a ziplining tour. However, the least adventurous folks who search for that feeling more relaxedly often visit the Monteverde Hanging Bridges. 

There are four parks with hanging bridges in Monteverde. You’re right; we’ve got an entire post dedicated to comparing these locations, which you can read on this link Top 4 Parks with Hanging Bridges in Monteverde Costa Rica. However, I can anticipate that of all those places, I recommend Sky Adventures Monteverde’s Skywalk, as this location offers the best value for money for hanging bridges in Monteverde. And this place also has the longest hanging bridge in Costa Rica. 

Here you’ll venture on a 2-hour easy light walk with six hanging bridges spread across a 2.5-kilometer trail (1.5 miles). And the course is divided into two loops, so folks who can’t walk long distances can still enjoy the experience at a fraction of the space. 

Some of the bridges at Sky Walk Monteverde are relatively small in between trees, which provide a deep connection with nature, while others are high above the ground level and above the canopy of the trees. Such is the case of their most extended structure, bridge number five, a massive hanging bridge of 236 meters (774 feet) featuring beautiful, jaw-dropping, panoramic views of the cloud forest. 

Even though the entrance fee doesn’t include a tour guide, you can upgrade to join a guided tour group. Local tour guides know the place very well and have the right equipment to spot significantly more wildlife, such as the Resplendant Quetzal. Otherwise, it becomes more challenging to see any wildlife here. Tour guides are also extremely knowledgable, thus providing a more rich learning experience if you’re inclined. 

Monteverde Hanging Bridges Summary

Here’s what you can expect on Monteverde Hanging Bridges and some specific information about Sky Walk Monteverde; but you’re also welcome to read my Detailed Review of Skywalk Hanging Bridges in Monteverde Costa Rica

  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Skywalk above and between trees
  • 2.5-km trail (1.5 mi) with 6 bridges
  • You can add a tour guide
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U12) $19, Adults $27
  • Times: 8 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM, and 2 PM
  • Difficulty: Easy (light walk) 
  • Location: Sky Adventures Monteverde
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Coffee Tour: Experience Local Farming Life

Monteverde Coffee Tour: Experience Local Farming Life

The Monteverde Coffee Tour at Don Juan Tours Monteverde is the fourth best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

While many people come to the Monteverde Cloud Forest in search of this biodiverse natural paradise, others come to experience the small farming town life. After all, Monteverde is not only famous for its wide variety of flora and fauna but also for its organic farming capabilities. 

Furthermore, before Monteverde was renowned for being a conservation Mecca, it was firstly famous for having the best cheese factory in Costa Rica, the La Fabrica de Quesos Monteverde. Soon after establishing the Monteverde Cheese Factory, locals began introducing Specialty Coffee in the region, leveraging the relatively high altitude of Monteverde, 1,400 meters above sea level (5,000 feet), and its cool mountainous climate. 

Soon after, the icafe (the National Institution for Coffee) recognized Monteverde’s coffee as Specialty Coffee, while the destination was also becoming increasingly touristy. And from that point emerged the Monteverde Coffee Tours, and several small coffee production farms started to offer this attraction in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

You can read our thorough article, which showcases the Top 3 Coffee Tours in Monteverde Costa Rica, to see the differences between each location. However, I can anticipate that of all those places, I recommend Don Juan Monteverde Coffee Tour, as this farm was the first coffee plantation in the area, and their tour is the most authentic in Monteverde.

Don Juan Cruz, a renowned local farmer currently in his nineties, was a pioneer in the industry introducing coffee to Monteverde around the 1960s. Four decades later, during the early 2000s, the Cruz family opened a Coffee Shop in Santa Elena. And many customers started asking where such a delicious coffee was coming from, which led to the creation of the Don Juan Monteverde Coffee Tour in 2006. 

Unlike what most people believe, most Monteverde Coffee Tour is much more interesting than going into a coffee plantation. Instead, it’s more of a farm tour, where you see the production from farm to table. Not only does the farm produce Specialty Coffee, but it also makes Chocolate from Cocoa and Sugar Candy from Sugarcane. Consequently, locals and marketing websites often refer to this tour as a 3-in-1 Tour. 

Monteverde Coffee Tour Summary

Here’s what you will learn and see on a Monteverde Coffee Tour and some general information on what I consider the best coffee tour in Monteverde, Don Juan Monteverde Coffee Tour; 

  • Pioneer Coffee Enthusiasts
  • Get a feel of local farm life
  • Taste fresh Cocoa fruit
  • Try Monteverde’s Coffee
  • Learn how to make chocolate 
  • Make a colossal sugar candy 
  • Visit sugarcane and coffee plantations
  • Go inside the artisan production line
  • Smalls Groups led by a Local Guide
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U12) $15, Adults $38
  • Times: 9 AM and 3 PM
  • Difficulty: Easy (Light Walk) 
  • Location: Don Juan Tours Monteverde
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Waterfalls Tour: Epic Hike For Trekking Enthusiasts

Monteverde Waterfalls Tour: Epic Hike For Trekking Enthusiasts

The Monteverde Waterfalls Tour at El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde is the fifth best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Trekking and nature trails are among the top reasons people travel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. There are many fantastic parks in Monteverde to disconnect from our busy lives and reconnect with our true nature, and El Tigre Waterfalls is one of the best. However, I can only recommend it for those in great shape because the trail is highly technical, with many sharp edges, rocks, and roots along the way. 

Furthermore, El Tigre Waterfall has one of the longest nature trails in Monteverde, which is 4 kilometers long (roughly 2 miles). Even though many would argue that 2 miles are not that complicated, I would beg to disagree, considering the terrain, the altitude, and the microclimates found along the way. 

Generally, most travelers take about four hours to complete the 4-kilometer trail, going at a moderate pace. However, this average time includes stops along the way to see the four waterfalls found along the route. Furthermore, several hanging bridges cross the river several times, some of which provide excellent viewpoints for nature photography. 

Even though El Tigre Monteverde Waterfalls Tour is self-guided, the trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow. And they have three aid stations with radios and first aid kits along the way. Additionally, the trip includes a fantastic 10-minute ride on a Safari Car that brings you back to reception after you finish the trail. Lastly, a wholehearted lunch meal comes with the price and awaits you once you return to the reception. 

And more recently, they implemented a complementary attraction for an extra fee named Zipline Bikes, three bicycles attached to zip lines that cross the river 70 meters above ground level (230 feet). 

Monteverde Waterfalls Tour Summary

Here’s what you can expect on the Monteverde Waterfalls Tour and some general information about El Tigre Waterfalls Monteverde; 

  • Four waterfalls 
  • 4-Kilometer trail (2 mi) 
  • Technical downhill trail 
  • For those in great shape
  • Not suited for kids under 9
  • Self-guided but well-marked
  • Hanging bridges along the way
  • Includes a 10-min Safari Car Ride
  • Free Costa Rican lunch included
  • Duration: 4 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U12) $49, Adults $59
  • Times: 8 AM and 10 AM
  • Difficulty: Hard technical trail
  • Location: El Tigre Waterfalls
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde ATV Tour: Fantastic, Scenic Ride Across Monteverde

Monteverde ATV Tour: Fantastic, Scenic Ride Across Monteverde

The Monteverde ATV Tour is the sixth best thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Located at the top of the Tilaran mountain range, Monteverde is one of the most scenic towns in Costa Rica, overlooking mountains, volcanoes, and the Pacific Ocean. And some of the most panoramic views are outside the radar of most tourists as they are off the beaten path, only accessible via rural backroads. 

Riding ATVs on these unusual routes to find unique spots is an incredible and thrilling experience. Not only is the freedom of riding these vehicles exhilarating, but it also gives you more of that local feel tourists want to experience, and commercial tours fail to provide. 

The Monteverde ATV Tour provides this unique, authentic and thrilling experience. You get to ride a 4-wheeler led by a local tour guide who will show you those fantastic spots of Monteverde that only locals know. And if you’re traveling in couples, you can choose to share an ATV and take turns to drive, or you can get an ATV for each person. Furthermore, the trip also includes a professional photographer on the crew who will take beautiful pictures of your adventure. Tasty and plenty of snacks are also part of the package at no additional cost.

Monteverde ATV Tour Summary

Here’s a quick summary of what the Monteverde ATV Tour entails; 

  • Fantastic ATV ride
  • Digital Photos included
  • Superb Panoramic Views
  • Discover great unknown spots
  • Includes snacks and drinks
  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Price for Solo Riders: $130
  • Price for Double Seaters: $185
  • Times: 8 AM, 11:30 AM, and 3 PM
  • Difficulty: Medium*
  • *Requires a driving license
  • Location: Backroads of Monteverde
  • Requires Reservation 
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Horseback Riding: Enjoy the Relaxed Cloud Forest Ride

Monteverde Horseback Riding: Enjoy the Relaxed Cloud Forest Ride

The Monteverde Horseback Riding Tour at Equus Monteverde is another beautiful thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

As outlined in the previous recommendation, Monteverde is home to Costa Rica’s best mountainous scenery. There are several horseback riding tour operators in Monteverde, all of which operate on the outskirts of the region. And while none of these horseback riding tours go through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, the panoramic views and farmland these rides cross are gorgeous. 

You can read our thorough article, which showcases the Top 3 Horseback Riding Tours in Monteverde Costa Rica, to see the differences between each location. However, I can anticipate that of all those places, I recommend Equus Monteverde, as this location is not only the one with the best views, but they also include a farm tour aside from the horse ride. 

On the one hand, at the Equus Monteverde Horseback Riding Tour, on a clear day, you can see the entire gulf of Nicoya surrounding the Pacific Ocean and the three most important volcanoes of the Costa Rican northern region, Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles, and Tenorio. 

And on the other hand, you get to visit their small family-owned sugar production factory. Not only do you get to see this process, but you also get to taste homemade, farm-to-table sugar candy and other typical snacks cooked by the family. 

You get to ride your horse on their farm for 2 hours before you move on to the sugar production farm tour, which takes another 30 minutes.  

Monteverde Horseback Riding Tour Summary

Here’s what to expect at our recommended Equus Monteverde Horseback Riding Tour; 

  • Relaxing horseback ride
  • Authentic farm-life experience
  • Tour operated by a local family 
  • Incredible, breath-taking views
  • Jaw-dropping sunsets on clear days
  • Opportunity to see some birds along
  • 2-hour horse ride + 30-min farm tour
  • Smalls Groups led by a tour guide
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Prices: Kids (U10) $41, Adults $50
  • Times: 8 AM, 11 AM, and 3 PM
  • Difficulty: Easy (Almost no walking) 
  • Location: Equus Monteverde Farm
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Bungee Jumping: The Largest Jump in Costa Rica

Monteverde Bungee Jumping: The Largest Jump in Costa Rica

The Monteverde Bungee Jumping Experience at the Monteverde Extremo Park is arguably a terrifying thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

Located between two mountains in the outskirts of Monteverde and featuring a platform 143 meters (500 feet) above ground level, the Monteverde Extremo is the most significant bungee jump in the country. An aerial tram takes you from reception to the platform, from where you jump into the void for a few of the scariest seconds you’ll ever live. 

The Monteverde Bungee Jumping is an experience of a lifetime, but it’s only for those fearless folks in good medical condition and looking for the most extreme activities.

Monteverde Bungee Jumping Summary

Here’s a quick recap of the Monteverde Bungee Jumping experience; 

  • Scariest experience in Costa Rica
  • 143 meters (500 feet) bungee jump
  • The minimum age required is 12
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Prices: $80
  • Times: 8 AM, 11 AM, and 2 PM
  • Location: Monteverde Extremo Park
  • Requires Reservation
  • Get Your Tickets Here

Monteverde Hummingbird Garden: See Hundreds of Colibri Birds

Monteverde Hummingbird Garden to See Hundreds of Colibri Birds

Lastly, the Monteverde Hummingbird Garden at Cafe Colibri, next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve entrance, is arguably the best free thing to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

Cafe Colibri is a magical place to visit. Surrounded by lush green, virgin cloud forest, this place is a true hidden gem for nature lovers. Especially for those who love colibries (hummingbirds), as you can see hundreds of them in their garden. Up to five species of hummingbirds, including the incredibly beautiful Violet Sabrewing, come daily to this place for food, which they get through a combination of local plants and feeders. 

There is no entrance fee, and the place is open to the public. However, the coffee shop has delicious drinks and pastries, and it’s nice to buy from them since the garden is on their property, and they keep it alive. 

Contrary to what most people think, the mix that the staff at Cafe Colibri uses on the hummingbird feeders does not cause addiction or gut problems for the hummingbirds. They have a scientific paper from the founders of this place, two world-renowned biologists who specialized in hummingbirds, which is why this is the only place in Costa Rica allowed to use feeders. 

Visit this place, have a hot drink with a croissant, and experience what it’s like to surround yourself with dozens of beautiful hummingbirds. And you can find more free activities in our post, The Top 7 Things To Do For Free in Monteverde.

Monteverde Hummingbird Garden Summary

Here’s a quick summary of the Monteverde Hummingbird Garden experience; 

  • Hundreds of hummingbirds 
  • Beautiful Coffee Shop in the Forest
  • Next to the Monteverde Reserve
  • No entrance fee*
  • *But please support the cafe
  • Times: Open from 9 AM to 5 PM
  • Location: Cafe Colibri
  • Google Map Here

Here’s the end of this article. Thank you for reading this far, and feel free to share this info with fellow travelers as you deem appropriate. Happy travels and ¡Pura Vida, amigos!

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About the Author

Daniel Lalinde holding a mountain bikeDaniel Lalinde

I am the founder of Monteverde Tours. I live in Monteverde and love nature, adventure, and Mountain Biking. My partner and I love spending time outdoors and dining in Monteverde. We have more than 30 years of combined experience in the area, and there is no park, coffee shop, or restaurant we haven’t tried at least once!

We love helping visitors and connecting them with the different tours and activities to have a memorable experience in Monteverde.

If you need help planning things to do in the area, send us a message, and we will happily assist you!