25 Sep Monteverde Costa Rica
Located just across the Arenal Lake, on the other side of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, the largest private reserve in Central America, lies the quaint towns of Monteverde and Santa Elena, which is the perfect next stop after staying with us at Arenal Springs.
Monteverde is the ideal escape from the heat when traveling between La Fortuna and the coastal beaches of Guanacaste, or any other of the other exciting destinations of Costa Rica, and the nature-lovers paradise. The high altitude of 4662 ft. above sea level gives Monteverde its cooler temperatures, regular cloud cover, and mystical fog. Here the cloud forests offer a completely different experience than the tropical rainforests of Arenal and other areas of Costa Rica, in addition to a distinct variety of exotic wildlife.
Monteverde has accommodations from economic hostels, great bed and breakfasts and rustic lodges, to top notch luxury hotels. There is also something for everyone as far as things to do, so we recommend you stay at least night a night or two.
From our hotel, the 70 mile drive is a scenic and relatively easy one that will take you around the gorgeous Arenal Lake, with incredible views of the Arenal Volcano, and on to the cloud forest paradise. While a 4×4 is not necessary, we do recommend an SUV, because much of the trip will be on slow-going gravel roads. So plan ahead, take your time, and enjoy the ride. Plan on 3.5 hours for your drive, and to arrive before the sun goes down around 6 pm, since the roads are not well marked in this part of the country.
The other option to get to this cozy town is by taxi-boat-taxi, a tour option which is ideal for those who do not have a rental car or their own transportation. With this one-way option, you will be picked up right from the reception of our hotel, and driven in a comfortable air conditioned van to the shore of the Arenal Lake, there you will board a pontoon boat for a short tour across the Lake, while enjoying the amazing views of the rarely seen backside of the Arenal Volcano (clouds permitting). Once across the lake, another comfortable mini-van will be awaiting, to take you on to the hotel of your choice. This tour is available twice daily, and takes about 2 ½ hours total.
Once you arrive, you will see that Monteverde is the place dreams are made of. This unique area allows you to hike through nature trails and across hanging bridges high above the cloud forest, affording you breathtaking views and priceless photo opportunities. The town itself is small and cozy, not over developed, and still mostly operated by locals, making it a cherished piece of the history and cultural of Costa Rica, and a wonderful place to meet the locals. In addition, you will have amazing opportunities to discover some of the other locals – including over 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, thousands of insect species, and 2500 varieties of flora; including more than 400 species of prized exotic orchids. Some of these breathtaking species include the magical quetzal- a birdwatchers treasure, 40 species of hummingbirds, sloths, ocelots, tapirs, jaguars, a wide variety of poisonous dart frogs, and colorful butterflies, including the marvelous blue morpho.
This natural haven is the ideal place for hikes on hanging bridges high above the cloud forest and through the tree canopy, nature night hikes, bird watching, horseback riding, educational visits to coffee and chocolate plantations, and butterfly and frog gardens. If you want a little more activity, here you can also find some of the best canopy zip lining in the country, as well as rappel and bungee opportunities. Or, just enjoy the stress-free way of life of this small town in harmony with nature; walk the streets, visit the local stores and craft shops, enjoy a delicious meal in a local restaurant and just take it easy in this corner of Costa Rican paradise. After all, that’s what vacations are supposed to be for anyway, right?
When it’s time to go, you will be right in route to head off to the sunny beaches of Guanacaste. There are also collective shuttles and private transportation options available from Monteverde to San Jose, La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, and the most popular beaches of Guanacaste like Samara, Flamingo, Tamarindo, and Papagayo, to get you wherever you are headed next.