Things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica

Despite its small size and remote location, there are plenty of things to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica.. No matter your age or budget limitations, you can have a great time while you’re visiting. The great thing about the activities in Monteverde is that they don’t require that you spend tons of money! The main attractions, without a doubt, are the beautiful trails that take you through miles and miles of cloud forest filled with exuberant flora and fauna. These trails come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose the perfect ones for you. But there’s so much more! Zip-lines, aerial trams, museums, spas, waterfall rappelling, horseback riding, and rafting are just a few activities available to visitors.

And don’t forget all the good dining options while you’re there! There are all sorts’ local and international restaurants, coffee shops, diners, and bakery’s. And while you’re out getting something to eat you may want to venture into one of the many shops and boutiques in Santa Elena for a little vacation shopping. If you’re still feeling adventurous after a day of exploring, you can venture out and discover Monteverde’s nightlife.

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We're at your service with the very best Costa Rica vacations packages available, and we love what we do. Please accept our invitation to relax and let us turn your dream vacation into the trip of a lifetime.

Contact us online, or give us a call at 1-844-4LOCOS4.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5122
What is now known as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was originally part of the Quaker Farms that were used mainly for dairy Farming. During the early 70’s the forests began to be threatened by local farmers wanting to expand their land. It was around this time that the Biologist George Power joined forces with Quaker Wilford Guidon to create nature preserve that would protect the forests of Monteverde. 
VIEW ON MAP

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Guanacaste Province, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5390
Bordering the Monteverde Reserve but slightly higher is the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. This 310 hectar (765 acre) stretch of land was originally intended to be used for agricultural research and education in the area. This plan ultimately failed as the land proved to be unfit for farming and in 1989 it was converted into a protected cloud forest reserve. More Info …
VIEW ON MAP

Curi-Cancha Reserve

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 6915
The Curi-Cancha reserve is located in the heart of Monteverdein the Arenal-Tempisque conservation area. The land it’s located on was owned by the Lowther family in the 1970’s and originally, half of their property was grazing land and the other half was virgin rain forest.
VIEW ON MAP

Selvatura Park

Guanacaste Province, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5929
Selvatura Park is Monteverde’s premier extreme adventure destination! Located inside the Monteverde cloud forest it gives visitors a unique view at life below and above the trees. A unique feature of the Selvatura Canopy Tour is that the cables and platforms are built inside of the cloud forest instead of just above it.
VIEW ON MAP

The Bat Jungle

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 7701
The Bat Jungle gives visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the amazing world of bats. This incredibly comprehensive and detailed exhibit is based on more than 40 years of worldwide research on the lives of bats by Dr. Richard LaVal.
VIEW ON MAP

Monteverde Orchid Garden

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5308
So what is there to do after engaging in all the extreme activities that Monteverde has to offer? You’ve zip-lined, hiked and explored. How about something more relaxing to take the edge off? Well look no further than the Monteverde Orchid Garden, one of Santa Elena’s hidden gems.
VIEW ON MAP

Monteverde Wildlife Refuge

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
The Monteverde Wildlife Refuge is a privately owned patch of 30 hectares of protected area just a few minutes north of Santa Elena. The Wildlife Refuge is located 1,300 meters above sea level, right between the Pacific dry forest and Monteverde`s cloud forest. This privileged setting makes it a crucial spot for all sorts of migratory animals, from birds and reptiles, to amphibians, mammals, and even insects.
VIEW ON MAP

Serpentarium Monteverde

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 6002
Located just 5 minutes from the center of Santa Elena, the Monteverde Serpentarium is a great place to get up close with some of Costa Rica’s most intimidating creatures. More than just a snake exhibit, the Serpentarium has over 40 species of venomous and non-venomous snakes, frogs, toads, lizards and turtles.
VIEW ON MAP

Ecological Sanctuary

+506 2645 5869
The Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary is a privately owned wildlife refuge administered by a local Costa Rican Family. The sanctuary was created in 1992 with the purpose of protecting 30 hectares of beautiful mountainous forest on the Pacific zone of Monteverde. In the past, some areas of the forest had served as banana and coffee plantations, but today a large part of this former agricultural land has regrown into dense woodland areas teeming with all sorts of animal and plant life. Today, visitors can walk through miles of different sized trails and explore scenic overlooks, waterfalls, plantations and more. The sanctuary is characterized by having an abundance of fruit-bearing trees which make it a hot spot for birds, mammals, and insects that can be hard to spot in the cloud forest. The Monteverde Sanctuary is open from 7 AM to 1 Pm daily and offers bilingual guided tours. There is also a special “Bird Watching Walk” designed especially for bird lovers, and “Night Walk” that gives visitors a glimpse into the forest’s nightlife.
VIEW ON MAP

Rio Shanti Spa

+506 2645 6121
Rio Shanti is a spa, boutique, yoga and dance center all in one. They describe themselves as “inspired by a love of art, health, wholeness and happiness” and you will not doubt them if you take any of their classes or massages! Located in the old Quaker home known as the Boehm house (the oldest building in Monteverde), this is a great place to visit if you are in search of some mind-body alignment.

Revive Healing Arts

Route 620 Monteverde Centro, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 8372 2002
Founded by restoration specialist Karen Gordon and her husband in their 40 acre organic farm, Revive was named as the #1 health/wellness activity in Monteverde by trip advisor in 2012. This magical destination offers retreats, classes, massages, yoga, Reiki and much more!
VIEW ON MAP

Naroa Spa

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 6000
Located inside of the Poco a Poco hotel, Naroa Spa is a great place for massages, body wraps and scrubs, facials, and all sorts of beauty treatments. Naroa Spa takes pride in using organic goods and flowers grown locally in Monteverde in all of their treatments. There is also free wi-fi available, a children’s playground, and the resort’s own restaurant.
VIEW ON MAP

Green Leaf Spa

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5110
The most luxurious option in Monteverde, the Green Leaf Spa is located in the El Establo Hotel and offers a wide array of thoroughly relaxing treatments. Their services include: 5 different massages, exfoliation, wraps, baths, facial treatments, and much more.
VIEW ON MAP

Horseback Riding

While horseback riding is not permitted inside most reserves, there are several horseback tours on private lands that allow visitors to experience Monteverde in a whole new way. Horseback riding is one of the most popular attractions in the area and with good reason. Companies likes Horsetrek Tours will take you through primary and secondary forests, coffee and sugarcane plantations, mountain trails, open fields, and several other types of terrain as you explore another side of Monteverde and take in all the plant and animal life that inhabits the area.

ATV & Mountain Bike

Monteverde is one of the most perfect places in all of Costa Rica for riding ATVs and Moutain Biking. The beautiful scenery and the mountainous terrain make it the ideal location for these extreme sports. Companies like Monteverde ATV Tours or 100% Aventura Tours rent out ATVs and offer bilingual guides to help navigate through the roads. There are several mountain biking tours available in the area, visitors can take a tour with a guide or simply rent out bikes and explore the area on their own. A popular activity is biking from Arenal and Monteverde, but there are many other options depending on your level of experience.

Zip-lining

Zip-lining, rappelling, and canopy are some of those “must-do” activities for when you’re visiting Monteverde. The lush and expansive forests of the area are perfect for these types of attractions and Monteverde offers some of the most professional and knowledgeable guides to help you enjoy your experience safely. Popular Canopy tours include Sky Trek and Selvatura, both of them have been around for a long time and offer a distinct and unique approach to their services. Other popular companies include Hanging Bridges Tour and Arenal Sky Tram.

Hiking

Hiking is probably what you’re going to be doing the most in Monteverde. Most tours and activities include at least a little hiking in their schedules. There really is no better way to experience the abundant flora and fauna of the region than by exploring the forest trails and paths that wind all through the mountains. Check out our Naure & Parks section to get better acquainted with the different types of hiking tours and trails that you can find in Monteverde.

Monteverde Institute

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5053
The Monteverde Institute describes itself as: “a non-profit educational organization dedicated to advancing knowledge on the sustainable management of resources through innovative programs linking international study and community development”. It was founded in 1986 by local and international scholars in order to study and teach issues related to sustainability and global conservation. The courses emphasize on local situations and topics and then extrapolate them into worldwide applications. Courses include: Agro-Ecology, Anthropology and Social Development, Environment & Social Justice, Community Health, Conservation Biology, EcoTourism, Land Use Planning, Spanish Language & Culture, Sustainable Development, Tropical Ecology, Water Resource Management, etc.
VIEW ON MAP

Centro Panamericano De Idiomas

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5441
The CPI is a great place for anyone looking to improve their Spanish while visiting Costa Rica. This prestigious language school has been around since 1991 when it first opened in Heredia with 2 additional locations opening in the following years. Courses can be as short as just two weeks and as long as 18 weeks or more. CPI also helps you plan activities around the Monteverde area or arrange transportation if you want to relocate to another site.
VIEW ON MAP

Monteverde Music Festival

The Monteverde Music Festival takes place during the end of February and the beginning of March when the dry season and high influx of tourists combine to make the ideal conditions for such an event. Different musical groups from around the country are invited to play at the Bromelias Music Garden and Monteverde Institute. Genres mostly consist of jazz, classical and Latin music and all proceeds go towards music and arts programs in local schools. The MMF is considered one of the top yearly music events in Costa Rica and is guaranteed to be a good time for anyone who is passionate about music. Tickets are usually about $10.

Exploring the many trails and paths of Monteverde is a must when visiting. This is where you’ll be able to experience firsthand the beauty and uniqueness of this special part of Costa Rica. It is important to bring comfortable shoes, repellent, sunscreen, and a water bottle. Loose cargo pants are great for comfortable hiking while protecting your legs. A camera and binoculars are also a good idea if it’s not too rainy!

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5122
What is now known as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was originally part of the Quaker Farms that were used mainly for dairy Farming. During the early 70’s the forests began to be threatened by local farmers wanting to expand their land. It was around this time that the Biologist George Power joined forces with Quaker Wilford Guidon to create nature preserve that would protect the forests of Monteverde. 
VIEW ON MAP

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Guanacaste Province, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5390
Bordering the Monteverde Reserve but slightly higher is the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. This 310 hectar (765 acre) stretch of land was originally intended to be used for agricultural research and education in the area. This plan ultimately failed as the land proved to be unfit for farming and in 1989 it was converted into a protected cloud forest reserve. More Info …
VIEW ON MAP

Curi-Cancha Reserve

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 6915
The Curi-Cancha reserve is located in the heart of Monteverdein the Arenal-Tempisque conservation area. The land it’s located on was owned by the Lowther family in the 1970’s and originally, half of their property was grazing land and the other half was virgin rain forest.
VIEW ON MAP

Selvatura Park

Guanacaste Province, Santa Elena, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5929
Selvatura Park is Monteverde’s premier extreme adventure destination! Located inside the Monteverde cloud forest it gives visitors a unique view at life below and above the trees. A unique feature of the Selvatura Canopy Tour is that the cables and platforms are built inside of the cloud forest instead of just above it.
VIEW ON MAP

The Bat Jungle

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 7701
The Bat Jungle gives visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the amazing world of bats. This incredibly comprehensive and detailed exhibit is based on more than 40 years of worldwide research on the lives of bats by Dr. Richard LaVal.
VIEW ON MAP

Monteverde Orchid Garden

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5308
So what is there to do after engaging in all the extreme activities that Monteverde has to offer? You’ve zip-lined, hiked and explored. How about something more relaxing to take the edge off? Well look no further than the Monteverde Orchid Garden, one of Santa Elena’s hidden gems.
VIEW ON MAP

Monteverde Wildlife Refuge

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
The Monteverde Wildlife Refuge is a privately owned patch of 30 hectares of protected area just a few minutes north of Santa Elena. The Wildlife Refuge is located 1,300 meters above sea level, right between the Pacific dry forest and Monteverde`s cloud forest. This privileged setting makes it a crucial spot for all sorts of migratory animals, from birds and reptiles, to amphibians, mammals, and even insects.
VIEW ON MAP

Serpentarium Monteverde

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 6002
Located just 5 minutes from the center of Santa Elena, the Monteverde Serpentarium is a great place to get up close with some of Costa Rica’s most intimidating creatures. More than just a snake exhibit, the Serpentarium has over 40 species of venomous and non-venomous snakes, frogs, toads, lizards and turtles.
VIEW ON MAP

Ecological Sanctuary

+506 2645 5869
The Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary is a privately owned wildlife refuge administered by a local Costa Rican Family. The sanctuary was created in 1992 with the purpose of protecting 30 hectares of beautiful mountainous forest on the Pacific zone of Monteverde. In the past, some areas of the forest had served as banana and coffee plantations, but today a large part of this former agricultural land has regrown into dense woodland areas teeming with all sorts of animal and plant life. Today, visitors can walk through miles of different sized trails and explore scenic overlooks, waterfalls, plantations and more. The sanctuary is characterized by having an abundance of fruit-bearing trees which make it a hot spot for birds, mammals, and insects that can be hard to spot in the cloud forest. The Monteverde Sanctuary is open from 7 AM to 1 Pm daily and offers bilingual guided tours. There is also a special “Bird Watching Walk” designed especially for bird lovers, and “Night Walk” that gives visitors a glimpse into the forest’s nightlife.
VIEW ON MAP

Rio Shanti Spa

+506 2645 6121
Rio Shanti is a spa, boutique, yoga and dance center all in one. They describe themselves as “inspired by a love of art, health, wholeness and happiness” and you will not doubt them if you take any of their classes or massages! Located in the old Quaker home known as the Boehm house (the oldest building in Monteverde), this is a great place to visit if you are in search of some mind-body alignment.

Revive Healing Arts

Route 620 Monteverde Centro, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 8372 2002
Founded by restoration specialist Karen Gordon and her husband in their 40 acre organic farm, Revive was named as the #1 health/wellness activity in Monteverde by trip advisor in 2012. This magical destination offers retreats, classes, massages, yoga, Reiki and much more!
VIEW ON MAP

Naroa Spa

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 6000
Located inside of the Poco a Poco hotel, Naroa Spa is a great place for massages, body wraps and scrubs, facials, and all sorts of beauty treatments. Naroa Spa takes pride in using organic goods and flowers grown locally in Monteverde in all of their treatments. There is also free wi-fi available, a children’s playground, and the resort’s own restaurant.
VIEW ON MAP

Green Leaf Spa

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5110
The most luxurious option in Monteverde, the Green Leaf Spa is located in the El Establo Hotel and offers a wide array of thoroughly relaxing treatments. Their services include: 5 different massages, exfoliation, wraps, baths, facial treatments, and much more.
VIEW ON MAP

Horseback Riding

While horseback riding is not permitted inside most reserves, there are several horseback tours on private lands that allow visitors to experience Monteverde in a whole new way. Horseback riding is one of the most popular attractions in the area and with good reason. Companies likes Horsetrek Tours will take you through primary and secondary forests, coffee and sugarcane plantations, mountain trails, open fields, and several other types of terrain as you explore another side of Monteverde and take in all the plant and animal life that inhabits the area.

ATV & Mountain Bike

Monteverde is one of the most perfect places in all of Costa Rica for riding ATVs and Moutain Biking. The beautiful scenery and the mountainous terrain make it the ideal location for these extreme sports. Companies like Monteverde ATV Tours or 100% Aventura Tours rent out ATVs and offer bilingual guides to help navigate through the roads. There are several mountain biking tours available in the area, visitors can take a tour with a guide or simply rent out bikes and explore the area on their own. A popular activity is biking from Arenal and Monteverde, but there are many other options depending on your level of experience.

Zip-lining

Zip-lining, rappelling, and canopy are some of those “must-do” activities for when you’re visiting Monteverde. The lush and expansive forests of the area are perfect for these types of attractions and Monteverde offers some of the most professional and knowledgeable guides to help you enjoy your experience safely. Popular Canopy tours include Sky Trek and Selvatura, both of them have been around for a long time and offer a distinct and unique approach to their services. Other popular companies include Hanging Bridges Tour and Arenal Sky Tram.

Hiking

Hiking is probably what you’re going to be doing the most in Monteverde. Most tours and activities include at least a little hiking in their schedules. There really is no better way to experience the abundant flora and fauna of the region than by exploring the forest trails and paths that wind all through the mountains. Check out our Naure & Parks section to get better acquainted with the different types of hiking tours and trails that you can find in Monteverde.

Monteverde Institute

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5053
The Monteverde Institute describes itself as: “a non-profit educational organization dedicated to advancing knowledge on the sustainable management of resources through innovative programs linking international study and community development”. It was founded in 1986 by local and international scholars in order to study and teach issues related to sustainability and global conservation. The courses emphasize on local situations and topics and then extrapolate them into worldwide applications. Courses include: Agro-Ecology, Anthropology and Social Development, Environment & Social Justice, Community Health, Conservation Biology, EcoTourism, Land Use Planning, Spanish Language & Culture, Sustainable Development, Tropical Ecology, Water Resource Management, etc.
VIEW ON MAP

Centro Panamericano De Idiomas

Puntarenas Province, Monteverde, Costa Rica
+506 2645 5441
The CPI is a great place for anyone looking to improve their Spanish while visiting Costa Rica. This prestigious language school has been around since 1991 when it first opened in Heredia with 2 additional locations opening in the following years. Courses can be as short as just two weeks and as long as 18 weeks or more. CPI also helps you plan activities around the Monteverde area or arrange transportation if you want to relocate to another site.
VIEW ON MAP

Monteverde Music Festival

The Monteverde Music Festival takes place during the end of February and the beginning of March when the dry season and high influx of tourists combine to make the ideal conditions for such an event. Different musical groups from around the country are invited to play at the Bromelias Music Garden and Monteverde Institute. Genres mostly consist of jazz, classical and Latin music and all proceeds go towards music and arts programs in local schools. The MMF is considered one of the top yearly music events in Costa Rica and is guaranteed to be a good time for anyone who is passionate about music. Tickets are usually about $10.

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