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Monteverde – Cloud Forest, National Park
Monteverde, Costa Rica– More than just a ‘green mountain’
Monteverde is a predominantly rural community in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, situated approximately 60 miles (95 kilometers) as the macaw flies to the north west of the country’s capital city, San José. The area surrounding Monteverde is renowned as a major ecotourism destination and has been crowned by Costa Ricans as “One of the seven natural wonders of Costa Rica.” In addition, there is definitely something very special about the area as it is home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which the National Geographic has described as “the jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves.” Of course, you don’t have to take the word of the locals or the National Geographic, you can always find out for yourself!
Hotels in Monteverde, Costa Rica
- El Establo– an outstanding, family-run resort hotel set within a private 150-acre farm surrounded by misty cloud forest. Superb facilities are provided, including a bar, two restaurants and a spa, soccer, tennis and basketball courts, two indoor swimming pools and a fitness center, along with access to biking and hiking trails
- Cala Lodge – a cozy, family-oriented hotel in a serene and tranquil setting adjacent to the Children’s Eternal Forest. Enjoy the tropical gardens or go exploring along the hotel’s private trail
- Monteverde Lodge – nestling within the magical and misty primary cloud forest, this hotel has a reputation for outstanding service and is an idyllic retreat for nature lovers. Costa Rican as well as international cuisine is on offer in the restaurant, while there is a pool, sun deck and terrace for relaxing outdoors.
Click here for further details of these and other hotels in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
It can be difficult to decide, from a distance, which hotel will best meet your requirements, which is why, at Costa Rica Rios, we are here to help you. We want your vacation to be stress-free from the moment you book it, not just when you arrive, so get in touch and let us help you create the perfect vacation in one of many, many stunning locations in Costa Rica.
Restaurants in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde is very much in the heart of cloud forest and therefore a totally unspoilt rural environment. There is no ‘downtown Monteverde’ but more a collection of villages and very small towns dotted around the area. However, that does not mean you are totally devoid of somewhere to eat other than in your hotel, but you will need to take your car. We’ve come up with a small selection of what we think are great places to eat, most of which have a home-made Costa Rican or Latin flavor, with some international exceptions:
- Tramonti Restaurant– set in the cloud forest of Monteverde, this is one of the area’s most popular establishments with a fabulous wine list to accompany your meal. Enjoy fresh seafood, antipasti or pizzas in this Italian restaurant
- Stellas Bakery – a long-established haven of home-baked food, with made-to-order sandwiches, soups and other homemade delights. Open for breakfast and lunch.
- Sophias–fine dining fusion style with an elegant atmosphere created by the arched windows which afford beautiful views of the mystical forest surrounding. Try the tenderloin steak in chipotle butter!
- Flor de Vida – lives up to its name with healthy food that attracts many of the locals. A fusion of local and international cuisines will see offerings such as veggie burgers, pumpkin-almond soup and platefuls of fresh fruit.
- Morphos – open for lunch and dinner, this is a popular restaurant specializing in casados. Steaks and chicken soups and sandwiches are other tasty options.
- Tree House – be prepared for a surprise as this restaurant has a large fig tree growing up through the centre of it! The menu is Mexican influenced, but pizza and pasta dishes are also available
Things to do in Monteverde
When you arrive in Monteverde, the first thing you will want to do is stand perfectly still and just take in all that surrounds you. The sights, the smell of fresh, clean air, the sound of birds and monkeys in the encompassing forest. While your head may have been full of all the things you plan to do on your vacation, we can virtually guarantee they will all slip to the back of your mind as the beauty of this totally unspoilt natural environment will leave you in total awe and amazement. Ecotourism doesn’t get much better than this and one thing’s for sure, you’ll never be lost for things to do or sights to see.
Exploring, immersing yourself in nature, escaping from the harshness of the world most of us live in is an experience you will never forget, but will almost certainly be one you will want to experience, again and again. We have assembled a list of some of the most popular tours, mystical places and unusual locations that should all be on your ‘to do’ list:
- Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
- Discover the biodiversity of local forests with a tour which will also introduce you to local flora and fauna in the Monteverde Cloud Forest at the CuriCancha Reserve
- Open 365 days a year, whatever the weather in Monteverde, the Monteverde Butterfly Garden will mesmerize you with over 30 differentspecies of butterfly – if you thought you knew about butterflies, think again!
- Your understanding of how important bats are to the environment will change drastically after a memorable visit to The Bat Jungle
- Hop over to the Monteverde Frog Pond for an hour’s fascinating introduction to all the species of frog which inhabit the surrounding cloud forest and further afield in Costa Rica
- Take a full-day tour of the cloud forest, including the only zipline in the forest. Walk along the magnificent hanging bridges, then visit the hummingbird and butterfly gardens, with lunch included along the way
- Go for a Monteverde rainforest night walk
- Try a kinkajou night walk for something totally different
Other activities available in the area include:
- Cloud forest canopy ziplining
- Horseback riding
- Mountain biking
- Canyoning and rappelling at the San Luis Waterfall
- Eco tours
- Tarzan swings
If you want to ask any questions about any of the activities we have listed, or if you want to know if any other specific activities are available, please don’t hesitate to ask. At Costa Rica Rios, we are here to help you in any way we can.
Nightlife in Monteverde, Costa Rica
If you were a white-faced monkey, a sloth, or a toucan, the cloud forest is the ‘in place’ in Monteverde for nightlife, but for those of you on vacation, life round here is a little more sedate. For Monteverde itself, Bar Amigos is the best (and possibly the only) bar and disco in the area. Don’t be disappointed though, as this is a great place, with great food, beer, cocktails and drinks a plenty, a brilliant atmosphere and large dancefloor, with live bands performing from time to time.
La Taberna Disco Bar is just as it sounds. A popular hangout for the younger generation, live music and dance music played almost every night. Located just off the main street in Santa Elena.
Finally, there is Moon Shiva, wellknown for its Mediterranean-style food and live music, a great spot to go with friends for the evening.