My Heart Belongs in Monteverde
Monday, August 12th, 2019
If I was limited to one destination for the rest of my life, my heart would choose Monteverde, Costa Rica. There’s just nothing else quite like it. As popular as it has become, nothing prepares you for the communion with nature, the face-to-face encounters with wildlife, the boutique agriculture, the charms of upscale small-town living, the perfect cool weather even in the heart of Summer, and the non-stop eco-adventure. From the shops of Santa Elena to the slopes of the cloud forest, stepping into this world treasure is like stepping into pure joy. My heart is always at peace when I visit, I can’t wait to return, and may even call it home one day!!
By all means, visit Monteverde, but be warned…you probably will not want to leave.
Here are a few of the reasons why Monteverde is such a treat for the whole family.
Pura Vida Lifestyle!
Costa Rica is home to some of the friendliest people on earth, and the residents of Monteverde outdo themselves even by “Tico” (native Costa Rican) standards. Here you will find warm greetings, exemplary customer service, and expert advice from some of the most amazing tour guides in the industry. The Tico motto of Pura Vida! Pure life! – is made evermore poignant amid the lush hillsides of Monteverde.
On our last visit, we had the pleasure of partnering with the Pasion Costa Rica tour company for our entire journey. It was such a pure joy working with their amazing guides and exploring the natural beauty of Monteverde. They truly made this experience one of the most memorable in our entire lives. We highly suggest using their services if you find yourself in Monteverde.
A special thank you to Marcos and Susu, friends that will last a lifetime!!
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Bringing notoriety to this tiny region, the Monteverde Cloud Forest is nothing short of breathtaking. At peace with nature in the low-elevation mists, visitors can experience the majesty of the world’s largest collection of wild orchids, abundant wildlife, and stunning views. Bring your fancy camera – you won’t be disappointed.
Animals, Animals, and More Animals
Monteverde came to be known as one of the best places in the world to view the Resplendent Quetzal, a show stopping bird with dazzling coloration and plumage. However, Monteverde has many more fauna surprises than just the Quetzal. In addition to providing native habitat for over 400 bird species, a walk through the nature reserve could bring you face to face with a smiling sloth, a majestic great cat, a vocal troop of howler monkeys, a plethora of beautiful butterflies, hummingbirds and much much more.
The Original Canopy Zip Line Tour
Almost every jungle or forest park has zipline tours now, but Monteverde is actually where tree-canopy zipline tours originated. Selvatura Adventure Park and Sky Trek Zip Line by Sky Adventures Monteverde offer some of the most breathtaking zipline tours in all of Central America. This is fun for all ages and both parks connect to hanging bridge areas. Additional highlights include hummingbird habitats and tree climbing parks.
Suspension and Hanging Bridges
Suspension bridges give a different closeup of the forest canopy than a zip line tour. What’s so special about that? Well, aside from it being really fun, 90% of all organisms found in rainforests and cloud forests actually live in the canopy. Trek out to a suspension bridge and meet them! My little girls won’t stop talking about all the adventures they experienced at the hanging bridges.
Wildlife and Nature Exhibits
The many exhibits and attractions around Monteverde provides an educational perspective on the local ecology that a walk through the forest just can’t match. Use sonar microphones to listen live to bats’ echolocation chatter at the Bat Jungle. View over 40 species of snakes, reptiles, and amphibians, some of them deadly, at the Serpentarium. Visit a rainbow coalition of butterflies in the four separate chambers of the Butterfly Garden. Marvel at fourteen species of hummingbird in the Hummingbird Garden.
Monteverde’s nature reserves are world-famous with good reason. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve features spectacular hiking trails, suspension bridges, and waterfalls. The less-crowded Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve boasts spectacular views and the looming majesty of Arenal Volcano. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest reserve tends to be the least crowded. All of them are worth a visit.
Night Walk Tours
The nature reserves come alive at night with a whole different cast of characters. Tarantulas, stick bugs, coatis, tree frogs, porcupines, snakes, and many more fascinating species make their star appearances after dark. This was the true highlight for the family on our past trip. We were a little concerned going into the tour with 4 little girls but came out with future ‘Dora the Explorers’.
A huge thank you to our guide Marcos, by engaging our girls and making it a tour that they will remember forever. Our family continually looks through the Costa Rica Wildlife Guide to talk about all the animals we encountered. Since this tour, I constantly find myself going out at night, into my backyard with my flashlight, to see what creatures I can discover.
Coffee and Sugar Tours
Some of the best coffee beans and sugar cane produced in Costa Rica come right from Monteverde. Book the right tour, and you can explore the region in an ox-drawn cart – and even pick a bushel of the raw, chocolatey coffee beans that would excite any barista.
Bordering the entrance to the Monteverde Reserve, the small town of Santa Elena has much to offer visitors. Here you will find a range in culinary experiences from street food to fine dining, unique shopping, and accommodations to fit any budget. When you find yourself in Monteverde, make some time to explore this quaint and walkable village.
You probably didn’t know that Monteverde was founded by Quakers fleeing the Korean War draft, all of them dairy farmers. The famous Monteverde Cheese Factory is their legacy. The attached store sells heavenly cheese and ice cream made from locally-sourced milk. They don’t do public tours anymore, but if you ask around, you may find a local that can get you a private tour.
Monteverde is truly one of the best family friendly destinations in all of Costa Rica. Kids will create memories that will last a lifetime and beg you for their next return trip to the majestic mountains of Monteverde.
See More of Costa Rica
This alluring area of Costa Rica is a “must-see” on all travelers’ bucket lists. It is a quintessential spot to add to your itinerary for a perfect adventure throughout Costa Rica. But don’t stop there!
At Central America Journeys, we can combine your time in the cloud forest with multiple vacation experiences located throughout this diverse country. Our complete packages take care of just about everything you need to sample the best of your new surroundings, chill out, and enjoy la Pura Vida. Try the Jungle and Beach combo to get the best of worlds!
Ready to Discover
Are you ready to discover the unique beauty and diversity of Monteverde, Costa Rica? Countless adventures are located throughout the cloud forest. Let us help you craft an itinerary that encompasses your interests, passions, and quenches your wanderlust. Tell us what most intrigues you or let us make a recommendation and design an unforgettable travel experience. We are here to take the stress out of travel planning and ensure that your time abroad is spent fully enjoying your vacation, worry-free.
If your wanderlust is calling, why not start by filling in our travel enquiry form or give us a call at (877) 509-6033. We take the stress out of planning and deliver highly personalized travel packages and concierge service for individuals, families, and groups.
With an adventurous spirit,
Your friends at Central America Journeys