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13 Best Things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica

South America

13 Best Things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica

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13 Best Things to do in Monteverde’s Stunning Cloud Forest

Monteverde, Costa Rica is a small town situated in the Tilarán Mountains, which is a must-visit destination for all nature lovers. This beautiful town is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna, lush green forests, and stunning natural beauty. Here are some of the top things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica that you should definitely add to your bucket list.

The history of Monteverde is also fascinating. The town was founded in the 1950s by a group of Quakers from the United States. 

The Quakers were looking for a peaceful place to live, away from the violence and war of the world. 

They found Monteverde, which was then a remote and inaccessible area, and decided to make it their home. They established a dairy farm, which later became the Monteverde Cheese Factory, and they also founded the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Today, the town is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.

13 Things to Do in Monteverde, Costa Rica

hanging bridge in green lush forest in monteverde Costa Rica- top things to do in. monteverde Costa Rica
Exploring the hanging bridge in Monteverde Cloud Forest

1. Explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the top attractions in Monteverde, and for a good reason. Located high in the lush tropical rainforest, this incredible reserve offers plenty of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was established in 1972 as one of the first protected areas in Costa Rica. Although it has been around for more than 40 years, the area still offers an active and thriving ecosystem with plenty of opportunities to explore.

The reserve is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna, including more than 2,500 species of plants, 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, and 120 species of reptiles and amphibians. 

Visitors can explore the reserve on a guided tour or take a self-guided hike to see the stunning natural beauty of the forest.

The reserve is home to the world’s largest population of the resplendent quetzal bird, which is considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world.

The best time to visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is during the dry season (January – April). During this time, visitors can enjoy clear skies with lots of sunshine and cool temperatures. The rainy months are from May – December but don’t let that discourage you as it’s still a wonderful experience visiting Monteverde.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a paid experience to enter.  You also have the ability to take a tour.

For a fee, visitors can choose from guided birding, canopy walking, or night hikes in the jungle (all offered with English speaking guides). 

 Visitors can explore one of the many trails that offer a unique view of the reserve; go on a nature walk and learn about the flora, fauna, and wildlife in the area; or take a stroll along the hanging bridges.

For more information be sure to visit the official Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve website.

2. Take a Zip Line Tour

man zip lining above a lush green forest in monteverde Costa Rica- top things to do in monte verde Costa Rica
Zip lining is a top thing to do when visiting Monteverde, Costa Rica

For those who want a more thrilling experience, a zip line tour is a must-do in Monteverde. Visitors can take a zip line tour through the canopy of the cloud forest, soaring above the treetops for an unforgettable adventure. Some of the top zip line tours in Monteverde include Selvatura Park, Sky Adventures Monteverde Park, and Aventura Canopy Tour.

Ziplining in Monteverde, Costa Rica is an incredible adventure that has been captivating thrill-seekers from around the world for decades. 

Located in the cloud forest of Costa Rica’s northwestern province of Puntarenas, Monteverde is a must-visit destination for those looking for unique and memorable experiences.

Ziplining first became popular in Monteverde in the mid-1990s, when a few brave entrepreneurs decided to capitalize on the area’s natural beauty and abundance of jungle canopies. By harnessing their courage and ingenuity, these pioneers created one of the world’s most exhilarating aerial experiences.

Today, there are up to 11 zipline courses in Monteverde, depending on your tour operator, and these courses range from beginner to advanced.

Each of the ziplines offers a unique and thrilling experience, with some as long as 1,590 meters (5,220 feet)!

The longest zipline course will take you soaring above the treetops at speeds of up to 64km/h (40 mph). From the highest points, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the lush Monteverde landscape and its incredible array of wildlife.

When it comes to ziplining in Monteverde, the best time of year is from December to April. This is when you’ll find the most comfortable temperatures and dry weather, making it the ideal time to take a zipline adventure. It’s also best to plan your visit during the weekdays, as weekends attract larger crowds and longer waiting times.

The cost of ziplining in Monteverde varies depending on the tour operator and the package you choose. Most operators provide all the necessary equipment and offer discounts when you book multiple ziplining runs.

Experience the adventure of a lifetime with ziplining in Monteverde, Costa Rica!

3. Take a Night Tour

Monteverde, Costa Rica is a place where the natural beauty and wonder of the world come together. One of the best ways to experience this beauty is through a night tour of the forest. The night tour is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Monteverde, especially for those interested in nocturnal animals.

Monteverde is home to a wide variety of nocturnal animals such as bats, frogs, owls, and many others. A night tour offers an incredible opportunity to see these creatures up close and personal. A knowledgeable guide will take you through the forest and point out these animals along the way. The guides are experts in the field and will provide fascinating insights into the behavior and ecology of these animals.

The best month to go on a night tour in Monteverde is from December to April. This is the dry season in Costa Rica, which means there is less rainfall and the weather is more predictable. 

It is also easier to spot animals during this time as the forest is less dense. The best day of the week to go on a night tour is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. These days are less crowded, which means there are fewer people on the tour, and the animals are less likely to be disturbed.

One of the most unique and exciting things about a night tour in Monteverde is the chance to see the famous Resplendent Quetzal.

The Quetzal is a rare bird that is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It is known for its bright green and red feathers, and it is the national bird of Guatemala. 

The Quetzal is a shy bird, and it is rare to see it during the day. However, during the night tour, there is a chance to spot it as it comes out to feed on fruits and berries. You have a better chance to see this bird in the months of february to july.

A night tour in Monteverde is an unforgettable experience and the best time to go is during the dry season.

Here is our top pick for a night tour through Monteverde Cloud Forest.

4. Take a Coffee Tour

Monteverde, Costa Rica is known for its lush forests and natural beauty, but it’s also home to some of the best coffee in the world. If you’re a coffee lover, then taking any of the many coffee tours in Monteverde is a must-do activity.

Coffee tour takes visitors through the process of making coffee, from the picking of the beans to the roasting and packaging of the finished product. These tours provides a unique opportunity to learn about the history and culture of coffee in Costa Rica, as well as the science behind growing and roasting the beans.

In addition to learning about the process of making coffee, visitors to Monteverde can also learn about the history of coffee in Costa Rica. Coffee has played an important role in the country’s economy and culture for over 200 years. Coffee was first introduced to Costa Rica in the late 18th century, and it quickly became one of the country’s most important exports. Today, coffee is still an important part of Costa Rican culture, and it’s not uncommon to see people drinking coffee throughout the day.

Another unique aspect of the coffee tour in Monteverde is the opportunity to taste the coffee. Visitors can sample different types of coffee and learn about the different flavors and aromas that come from different types of beans and roasting methods. It’s a great way to experience the rich and complex flavors of Costa Rican coffee.

The coffee tour is a paid attraction, and the cost varies depending on the tour company and the length of the tour.

The best month to go on a coffee tour in Monteverde is from December to April. This is the dry season in Costa Rica, which means the weather is more predictable and the roads are easier to navigate. 

The best day of the week to go is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, as these days are generally less crowded.

Taking a coffee tour in Monteverde is a fantastic way to learn about the culture and history of coffee in Costa Rica. Whether you’re a coffee lover or just interested in learning something new, the coffee tour is an experience that you won’t want to miss.

5. Take a Horseback Riding Tour

close up of horse head- brown horse with white going down the eyes and nose- top things to do in monteverde Costa Rica
Horseback riding at Monteverde is a must for visitors

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience in Monteverde, Costa Rica, a horseback riding tour is a great option. This is a great way to explore the beautiful countryside and see some of the local wildlife up close.

In addition to the scenery, horseback riding tours in Monteverde offer a chance to see a variety of wildlife up close. Visitors may spot howler monkeys, sloths, and a variety of birds as they ride through the countryside.

The history of horseback riding in Costa Rica is also interesting. Horses were introduced to the country in the early 16th century by Spanish conquistadors. Over time, horses became an integral part of the culture and economy of Costa Rica, particularly in rural areas where they were used for transportation and agricultural work.

One unique aspect of horseback riding tours in Monteverde is the opportunity to learn about the local flora and fauna. The guides on the tour are typically knowledgeable about the local environment and can point out interesting plants and animals along the way.

Horseback riding tours in Monteverde are generally paid activities, with prices varying depending on the length of the tour and the tour company.

The best time to go on a horseback riding tour in Monteverde is during the dry season, which is from December to April. During this time, the weather is more predictable, and the trails are easier to navigate. The best day of the week to go is Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, as these days are generally less crowded.

a horseback riding tour in Monteverde is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the countryside and see some of the local wildlife up close. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, there is a tour available for you.

6. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon ride is a must-do activity.

The tours often include views of the surrounding forests, mountains, and even the Gulf of Nicoya. It is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Monteverde from a different perspective.

This is a great way to see the stunning beauty of the area from a new perspective and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Hot air balloon rides in Monteverde are generally paid activities, with prices varying depending on the length of the ride and the tour company. 

The best time to go on a hot air balloon ride in Monteverde is during the dry season, which is from December to April. During this time, the weather is more predictable, and the views are clearer. The best day of the week to go is Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, as these days are generally less crowded.

In addition to the stunning views, hot air balloon rides in Monteverde offer a unique and peaceful experience. Visitors can relax and enjoy the ride as they float over the beautiful countryside and spot wildlife from above.

One unique aspect of hot air balloon rides in Monteverde is the opportunity to see the sunrise or sunset from above. This provides a stunning and unforgettable view of the area and creates a truly special experience.

7. Visit the Butterfly Garden

beautiful moth butterfly on a yellow flower against a lush green background
A butterfly feeding on a flower

Monteverde, Costa Rica is home to one of the most incredible natural attractions in Central America and beyond: the Selvatura Butterfly Garden.  This biodiverse paradise is located on a stunning private farm near Santa Elena and offers visitors an unforgettable experience in which they can observe some of the world’s most vibrant butterflies from up close and personal.

This beautiful garden is home to more than 30 species of butterflies, and visitors can walk through the enclosed garden.

At Butterfly Garden, visitors can expect to see hundreds of stunning species from all around the world – including a variety of tropical butterflies, moths, and other fascinating creatures. 

You’ll have plenty of time to take photos and observe these incredible creatures as you wander through the trails and gardens, or even watch them flittering around you at close range.

The Butterfly Garden is also a great source of educational opportunities. Visitors can learn about the life cycle of each butterfly species and discover how they interact with their environment. They also offer special talks and events throughout the year, giving guests an even better opportunity to gain insight into these amazing creatures.

 There is a gift shop where visitors can buy souvenirs.

For those who would like to deepen their experience, there are several paid tours available. Prices vary depending on the length and type of tour that you choose. Visit the official website for more information.

8. Visit the Monteverde Cheese Factory

The Monteverde Cheese Factory is a unique attraction in Monteverde, where visitors can learn about the process of cheese making and taste some of the delicious cheeses made on site. 

Visiting the Monteverde Cheese Factory in Monteverde, Costa Rica is an absolute must for any foodie looking for a unique experience. For the past 40 years, this family-run cheese factory has been producing some of the most delicious cheeses in Central America. Not only can you sample some of their creations while visiting, but also get an inside look into the art of cheese-making, from watching the process to learning all about the different varieties. 

The factory used to offer guided tours but no longer does so.  Visitors can purchase cheese to take home.

The best time to visit the Monteverde Cheese Factory is during the months of May through October, when production and tours are in full swing. 

Admission to the factory  is paid. Guests can learn all about the traditional methods used to create their famous cheeses through a video presentation the factory offers.

9. Visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden

close up of pink orchid against a green background- top things to do in monteverde Costa Rica is to visit the orchid gallery
Orchids are beautiful at the Monteverde Orchid Gallery

The Monteverde Orchid Garden is a beautiful destination for all flower lovers. This garden is home to more than 450 species of orchids, as well as other plants and flowers. 

Monteverde, Costa Rica is home to a variety of natural wonders, including the Monteverde Orchid Garden. If you’re planning a visit to Monteverde, make sure to add a visit to the Orchid Garden to your list of things to do.

The Monteverde Orchid Garden is home to a vast collection of orchids, which are some of the most beautiful and exotic flowers in the world.

The history of the Monteverde Orchid Garden is also interesting. The garden was established in 1991 by a group of orchid enthusiasts who wanted to create a place where people could learn about and appreciate these beautiful flowers. The garden has since grown in size and popularity, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Visitors to the garden can take a self-guided tour, or they can choose to take a guided tour with one of the garden’s knowledgeable experts and this is included in the entrance price. The guided tour provides more in-depth information about the orchids, including their scientific names, growing habits, and uses in traditional medicine.

The Monteverde Orchid Garden is a paid attraction.

The best time to visit the Monteverde Orchid Garden is during the dry season, which is from December to April. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the orchids are in full bloom. 

The best day to go is Monday, as it is generally less crowded than other days of the week.

To learn more about the Monteverde Orchid Garden, visit their official website.

10.Visit the Hummingbird Gallery

single juvenile gray hummingbird against a blurred background
The Hummingbird Gallery showcases a variety of hummingbirds

Monteverde, Costa Rica is home to a diverse array of wildlife, but perhaps none more captivating than the hummingbirds. These small, colorful birds are a sight to behold, and visitors to Monteverde have the opportunity to see them up close at the Hummingbird Gallery.

The Hummingbird Gallery is located right outside of the entrance to the monteverde cloud forest. 

Visitors can take their time exploring the gallery and watching the hummingbirds as they feed on nectar. 

The best time to visit the Hummingbird Gallery is during the dry season, which is from December to April. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the hummingbirds are more active. The best day to go is Monday or Tuesday, as these days are generally less crowded.

The  Hummingbird Gallery has a small cafe and gift shop where visitors can purchase items to help support the hummingbirds.

More information about the Hummingbird Gallery can be found on their website.

11. Hike to the Monteverde Waterfall

Monteverde, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise, with countless opportunities to explore the natural beauty of the area. One of the most breathtaking experiences is hiking to the Monteverde Waterfalls. 

There are several waterfalls that are worth the hike, but it also depends on how much time you have and how advanced you want the hike to be.

The Monteverde Waterfal, or the Catarata los Murcielagos,  is a stunning natural attraction that is well worth the hike to get there. 

The waterfall is located in the middle of the forest, and visitors can hike to the base of the waterfall to see it up close. The hike is a bit challenging, but the stunning views of the waterfall and the surrounding forest make it all worth it.

The Monteverde Waterfall is a paid attraction as it is located on private land.  It takes about 20 minutes to get there, but parking is sparse so its best to get there early.

The history of the Monteverde Waterfall is also fascinating. The waterfall is located on private land, and the owners have worked hard to preserve the natural beauty of the area while also making it accessible to visitors. The owners have also implemented sustainable practices to protect the environment.

El Tigre Waterfalls takes about 3 hours to hike to, with a distance of about 3.2 miles.  This is an amazing hike as it takes place across hanging bridges, lush forests and dirt paths.

One unique aspect of the the El Tigre Waterfall Hike is the opportunity to swim in the natural pool at the base of the waterfall. The water is cool and refreshing, making it the perfect spot to cool off after a long hike.

The best time to hike to any of the Monteverde waterfalls is during the dry season, which is from December to April. During this time, the weather is more predictable, and the trail is easier to navigate. The best day to go is Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, as these days are generally less crowded.

In addition to the waterfall, the hike to the Monteverde Waterfall offers stunning views of the surrounding cloud forest. Visitors can also spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and toucans.

12. Visit the Monteverde Bat Jungle

The Monteverde Bat Jungle is a unique attraction that is perfect for visitors of all ages. This indoor exhibit is home to 8 species to nearly 90 bats, and visitors can see the bats up close in their natural habitat. The exhibit also has informational displays that provide information about the behavior and ecology of bats.

The exhibit was established in 2006 by a group of biologists and conservationists who wanted to educate the public about the importance of bats. The exhibit is designed to showcase the unique features and behaviors of bats, as well as the role they play in pollination and pest control.

One unique aspect of the Monteverde Bat Jungle is the opportunity to see the bats up close. Visitors can observe the bats in their natural habitat, and learn about their behavior and anatomy from the knowledgeable staff. There is also a live feeding demonstration, where visitors can watch the bats eat their evening meal.

The Monteverde Bat Jungle is a paid attraction. 

The best time to visit the Monteverde Bat Jungle is during the dry season, which is from December to April. During this time, the weather is more predictable, and the roads are easier to navigate. The best day to go is Wednesday or Thursday, as these days are generally less crowded.

A visit to the Monteverde Bat Jungle is an educational and eye-opening experience that offers a unique perspective on the world of bats. Whether you’re a bat enthusiast or simply interested in learning something new, the exhibit is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Monteverde.

13. Visit the Monteverde Frog Pond

The Monteverde Frog Pond is a unique destination where visitors can see some of the most colorful and unique frogs in the world. The pond is home to more than 25 species of frogs, including the famous red-eyed tree frog. Visitors can take a guided tour of the pond to see the frogs up close and learn about their behavior and ecology.

The Monteverde Frog Pond is a paid attraction. Visitors can explore on their own.  It is a good idea to come after dark as this is when the frogs are most active, however this depends on the season and what time the attraction closes. 

The best day of the week to go is Monday or Tuesday, as these days are generally less crowded.

The history of the Monteverde Frog Pond is also interesting. The pond was established in the early 1990s by a group of biologists who were studying the behavior of frogs. They set up a pond and created a habitat that mimics the natural environment of the frogs. The pond has since become a popular attraction for visitors to Monteverde.

Final Thoughts: Things to Do in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde, Costa Rica is an incredible destination that offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy. As a nature lover or adventure seeker, zip lining, horseback riding or night tours are an ideal way to experience the area.

These 15 must-do activities are sure to make your visit to Monteverde a memorable one. 

With stunning views, unique wildlife, and a rich history and culture, Monteverde is a destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.

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