We arrived a few days ago in Costa Rica after spending a few days in Panama City, Panama. We decided that San Jose wasn’t for us after two days there, so we jumped on a local bus and headed up north to Monteverde!
Monteverde is situated in the northwestern part of Costa Rica and is one of the best and more popular tourist destinations in the country.
The literal translation of “Monteverde” is Green Mountain. More commonly referred to as the cloud forest, Monteverde is home to a massive amount of birds and other wildlife.
Despite the fact that Monteverde is a pretty small town, it packs a huge amount of activities. This ensures that you’ll be a long time here before you exhaust all your options.
Two of the main attractions here are Zip-lining and Bungee jumping. However, there’s also wildlife excursions, bird watching, buggy ATV tours along with coffee, chocolate and sugar cane tours.
While there are many things to do in Monteverde Costa Rica, I’m personally not fond of naked heights, but the idea of zip-lining or bungee jumping was totally out of the question for me, and Florence didn’t want to do the zip-lining on her own.
In the end, we did a few tours and activities during our four days here.
Things To Do In Monteverde Costa Rica
ATV Buggy Tour
We’ve been on Quad bikes in Egypt, Uganda and Turkey in the past but we never tried a Buggy before, so we decided to check that out instead. We went with guys at Monteverde Extremo who showed us how the buggy operated (super easy).
The tour itself was 3 hours in total and we followed behind our guide as we explored some of the countryside as well as tackled some more challenging terrain in certain parts.
One thing is certain, I felt a lot more confident and in control driving a buggy than a quad bike. 🙂
Coffee, Chocolate and Sugar Cane Tour
We never did a proper coffee tour before and it was something we’ve wanted to do for a while. So we signed up for a 3 n 1 tour at the famous Don Juan coffee plantation.
When we hopped out of our bus after a 15 min drive up into the mountains surrounding Monteverde, we were greeted by Don Juan himself! He is an 82-year-old chap and the proud father of 9 children and 20+ grandkids! Our tour guide asked us if we’d like a photo taken with the Don, to which Florence happily obliged; as did a few others who joined us on the tour.
The actual tour was mainly focused on the coffee production side of things and it was extremely interesting to learn about the life cycle of coffee from how it’s picked, processed and roasted.
The total life cycle from start to finish is 5 years.
The second part of the tour was split between the sugar cane and chocolate production, both equally entertaining to learn about.
In total, the tour was about 2 hours long and it was excellent value for money. (USD $35 per person). That includes samples from all 3 plantations.
As mentioned earlier, zip-lining isn’t something I’d be able to stomach, so we decided the visit the hanging bridges in Selvatura Park instead.
As you can see from the photos, there’s nothing extreme or dangerous about these bridges.
If it was cloudy then the photos would have looked a lot more dramatic. In total, the walk is about 2 miles in length and there are 8 hanging bridges (in various heights/lengths) to walk across.
Hotel Las Orquideas
After a hot, sticky 5 hour bus journey from San Jose to Monteverde we wanted a nice, clean and comfortable hotel to chill out in for the few days. We did our research and found that Hotel Las Orquideas was the perfect balance for what we were looking for.
The owner, Cristian was very accommodating as were all his staff and the room was impeccably clean. The bed had a memory mattress which was a welcome addition. Hot water showers were available 24/7 – which we’ve come to learn isn’t a guarantee everywhere in central America.
Our room looked out at the Tilaran mountain range where the cloud forest reserves are situated which provided stunning views during the morning and crazy high winds at night. It all made for a very cozy experience at the hotel.
Breakfast is included in the price of the room and consisted of eggs, bacon, fruit salads, rice, beans, toast, tea and coffee. More than adequate the get you started for the day exploring Monteverde.
If you’re coming to Monteverde and you’re looking for somewhere affordable to stay for a few days, we think Hotel Las Orquideas is perfect. They can be easily contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many things to do in Monteverde, so we suggest to do your own research before you arrive and see what you’d be interested in doing. I know most tourists come here for the zip-lining and bungee jumping, but there are so many other things to experience as well.
One thing to bear in mind is that Costa Rica, in general, is a lot more expensive than the other central American countries. You will need to factor that into your budget obviously.
If you’re looking for more info about Monteverde, then check out the Costa Rica highlight reel on our Instagram page.