As you know if you are following us on Instagram the last place I traveled to (for leisure) was Costa Rica with a friend of mine. It took me quite a while to decide which place to write about, maybe I’ll write several articles about this country, we will see. Let me know below if you would like that.
Monteverde was definitely my favorite place there. I enjoyed everything about it and that’s why I chose to write about this place first, hoping that it will give you a glimpse of it and that you will want to explore it as well.
How to get to Monteverde
We left la Fortuna in the morning and chose to reach Monteverde with the jeep-boat-jeep option. Why?
- First, because we didn’t want to rent a car as it was raining season so we didn’t know how the roads will be
- Second, renting a car was quite expensive as you need a 4×4 for a lot of itineraries
- Third, it was quicker than doing the entire way by bus, if you take the bus only you’ll have to do a huge loop over the Arenal lake, with the boat you just cross it.
- Fourth, I really wanted to do a boat ride with the view on the Arenal Volcano.
The ride after crossing the lake was amazing with beautiful landscapes. You are literally in the middle of hills continuously and driving on an unpaved bumpy road. I hope you don’t have motion sickness!
Where to stay: Selina Hotel
We stayed at the same hotel chain during the entire trip. It is called Selina and the concept is amazing.
You basically have different options, you can book a shared room, a private room with a shared bathroom, a private room with your own bathroom, a private deluxe room, etc.
Every Selina has a hipster cool vibe and kitchen where you can cook your own food and also a restaurant if you don’t feel like cooking. The restaurant offers local and international dishes, vegetarian and nonvegetarian options, burgers and healthy choices.
They also provide common areas such as a co-working place, cinema room, library, and chilling areas.
As I said we stayed there everywhere we stopped, San José, La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. I would recommend them all except Manuel Antonio as it was not as well maintained as the others ones, the rooms were not as comfy and cozy and the shared bathroom definitely not as nice as the other ones either.
This chain is really starting to expand all over the world so do not hesitate to check their website if you’re looking for a new place to stay for your next trip. We talked to you about Berlin a few weeks ago, the next opening is in Berlin!
Ok let’s start to talk about Monteverde now, we arrived at the Selina hotel around
We also booked a yoga class, I forgot to mention that, but a lot of Selinas offer yoga classes for around 12$. So even though we didn’t visit anything, we still had a nice drive in the morning and really chilled afternoon but isn’t it what holidays are about too?
The next morning we were super excited, plan of the day: exploring the cloud forest in the morning, Canopy tour in the afternoon.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
The visit of the Monteverde National Park is a must if you are in the area. I recommend you to do it with a guide. We weren’t sure about this point, thinking we could do it on our own like in the Arenal National Park; and of course, you can.
However, we realized pretty quickly that exploring with somebody who has been working there for sometimes decades and knows where the animals are, will definitely allow you to see more animals. For example, male sloths barely move from the same tree during their entire life. Surely our guide knew it and spotted one straight away, we wouldn’t have seen it without him. First, because it can be anywhere, second because it was so well hidden that you still had to look at for it, and without a telescope, you couldn’t have spotted it.
He was sometimes just stopping, listening to the sounds around us, looking through his telescope and I was challenging myself: ”Come on, there must be something, look properly!” But no, he was always the first one to spot the animal. In the end, it’s always the same, it is like on a Safari in Africa, it’s you and your luck on this day. However, when you finally spotted an animal, your satisfaction and grateful feeling is much bigger than seeing them in a zoo.
Furthermore, you will learn so much about this amazing place if you’re accompanied by a guide. There is almost no information in the park so if you’re not an animal or nature expert you will miss a lot of things.
Important information :
- You can go from the Selina Hotel to the entrance of the Monteverde National Park by walk, it will take you around half an hour.
- The entrance costs US$25 and the guide is US$25 as well. Be careful, if you pay the entrance by card, taxes might be extra.
We then had to drive back to the small city of Santa Elena as our meeting point for the Canopy tour in the afternoon was there. You will find a bus driving from the National Park to the city for a really cheap price and it will take around 15min drive.
If you are looking for an authentic lunch place, I recommend you go to Raulito’s Pollo Asado. Our guide recommended it saying he usually has his lunch there too and that it was not a tourist trap. Indeed, it was nice to be with locals and the owner is super nice and friendly. The food is good, for very affordable prices, count US$5 for a full plate.
We had a bit of time ahead so we went to a coffee shop called: Café Monteverde. You can, of course, have a nice local coffee there but also, you can try different ones and learn about each one of them thanks to the very nice staff that is working there. If you’re not a coffee person don’t worry, they also have local chocolate. Both can be a nice souvenir for your loved ones back home.
Time to discover the cloud forest from above! This has been one of the moments when I was grateful to be there during the low season. We were mostly by ourselves during the entire tour. Sometimes we were hearing a few people in front or behind us, but except that it was just us and the sound of nature. It made the place so pure and magical.
While on the bridges, you will have an endless view of the forest and be able to admire every part of it.
On the ground, you might feel vulnerable when you hear some noises without knowing what it could be. At the same time, nature around is fascinating.
You also have the option to discover the cloud forest with the zip-line tour, which is built entirely inside the forest. If you want to get more info about it to check their website.
Important information :
- The entrance of the park costs US$20.
- The duration of the canopy tour is around one hour.
- A bus is driving you back to your hotel.
Event at Selina
After this long amazing day, our heads full of beautiful sceneries, we drove back to our hotel.
There was a special event this night and you could create your own pizza which was pretty cool. Perfect dinner to end up such a nice day. There was also live music of a local artist.
As I mentioned before, I really like the atmosphere of those hotels, they manage to create a cool vibe which is exactly what you are looking for while on holidays.
Costa Rica Tourism industry is really targeting an ecological way to enjoy its resources. Monteverde is a large nature conservation area and seeing people caring that much about nature and wildlife gave me some hope for the future and dream that many more countries will take the same path very soon.
Do you have any questions about Monteverde or Costa Rica in general