How to reach and main things to do in Monteverde Town of Costa Rica (PURA VIDA)

Monteverde has been my favourite place to visit in Costa Rica so far and the main reason is it's weather, demography, natural beauty, Cloud Forests and hundreds of birds around the forests. Does that sound exciting? It's a beautiful hills town with small houses spread across these hills and some of the beautiful tiny buildings we saw in Costa Rica. It's a perfect place to chill and enjoy small walks around the nature with musical compositions by range of colorful birds all around. This post shares more about planning your visit to Monteverde when you are in Costa Rica and what all you can do there to make it an awesome experience.

Monteverde has been my favourite place to visit in Costa Rica so far and the main reason is it's weather, demography, natural beauty, Cloud Forests and hundreds of birds around the forests. Does that sound exciting? It's a beautiful hills town with small houses spread across these hills and some of the beautiful tiny buildings we saw in Costa Rica. It's a perfect place to chill and enjoy small walks around the nature with musical compositions by range of colorful birds all around. This post shares more about planning your visit to Monteverde when you are in Costa Rica and what all you can do there to make it an awesome experience. 
 
Let's start with understanding different ways you can opt to reach Monteverde Town from other cities of Costa Rica like - San Jose, Liberia, Jaco, Cartago, Puntarenas, Guanacaste, Limon, Heredia etc. Commuting from one place to another within Costa Rica is quite expensive unless you chose buses but then you may need to take multiple hops depending upon your source city.

Let's start with understanding different ways you can opt to reach Monteverde Town from other cities of Costa Rica like - San Jose, Liberia, Jaco, Cartago, Puntarenas, Guanacaste, Limon, Heredia etc. Commuting from one place to another within Costa Rica is quite expensive unless you chose buses but then you may need to take multiple hops depending upon your source city. 

Since we had to travel from San Jose (capital city of Costa Rica) , it was easier for us to get direct bus and the bus terminal was very close to our hotel. Ticket cost for Monteverde from San Jose was $6 per person. We figured that buses are available to connect main towns of the country but there may be limited options. For example - there were only 2 direct buses from San Jose to Monteverde. We took the one which starts in the morning at around 7:30am and the second one starts from San Jose at around 2pm.

Since we had to travel from San Jose (capital city of Costa Rica) , it was easier for us to get direct bus and the bus terminal was very close to our hotel. Ticket cost for Monteverde from San Jose was $6 per person. We figured that buses are available to connect main towns of the country but there may be limited options. For example - there were only 2 direct buses from San Jose to Monteverde. We took the one which starts in the morning at around 7:30am and the second one starts from San Jose at around 2pm. 

Inter-City shuttles in Costa Rica : There are inter-city shuttles operated by different companies in Costa Rica, which can be booked online or through your hotels. They pick you from your hotel and drop at exact location in other city. Costs are different depending upon distance and cities you are traveling to/from. We paid $50 per person for traveling between Monteverde & Papagayo Peninsula in Liberia.

Inter-City shuttles in Costa Rica : There are inter-city shuttles operated by different companies in Costa Rica, which can be booked online or through your hotels. They pick you from your hotel and drop at exact location in other city. Costs are different depending upon distance and cities you are traveling to/from. We paid $50 per person for traveling between Monteverde & Papagayo Peninsula in Liberia. 

Some tips if you want to take shuttle :    1. Try to book through your hotel. Why? - There is a good network between hotels and shuttle companies. This relationship ensures solid plan and reliable booking. They double sure about routes, charges and timings for you. Online bookings can be uncertain at times, although not frequent. Timings for picking may also vary if you book online.     2. These are very comfortable rides to travel between cities of Costa Rica. You also get wi-fi on the shuttle, but don't have high expectation in terms of speed. Connectivity in Costa Rica is a challenge.     Other Blogpost from Costa Rica - Tour of our room at Four Seasons Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica

Some tips if you want to take shuttle :

1. Try to book through your hotel. Why? - There is a good network between hotels and shuttle companies. This relationship ensures solid plan and reliable booking. They double sure about routes, charges and timings for you. Online bookings can be uncertain at times, although not frequent. Timings for picking may also vary if you book online. 

2. These are very comfortable rides to travel between cities of Costa Rica. You also get wi-fi on the shuttle, but don't have high expectation in terms of speed. Connectivity in Costa Rica is a challenge. 


Renting a car can one of the cost effective and optimal way to roam around Costa Rica. But keep in mind that some of the stretches can be rough. For example, few kilometers around Monteverde are not very well paved. Carefully research what all kind of expenses you need to bear while renting a car in Costa Rica. Some of the dealers seem to be charging more insurance money than others.

Renting a car can one of the cost effective and optimal way to roam around Costa Rica. But keep in mind that some of the stretches can be rough. For example, few kilometers around Monteverde are not very well paved. Carefully research what all kind of expenses you need to bear while renting a car in Costa Rica. Some of the dealers seem to be charging more insurance money than others. 

Like other places, renting taxi to commuting between the cities is most expensive but can be a great option if you are a group of more than 4. The cost of Taxi is optimal in groups in comparison to shuttles and then you have flexibility of stopping the taxi on the way or taking some detours. If you intend to plan detours, make sure you talk to drive upfront while cracking a deal. Asking for it later can be a hassle and driver may not agree for any detours unless more money is added to the trip.

Like other places, renting taxi to commuting between the cities is most expensive but can be a great option if you are a group of more than 4. The cost of Taxi is optimal in groups in comparison to shuttles and then you have flexibility of stopping the taxi on the way or taking some detours. If you intend to plan detours, make sure you talk to drive upfront while cracking a deal. Asking for it later can be a hassle and driver may not agree for any detours unless more money is added to the trip. 

By now you may have figured out what would work best for you, when you plan your travel to Monteverde from other cities of Costa Rica.     Now let's talk about what all you can do in Monteverde town of Costa Rica. Before we jump onto the list of touristy things to do in Monteverde, let's make sure we know about most popular thing in Monteverde, which is Monteverde Cloud Forest.

By now you may have figured out what would work best for you, when you plan your travel to Monteverde from other cities of Costa Rica. 

Now let's talk about what all you can do in Monteverde town of Costa Rica. Before we jump onto the list of touristy things to do in Monteverde, let's make sure we know about most popular thing in Monteverde, which is Monteverde Cloud Forest. 

Don't be surprised, if after reaching Monteverde you are told about multiple cloud forests and their famous bridges. Don't get distracted and know the real one which is little away from the center of Monteverde town. This is a must visit place and especially when you love nature, birds and different kinds of forest plants/flowers.     Let's talk about how to reach Monteverde Cloud Forest and what all to expect/do there? (we will doing separate blog-post on this.)

Don't be surprised, if after reaching Monteverde you are told about multiple cloud forests and their famous bridges. Don't get distracted and know the real one which is little away from the center of Monteverde town. This is a must visit place and especially when you love nature, birds and different kinds of forest plants/flowers. 

Let's talk about how to reach Monteverde Cloud Forest and what all to expect/do there? (we will doing separate blog-post on this.)

Recommended places to stay in Monteverde?

Recommended places to stay in Monteverde? 

Other blogpost from Costa Rica - Irazu Volcano National Park - Must visit place around San Jose & Cartago cities of Costa Rica


Let's know more options to visit and explore in/around Monteverde town of Costa Rica :

Let's know more options to visit and explore in/around Monteverde town of Costa Rica :

1. Bird Watching in Monteverde, Costa Rica : If you have any interest in birds, Monteverde is best place in Costa Rica to find of birds. Even if you don't put any extra efforts you would see lot of them making beautiful sounds throughout the day. Like above Toucan came to our hotel and woke us up in the morning. For first 3 days in Costa Rica we were eagerly trying to locate Toucans or Macaws around us.

1. Bird Watching in Monteverde, Costa Rica : If you have any interest in birds, Monteverde is best place in Costa Rica to find of birds. Even if you don't put any extra efforts you would see lot of them making beautiful sounds throughout the day. Like above Toucan came to our hotel and woke us up in the morning. For first 3 days in Costa Rica we were eagerly trying to locate Toucans or Macaws around us. 

2. Do hiking around Monteverde : Weather in Monteverde is much better in comparison to other places in Costa Rica. IT's located in hilly terrains of the country and weather keeps changing. Most of the times, second of the day sees rain but we were lucky to have no rains for 3 days we were there. Anyways, pleasant weather makes it easy for anyone to walk around or plan a hike. Hike around forests of Monteverde and enjoy different waterfalls, birds, flora and fauna.     3. Visit private Frog pound (we found it costly from price standpoint)    There is a Frog museum close to Monteverde Mall or the Bus stand. While walking around the town, we entered into to figure out what exactly is inside. At reception we asked for details and I don't remembers exactly the ticket price but it was certainly more than $15 and by looking the state of the place, we were not confident what all we can see inside and we didn't feel like going inside. Somehow I also have a bias of not visiting places where wild animal/creatures are kept in not so natural setups. Gradually I am also little rappelled from zoos.

2. Do hiking around Monteverde : Weather in Monteverde is much better in comparison to other places in Costa Rica. IT's located in hilly terrains of the country and weather keeps changing. Most of the times, second of the day sees rain but we were lucky to have no rains for 3 days we were there. Anyways, pleasant weather makes it easy for anyone to walk around or plan a hike. Hike around forests of Monteverde and enjoy different waterfalls, birds, flora and fauna. 

3. Visit private Frog pound (we found it costly from price standpoint)

There is a Frog museum close to Monteverde Mall or the Bus stand. While walking around the town, we entered into to figure out what exactly is inside. At reception we asked for details and I don't remembers exactly the ticket price but it was certainly more than $15 and by looking the state of the place, we were not confident what all we can see inside and we didn't feel like going inside. Somehow I also have a bias of not visiting places where wild animal/creatures are kept in not so natural setups. Gradually I am also little rappelled from zoos. 

4. There are few Butterfly parks :    There are few butterfly parks around Monteverde but none of those were encountered by us while we walked around the town, but they were certainly nearby. So if interested, you can plan a visit and most of the hotels has pamphlets with more details of such places in Monteverde and it's surrounding.

4. There are few Butterfly parks :

There are few butterfly parks around Monteverde but none of those were encountered by us while we walked around the town, but they were certainly nearby. So if interested, you can plan a visit and most of the hotels has pamphlets with more details of such places in Monteverde and it's surrounding. 

5. Walking the Selvatura treetop suspension bridges :    Selvatura treetop suspension bridges & walk over them can be an incredible way to experience the cloud forest. There are eight suspension bridges that are connected by walking trails. This bird’s eye view opportunity is a great way to see monkeys, sloths, birds, and beautiful plant life from above. Be aware that this is the not the main Cloud Forest of Monteverde, so if you have more time you may plan to visit this one as well, but between this and the main one, I will recommend the other.     6. Night tours of forests :     Around 80 percent of the animals in Monteverde are nocturnal because of which a cloud forest night walk is an incredible way to experience the wonderful wildlife of the region - that's what was told to us but somehow it was not as appealing. It seems you will walk through the cloud forest with a professional guide who will point out all sorts of wildlife. It could have been an exciting way to explore Costa Rica Wildlife. If you experience this please leave a comment with your experience as we are curious to hear it first-hand.

5. Walking the Selvatura treetop suspension bridges :

Selvatura treetop suspension bridges & walk over them can be an incredible way to experience the cloud forest. There are eight suspension bridges that are connected by walking trails. This bird’s eye view opportunity is a great way to see monkeys, sloths, birds, and beautiful plant life from above. Be aware that this is the not the main Cloud Forest of Monteverde, so if you have more time you may plan to visit this one as well, but between this and the main one, I will recommend the other. 

6. Night tours of forests

Around 80 percent of the animals in Monteverde are nocturnal because of which a cloud forest night walk is an incredible way to experience the wonderful wildlife of the region - that's what was told to us but somehow it was not as appealing. It seems you will walk through the cloud forest with a professional guide who will point out all sorts of wildlife. It could have been an exciting way to explore Costa Rica Wildlife. If you experience this please leave a comment with your experience as we are curious to hear it first-hand. 

7. Enjoy some of the waterfalls around Monteverde :    The San Luis waterfall is located on the outskirts of the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and is one of the most popular waterfalls around Monteverde town. There are several ways to get to this 330 feet high waterfall - you can hike, ride a horse, or take a taxi to the San Luis research station and hike the final 45 minutes down. Once you make it to the waterfall, you can take a refreshing dip in the cold waterfall pool, have a picnic, or just admire the immense beauty of the falls and surrounding forest.

7. Enjoy some of the waterfalls around Monteverde :

The San Luis waterfall is located on the outskirts of the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and is one of the most popular waterfalls around Monteverde town. There are several ways to get to this 330 feet high waterfall - you can hike, ride a horse, or take a taxi to the San Luis research station and hike the final 45 minutes down. Once you make it to the waterfall, you can take a refreshing dip in the cold waterfall pool, have a picnic, or just admire the immense beauty of the falls and surrounding forest.

Please note that above waterfall photograph shows one of the waterfalls inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.  

8. Don't miss dozens of humming birds fluttering around souvenir shop close to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (It's a free entry place. )    When you visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, don't miss visiting souvenir section which is just outside the gate and on right had side. You will finds dozens of humming birds fluttering around and enjoying their meal/water.     9. More commercial stuff like : Coffee, Chocolate tours    10. Zip-lining in Costa Rica can be special experience :     Costa Rica Tourism guides claim that Zip-lining or Canopying is invented in the country and hence it's very special adventure activities which is tried by most of the tourists visiting the country. We could find these adventure station all across the country. Although we didn't try but can be worth experiencing in Costa Rica. Pura Vida !    We instead tried River tubing which was certainly as exciting experience for us.

8. Don't miss dozens of humming birds fluttering around souvenir shop close to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (It's a free entry place. )

When you visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, don't miss visiting souvenir section which is just outside the gate and on right had side. You will finds dozens of humming birds fluttering around and enjoying their meal/water. 

9. More commercial stuff like : Coffee, Chocolate tours

10. Zip-lining in Costa Rica can be special experience

Costa Rica Tourism guides claim that Zip-lining or Canopying is invented in the country and hence it's very special adventure activities which is tried by most of the tourists visiting the country. We could find these adventure station all across the country. Although we didn't try but can be worth experiencing in Costa Rica. Pura Vida !

We instead tried River tubing which was certainly as exciting experience for us. 

After all these details if I have to give my personal and strong recommendation - Monteverde is a place to walk around, appreciate natural beauty. Spend whole day or two inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, observe colourful birds around you. You will hundreds of them without much efforts. So just relax, walk and enjoy your time in the town instead of getting indulged lot of other commercial touristy activities.     Pura Vida !

After all these details if I have to give my personal and strong recommendation - Monteverde is a place to walk around, appreciate natural beauty. Spend whole day or two inside Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, observe colourful birds around you. You will hundreds of them without much efforts. So just relax, walk and enjoy your time in the town instead of getting indulged lot of other commercial touristy activities. 

Pura Vida !

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