A guide to Monteverde
Aktualisiert: 28. Mai 2019
The Monteverde region in the north of Costa Rica in the provinces of Puntarenas and Guanacaste is one of the most visited areas of the country. But what´s the specialty of this region? The forrest Monteverde are around 1500 metres above sea level and the weather is normally rainy, foggy and cooler, compared to other parts of the country. Of course, there is a rainy and dry season, but it rains also during the dry months (November to May). This is also the reason, why the whole area is so green and rich of pants. Up in the forests around the town Santa Elena, it´s often foggy, rainy and a rain jacket is a must-have.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the “Hakuna Matata Guest House” in Santa Elena, where basically all the hostels, hotels and apartments are. This hostel has not even been one year old when we arrived but I highly recommend it, if you travel on a lower budget. We booked a room in the main house with a shared bathroom and breakfast. The breakfast usually started at 7, but it was also possible to eat later. We got every day a small bowl of fruits and pancakes or scrambled eggs with toast. There was also free coffee and tea bags available all day long. For dinner, we used to cook something in the shared kitchen, where we also met other travellers and where we also used to relax after our hikes.
What to do?
Monteverde is an outdoor region. All the activities there involve forests and nature, which you explore by hiking or swinging through the trees. Moreover, a lot of adrenaline sport has developed there in the past, but paying 50$ or more for it is another thing.
On our first day we did a “budget hike” for free up to Cerros Amigos. To go there, we firstly followed the street, to the Monteverde Cloud forest for approximately 2 kilometres and then turned to the left at a gas station, called “Servicentro Monteverde”. We continued walking up to the Belmar Hotel and there the trail started going upwards nearly all the time for approximately two hours. Up on the mountain, you find a radar station or something looking like it. There is also a beautiful viewing point from where you have impressive views at the nature around you. It might also be cold and chilly up there so take a rain jacket with you, just in case.
The suspension bridges in the “Selvature Adventure Park” are a Monteverde classic but regardless beautiful. We took a shuttle bus to them at around 8 and in the morning. At this time, you can enjoy the rain forest more or less alone, before all the tourists arrive. The whole trail consists of 8 bridges and is 3 kilometres long. The entry costs 35$, which is obviously a lot but it´s worth it. During my stay it was drizzling practically all the time which fitted perfectly to the surrounding. After the walk through the forest, we decided to go back to Santa Elena by feet. We just followed the street and I don´t think that there is usually a lot of traffic. At the left and the right site of the around the road are plants and trees and we were mostly alone. The most interesting parts was “crossing the magic weather-line”, where the rain stopped and the sun started coming out. Near Santa Elena, some strangers and I also spotted a beautiful snake in the grass next to the street and a nice American lent me his 100mm lens.
Another reservation in this area is the “Reserva biológica Bosque Nubosa Monteverde”. It´s about five kilometres away from Santa Elena. There are various hikes and the guard at the cash desk explained the most famous route around it to me which is 6 kilometres long and shows you its most interesting sites. The trail firstly went through the forest and the went up to various viewing points, from which you would have had a view around the region but it was too foggy. From here you start going down and come to a bridge through the forest but crossing it is not necessary. Near the exit you also have a small waterfall where some tourists used to take selfies during my visit. You can go there by shuttle bus or walk by feet. Each direction of the trail measures 5 kilometre and it´s not very special but neither ugly or very crowded by cars. Halfway through the walk there is also a dairy, which sells ice cream so walking also has it perks.
One of the sights of Santa Elena is its Orchid garden right in the centre. The area is not very big but very beautiful and a tour through it is included in the ticket price of 12$. Of course, you can also walk through the garden on your own. In both cases, you get a magnifier to also get a look at the smallest orchids, which are sometimes at the downside of a leaf.
My favourite place in Monteverde, was a small viewing platform near the “Servicentro Monteverde”. There is just enough space for two benches but you can enjoy the most amazing sunsets and eat your dinner there. If you are lucky there`s also a rainbow.
Visiting Monteverde is a must do in Costa Rica and not the most special idea on earth, but always a good one.