Monteverde

Monteverde

Known throughout the world for its conservation efforts and respect for nature, Monteverde receives thousands of visitors each year who come to marvel at its misty green cloud forests, cool crisp mountain air and a stunning array of plant and animal life. This privately owned reserve has been acclaimed as one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the New World Tropics.

The town of Santa Elena, located not far from Monteverde, is the area’s main service center and home to various shops and tourism companies. Other important towns in the area are San Luis and San Gerardo. Although the area’s main attraction is the Monteverde Biological Preserve, the region also features a variety of natural attractions, hiking trails, opportunities for observing diverse plant and animal life and much more.

Accommodations
The Monteverde area boasts a wide range of accommodation options that include everything from luxurious hotels to intimate and secluded mountain lodges. This area is quite popular among tourists so travelers should book early.

Activities

Owing to the area’s numerous natural attractions and rich ecology, most activities cater to natural history lovers and adventure seekers. Among the most popular choices are bird watching (this is the home of the resplendent quetzal), plant and animal observation, hiking, canopy tours – including the famous “hanging bridges”, and visiting butterfly and reptile gardens.

In addition to nature pursuits, Monteverde’s Quaker heritage adds a unique dimension to the area’s varied attractions. The Monteverde Quaker community was founded in the early 1950s when, just a few years after Costa Rica abolished its army, a dozen Quaker families from the United States traveled to this verdant mountain area and made it their home. Today, the Quakers have established a thriving cheese industry and are a nature-oriented community focused on responsible ecotourism.

Bird Watching
A haven for bird watchers, Monteverde provides refuge to innumerable bird species including the bellbird, umbrella bird, goldfinch and the dazzling and resplendent quetzal. A well-marked system of trails offers the ideal vantage point for spotting these colorful creatures.

Horseback Riding
Several hotels and mountain lodges, as well as some family-run operations, offer daily horseback-riding tours along scenic cloud forest trails, through villages and hamlets and to misty waterfalls or other natural spots.

Mountain Biking
A network of trails, ideal for mountain biking or hiking, snake their way amid mountains and lush forests to typical Costa Rican towns such as San Luis and San Gerardo, as well as to the Santa Elena and Monteverde preserves.

Treetop Adventures
Several exciting options are available for observing the diverse wildlife and fascinating activity in the treetops. Favorite among these are the Sky Walk, Sky Trek, and Natural Wonder Tram which allow visitors to explore the forest canopy from a unique and thrilling perspective. Visitors can walk over suspension bridges, glide through the canopy on zip lines anchored to platforms, or swing from the seat of an aerial tram, all the while observing several species of monkeys, birds, snakes, as well as different varieties of orchids, bromeliads, penguins, climbing plants, parasites and communities of insects and pollinators.

Photography
The diversity of plant and animal species, majestic forests and the variety of cultural, architectural and landscape possibilities, such as quaint towns and villages, make this region a popular location for picture taking.

Honeymoons
Enchanting natural attractions, friendly locals and soothing peacefulness make this region a popular destination for national and international visitors searching for the ultimate honeymoon destination.

Language, Handicraft, and Art Courses
As a complement to the area’s nature activities, art, painting, pottery, Spanish courses, and workshops are available.

Zoo Farms (insects, reptiles, and amphibians)
To learn about the area’s most famous inhabitants, visitors can experience a fascinating up-close encounter with diverse species of butterflies, numerous types of snakes and exotic frog species in specially designed gardens or zoo farms that simulate theses creature’s rich habitats.

Monteverde Music Festival
In tune with nature’s peaceful melodies, the Monteverde Music Festival showcases an eclectic mix of talented musical groups advocating music in harmony with nature. To take advantage of the sunny weather and tourist high season, the festival takes place at the beginning of each year and includes performers from all over the country.

Monteverde Coffee Tour
Includes an interesting visit to a local Cooperative’s (a group of coffee growers) coffee plantations in the community of San Luis, where visitors are shown the coffee production process and then taken to the roasting company to savor the final product.

San Luis Waterfall
A short hike through emerald forests and scenic natural beauty take visitors to San Luis Waterfall, an impressive 300-meter waterfall located near the town of San Luis.

Monteverde Cheese Factory
The Monteverde Cheese Factory tour is a dairy lover’s delight. Here visitors will have the chance to observe the cheese production process in all its aromatic details – from cow to chow! You may also sample or buy an assortment of mouth-watering cheeses, ice creams, and sweets. The factory’s hours are Monday to Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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