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Visit Monte Verde: Your Travel Guide

Things to Do in Monte Verde

Soda Bonanza
One of Monte Verde’s best-kept secrets, this authentic family-run restaurant has a true home-away-from-home feel. Santa Elena residents swear by Soda Bonanza’s warm welcome, fair prices, and traditional Costa Rican cooking. Specialties include chicken with passion fruit and fish in shrimp sauce, washed down with freshly squeezed juices or local beer.
Soda La Salvadita
Sodas are Costa Rica’s typical family-run restaurants, and Soda La Salvadita is where Monte Verde locals go for fast meals at bargain prices. Located on the outskirts of Santa Elena town, this brightly-painted soda serves up generous portions of traditional casado – a mixed plate of rice, salad, and grilled meat with plantains and beans.
Santa Elena Farmers Market
The lush hills of Monteverde are renowned for their high-quality fruit, vegetables, and cheeses. Every Saturday morning, Santa Elena’s high school gym bustles with stalls selling all kinds of local farm produce – most of it organic. On the way, you can fill up on homemade pastries and freshly roasted Costa Rican coffee.
Cafe Orchid Coffee Shop
Not content to just serve amazing Costa Rican coffee, this cozy Santa Elena cafe has a full menu that’s packed with local flavor. From breakfast omelettes and smoothies, to homemade soup and freshly baked bread, the Cafe Orchid Coffee Shop is an all-day favorite with Monteverde locals.
The Treehouse Restaurant
They weren’t kidding when they named it The Treehouse. Located in the heart of Monteverde, this three-story restaurant is built around a giant fig tree. Attracting a lively crowd of locals and visitors, it dishes up fusion cuisine and traditional Costa Rican casados – grilled meat served with rice, salad, plantains, and beans.
Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde’s Cloud Forest Reserve draws visitors from around the world, so it’s no surprise that international food is everywhere here. If you’re looking for local flavor, traditional family-run “soda” restaurants are your best bet. Meanwhile, the Monteverde Cheese Factory tour recaps the area’s Quaker-influenced dairy delights – don’t miss the fantastic homemade ice cream!
Monteverde Cloud Forest Horse Trek
Explore the beautiful Monteverde Cloud Forest in true cowboy style. On horseback, you’ll trot along rustic back roads through the picturesque mountains. As you explore the mossy, lush forest, keep an eye out for animals. If you’re lucky (and quiet), you can spot toucans and sloths hiding in the trees.
Volcan Arenal National Park
Head to the trails for a horseback-riding trek at this incredible national park – trotting along past unforgettable scenery, with a towering active volcano so close you could almost touch it. Experienced riders will soon find their stride, while newbies can build their confidence with a little help from the expert guides.
Bosque Nuboso Monteverde Natural Reserve
The lush greenery and vibrant wildlife living in Monteverde’s cloud forest make this nature reserve a must-see. A tour with Horse Trek Monteverde will take you right up to the forest's edge. Hop off and give the horses a well-earned rest while you head deeper into this mist-filled wonderland.

Traveler Reviews & Photos

Celine
10
Exceptional
Monteverde is a very quiet and nice countryside. The road from the pacific coast is really tough (!) but it’s worth it!!! We did the zip line above the conopy and we all (2 adults, 2 teens) loved it. We also went for a walk in the rainforest it was gorgeous, mild weather, beautiful nature.
Celine
United States of America
April 14, 2018
sharon
10
Exceptional
We took a guided tour of the cloud forest reserve. Would definitely recommend the guided tour because without the guide it would have been a walk in the woods. With his assistance we saw a female Quetzel and a hummingbird sitting on a nest.
sharon
United States of America
April 15, 2018
Bryony
8
Very Good
Great surroundings: cloud forest, nature, lots of wildlife can be seen just out of the town. Lots of tourists and very commercial- zip wires, tree top tours, wildlife reserves very expensive to get into. Also makes the shops, cafes and restaurants very expensive too.
Bryony
United Kingdom
April 21, 2018
Cecilia
10
Exceptional
Difficult drive but well worth it if you enjoy nature. Make sure you have a four wheel drive.
Cecilia
United States of America
April 11, 2018
Jonathan
8
Very Good
Don't like the excessive price to visit the cloud reserve!!! We like the coolness of this area
Jonathan
France
April 16, 2018

Accommodations & Hotels in Monte Verde

Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco

8 Very Good

Score from 159 reviews

$98

Average price per night
Hotel Fonda Vela

8.2 Very Good

Score from 166 reviews

$90

Average price per night
Hotel Belmar

9.1 Awesome

Score from 145 reviews

$225

Average price per night
El Establo Mountain Hotel

7.9 Good

Score from 400 reviews

$99

Average price per night
Hotel Ficus

8.4 Very Good

Score from 92 reviews

$99

Average price per night
Hotel Cipreses

8.4 Very Good

Score from 217 reviews

$67

Average price per night
Monteverde Inn

8.8 Excellent

Score from 710 reviews

$40

Average price per night
Monteverde Country Lodge

8.1 Very Good

Score from 152 reviews

$52

Average price per night
Santa Elena Hostel Resort

8 Very Good

Score from 319 reviews

$10

Average price per night
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Recommended in Monte Verde

If you're driving, the roads up to Monteverde are rugged. But that's part of the fun (if you have 4W drive). Every turn delivers another great view. The air up there is drier and cooler than lower parts of CR, so it's very comfortable. People are friendly, many coffee and chocolate farmers. The Inn is a bit outside of town, which we liked, and having a car made that easy. The beautiful views from the Inn and the nature trail (1.5 to 2 hours hike possible) made this a much more interesting place for us to stay than anything is town would have been. The owners also assist with booking adventure tours for you if you like. We did the hanging bridges in the cloud forest, which was beautiful, but we liked the trail on the Inn's property even better.

If you wish to see wild animals as never before, go for a guided night walk.

It was cool even in the peak of summer. Bring a light jacket and pants.

Black-breasted Wood-Quail, Resplendant Quetzal, Azure-hooded Jay

The fresh air, home grown produce, the freedom from pollution.

Eyes open at the hotel ficus

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