Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde Map

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Welcome to the Monteverde region of Costa Rica, found to the northwest of San Jose, and south of Arenal Volcano. The area is most famous for being home to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, but also includes the smaller Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve.

The region is known for chilly and misty weather due to its high altitude, which can be a welcome change from the warmer, lower regions. Be sure to bring warm clothing and dress in layers for maximum comfort.

History & Culture

Much of this area maintains a traditional charm, and features delightful people and breathtaking scenery. In addition to the stunning cloud forests, the area is also known for delicious cheese. La Lecheria is the local cheese factory which produces 13 different varieties of cheese.

Santa Elena is the largest village found here and features a number of accommodations and amenities for the road-weary traveler. The smaller adjacent community of Monteverde was founded by Quakers that migrated from North America in the 1950's.

Lodging & Dining

The hotels in this region are designed to fit right in with the lush mountain surroundings and feature stunning vistas. El Sapo Dorado, El Establo, and Hidden Canopy, Fonda Vela offer a number of different lodging options including spacious suites.

For rustic lodging with comfortable accommodations, try Hotel Heliconia, Hotel Belmar, Hotel Montaña, Hotel Poco a Poco, or Trapp Family Lodge for an unforgettable vacation experience.

For a tasty cup of java and a delicious sweet treat, try Stella's Bakery located across from CASEM, the shop featuring works from local artisans. Morphos, in Santa Elena, is a popular choice among locals and backpackers. The restaurant features tasty, healthy options as well as vegetarian fare.


This region is full of attractions and will thrill nature lovers. Be sure to visit both of the region's cloud forests, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and Santa Elena Reserve. The latter is smaller, but also somewhat less crowded. Additionally, the area features snake and frog farms, where you'll observe several local species of both animals, as well as a butterfly farm, bat jungle, and orchid farm.

Thrill-seekers will find their fix with canopy tours and suspension bridge tours which are great ways to get up close to the jungle canopy. Try a scenic horseback ride, or slow down and spend the day shopping for local handmade crafts.

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