Monteverde's Cloud Forests are certainly the area's highlights, but many visitors are surprised to discover there's more than one. Plus, you can experience these misty jungle and wildlife hubs in many different ways. Besides hiking through the forests, opt to visit the unique ecosystems via Latin America's longest zip line, on horseback, or with nighttime wildlife excursions. Monteverde is also a birding paradise and home to coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane farms.

Getting Oriented

The lush jungles of Monteverde.

Monteverde is known for its Cloud Forest Biological Nature Preserve and as the inventor of the zip line. Combine these two elements of heritage by zip-lining through the cloud forest! You can also trek and ride horses through the jungle, stopping to view wildlife or join other travelers in one of the best birding regions in Costa Rica and the world.

You'll find Monteverde in northwestern Costa Rica, where dense rainforests meet rich agricultural lands. Visit coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane plantations while learning how people coexist with such biodiversity. After exploring the region's natural beauty, eating delicious food in Monteverde, and chatting with locals, you'll quickly learn why this is one of the most popular regions in Costa Rica.

Explore the Cloud Forest

Even if you know little about Costa Rica, there's still a chance you've heard about the country's famous cloud forests. You'll find two of the most popular in Monteverde, and both offer exceptional hiking, birding, and wildlife viewing. 

Cloud Forest Reserve Hike

Walk high above the jungle canopy in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest.

Although the Monteverde Cloud Forest is a big tourist attraction that draws large crowds, its nearby little sibling, Santa Elena Cloud Forest, is just as beautiful and features fewer tourists. As you walk through the forest with a trained naturalist, you'll view plenty of wildlife. Animals that you may see include pumas, jaguarundi,  jaguar, spider monkeys, sloths, bright red poison dart frogs, and tarantulas. Read More

Birdwatching in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Don't miss one of Costa Rica's best ecosystems for birding, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve is known for its abundance of wildlife, but it's also a popular destination for birders from around the world. Many come to the reserve in hopes of seeing the resplendent quetzal, but you can also observe the highland tinamou, Chiriqui quail-dove, black-breasted wood quail, grey-throated leaf tosser, and some 30 species of hummingbirds. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned birder, this private tour will be tailored to your experience and interests. Read More

Plan your trip to Costa Rica
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Adventurous Monteverde

Because this is still Costa Rica, you can combine exploring the region's serene nature with a bit of adventure. Costa Rica is the inventor of the zip line, and Monteverde is where you'll find Latin America's longest network of this thrilling sport. So enjoy flying through the jungle above the treetops! But for those who like staying on the ground, opt for a night hike searching for nocturnal animals.

Zip Line Adventures

Soar above the treetops via the longest zip line cable in Latin America!

Costa Rica is the country that invented the zip line, and Monteverde is home to the longest zip line cable in Latin America, at 5,216 feet long. After hiking through the scenic forest, you'll reach the start of the zip line and begin your descent down the hills via a series of cables. For a bit more adventure, opt to take some sections "superman" style, where you're strapped onto the cable from your back! Read More

Wildlife Refuge Night Tour

Say goodnight to the daytime animals and search for those that come out at night.

The Children's Eternal Forest offers unique wildlife experiences day and night. Enjoy a night hike tour when many nocturnal animals wake to wander through the forest. You may observe creatures, such as sloths, armadillos, and kinkajous, plus agoutis, porcupines, gray foxes, tarantulas, and frogs. Read More

Cultural Experiences

Monteverde is well-rounded with its experiences. Besides idyllic rainforests and a few adventures, you can also enjoy some cultural moments. Learn about the country's crops, including coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane, with visits to local plantations and horseback rides through agricultural heartlands.

Coffee, Chocolate, & Sugar Cane Tour

Discover the traditional and modern processes of making Costa Rican coffee.

Discover the economic and cultural importance of Costa Rica's coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane crops. You'll start with a visit to the Don Juan Coffee Plantation, where you'll observe the entire process from start to finish: seed to plant to fruit, plus the extraction, washing, drying, aging, and roasting processes. Next, head to a local chocolate processing plant for a tasty tour and end the day learning how to extract sugar cane juice. Read More

Horseback Riding

Ride along rivers and through Monteverde's beautiful agricultural countryside.

Enjoy a horseback riding adventure through Monteverde's agricultural heartland, where you'll learn about the area's traditional crops, including sugar cane, coffee, and bananas. You'll also have the opportunity to see some wildlife, including sloths and toucans. After riding along a refreshing river, stop to picnic lunch at a secluded clearing. Then, on your way back to the ranch, stop for a beer with the locals. Read More

How to Craft the Perfect Monteverde Itinerary

Just one of the many misty forest scenes in Monteverde.

Monteverde is just northwest of San Jose, so it's easily accessible from the country's capital and combines well with other nearby regions, including Arenal/La Fortuna, the Nicoya Peninsula, and the Gulf of Papagayo. So how many days should you spend in Monteverde? You really only need a couple of days to enjoy the nature and culture of the area. But you might want to stay longer to enjoy some of the area's unique lodgings, including cozy boutique hotels and luxury accommodation. There are also plenty of comfortable standard hotels for the budget-minded.

Many travelers also opt to add Monteverde to a much longer itinerary throughout the country. How many days you spend n Costa Rica as a whole depends on how much you plan to see and do. If you'd like to stick to just the northern regions, give yourself one week. If you'd like to combine some areas in central or southern Costa Rica, such as Manuel Antonio, the Osa Peninsula, or Talamanca, strive for at least two weeks in Costa Rica.

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences in Monteverde: