Vibrant birdlife, aerial thrills, delicious coffee, and chocolate are just a few highlights that await you on this exciting four-day journey around the Monteverde Cloud Forest. In addition to guided nature hikes, this well-rounded itinerary features a bird-watching tour, an excursion on horseback, a tour of a coffee farm, a visit to a chocolate processing center, and an exhilarating zip line adventure through the rainforest.


  • Hike around the Monteverde Cloud Forest on a guided nature tour
  • Zip line through the jungle on an aerial canopy tour
  • Spot rare birds and three kinds of monkeys in the wild
  • Learn about coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane on a gourmet tour

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José & Transfer to Monteverde Monteverde
Day 2 Tour Monteverde Cloud Forest & Sky Adventures Park Monteverde
Day 3 Enjoy Birdwatching & Horseback Riding in the Cloud Forest Monteverde
Day 4 Enjoy a Coffee & Cocoa Bean Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in San José & Transfer to Monteverde

You can spot red-eyed tree frogs at night.
Spot red-eyed tree frogs at night

Welcome to Costa Rica! You'll arrive in San José and transfer to Monteverde. In the evening, have dinner at one of these recommended restaurants. Then go on a nocturnal walk through the Children's Eternal Forest, the largest private reserve in Costa Rica. The tour starts right after nightfall, allowing you to watch the animals awakening and others seeking their nests and caves to sleep.

Read more about the best boutique hotels in town.

Day 2: Tour Monteverde Cloud Forest & Sky Adventures Park

Explore the dense jungle of the Monteverde Cloud Forest
Explore the dense jungle of the Monteverde Cloud Forest

Transfer from your hotel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of Costa Rica's ecological crown jewels. Known as the "green lung of Costa Rica" due to its rich biodiversity, this sprawling reserve is high in the country's mountainous northwest region. On a guided tour, you'll get an overview of the incredible biodiversity of this region, where upland and lowland rainforests meet. More than 350 bird species live here, including the quetzal. It's a nature lover's paradise. 

At Sky Adventures Park in the afternoon, you'll have your pick of ways to explore the cloud forest: zip lining for the action-inclined, sky tram trips for a panoramic perspective, or walks along suspension bridges for close encounters with elusive bird species and other wildlife. You'll start with the guided Sky Walk, which combines trails and suspension bridges. Later, you'll ride in an open-air gondola for sweeping views across the mountains. At the end of the line, connect to a zip line cable that stretches over rainforest treetops and across clifftops, finally returning you to the starting point.

See this guide for the best zip lining in Monteverde for more information.

Day 3: Enjoy Birdwatching & Horseback Riding in the Cloud Forest

A relaxing horseback ride through the forest
Take a relaxing ride through the forest

The Curi-Cancha Reserve, located in the heart of Monteverde, is a birdwatcher's paradise. It's one of the best places in the country to spot the famous resplendent quetzal, among many other rare species. You might also see armadillos, coatis, agoutis, ocelots, two-toed sloths, and three species of monkeys. The reserve's staff can help you plan a route and give you pointers for spotting any species you're hoping to encounter. From there, armed with a map, you'll be free to explore on your own for as long as you wish!

Plan your trip to Costa Rica
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

You'll go horseback riding this afternoon through Monteverde's picturesque landscapes. Keep your eyes open for sloths and toucans, and learn about the coffee, banana, and sugar grown in the area. Two and a half hours of riding will bring you to a secluded clearing on the river banks, where you can rest and enjoy a picnic under the trees. During the ride back to the stables, your guide will make time to stop at a local café for a beer or a soft drink.

Check out Best Things to Do in Monteverde for more ideas of what to see and do.

Day 4: Enjoy a Coffee & Cocoa Bean Tour, Depart

Tour a working coffee farm
Sample coffee at a working coffee farm

Delve into the history of coffee production in Costa Rica today. While visiting a farm, you'll see how coffee cherries are picked and even have the chance to pick a few yourself. You'll learn how pulp was traditionally removed from the coffee cherry, then visit the drying patio to observe coffee beans spread out on a large surface to dry naturally in the sun. Try a deliciously fresh cup of coffee at the end of the tour.

The day continues with a visit to a chocolate processing center, where you'll participate in the chocolate-making process and have the opportunity to learn how small cocoa beans are converted into chocolate. Learn about traditional methods used to roast and grind the beans, and sample a range of tasty chocolates. Finally, you'll learn about the importance of sugar cane in Costa Rica. Your guide will help you extract sugar cane using a traditional press, and you'll enjoy a glass of pure sugar cane juice. It's a sweet ending to the trip!

You'll transfer to the airport in San José to catch your flight out. Safe travels!

Read The Ultimate Guide to Costa Rican Coffee for more information.

More Great Costa Rica Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these other Costa Rica itineraries, explore different ways to spend four days in Costa Rica, or discover the best time to visit Costa Rica.


Map of Monteverde Cloud Forest Adventure - 4 Days
Map of Monteverde Cloud Forest Adventure - 4 Days
Written by Yenyi Fu, updated Oct 17, 2022