Top Monteverde Day Tours & Activities

Monteverde or “Green Mountain” as it is directly translated is aptly named for its extensive reserve of lush, verdant cloud forests. National Geographic has described it as “the jewel in the crown of cloud forests.” In 2007, Costa Ricans voted the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve one of the country’s seven wonders.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest  is the epicenter of cloud forest exploration. This green oasis is the pride and joy of ecotourism in Costa Rica. Discover the cloud forest from every angle: on ziplines above the trees, over hanging bridges in the canopy, and along walking trails on the forest floor. With over 400 unique bird species, Monteverde is an especially treasured destination for birding. Nature enthusiasts travel far to spot the rare Resplendent Quetzal bird hiding amidst the trees – and an early morning birding tour is the perfect opportunity to see how many you can spot!

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Hike

Top Monteverde Day Tours & Activities

Transfer to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve on the continental divide for a hike through the high elevation forest with a professional naturalist guide. Trek through the misty forests’ dense vegetation and majestic trees. You’ll have a chance to see massive prehistoric tree ferns, many of the bird species that call Monteverde home, and trees covered in bromeliads. More than 400 bird species and 1,500 plant species live in the reserve, so there’s plenty to see! Between January and July you even have a chance to spot the shy Resplendent Quetzal bird. After your morning hike, check out the small, on-site hummingbird garden and enjoy fresh Costa Rican coffee and pastries before returning to your hotel.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Hike is also available as a private tour.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Difficulty Level: moderate
  • Includes: transfers, guide, and entrance
  • What to Bring: raincoat, hiking or comfortable shoes, binoculars, camera, bug repellent
  • Tour Type: nature, family

Sky Aerial Tram & Zipline Tour

You will have a short transfer this morning to Costa Rica Sky Adventures. The Sky Tram is designed to give guests an amazing and unique view of the Monteverde Cloud Forest from this high-technology cableway. The tour begins with 30 minutes on the cable way with a Costa Rican guide, keeping an eye out for wildlife. At the end of the ride you’ll find yourself on a wide observation platform where the excitement truly begins! The Sky Trek is one of the most extensive canopy tours in the country, containing 11 cross-sectional zip lines. After that adrenaline rush, you’ll have some time to relax and enjoy the amazing views of San Carlos, Guanacaste, and Puntarenas.

  • Minimum Height: 120 cm (3’ 11’’)
  • Maximum Weight: 140 kg (300 lbs.)
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide, entrance, and equipment
  • What to Bring: hiking or tennis shoes, comfortable clothes, jacket or raincoat, sunscreen
  • Tour Type: adventure, active

Monteverde Aerial Walk & Tram Tour

Top-Monteverde-Day-Tours-Activities

The tour includes two different attractions at the Monteverde Sky Adventure Park. The Sky Tram is a system of gondolas that will bring you up through the canopy for panoramic views of the cloud forest and mountains. Relax and enjoy the beauty of Monteverde as your guide shares interesting facts about the region. Your ride ends at the highest point on the reserve, about 5000 ft. above sea level.

Next, experience the Sky Walk, an easy hike of 5 hanging bridges elevated over the cloud forest canopy. Observe the treetops and lush vegetation of the cool climate on a moderate walk, great for families!

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Distance: 1.5-mile walk / 6 bridges
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide, entrance, and equipment
  • What to Bring: raincoat, comfortable shoes, camera, sunscreen, bug repellent
  • Tour Type: family, nature, active

Santa Elena Reserve Hike

Top Monteverde Day Tours & Activities

Hike through 8 miles of well-maintained trails with panoramic views of Santa Elena Reserve. The reserve is part of a project to preserve the delicate habitat of the many species living in the cloud and rainforest. Your professional naturalist guide will point out local flora such as air plants, lichen and bromeliads. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture surprise encounters with regional wildlife! And, listen closely for the sounds of the secretive three-wattle bellbird (seasonal). After the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel for overnight.

The Santa Elena Reserve Hike is also available as a private tour.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Includes: transfers, guide and entrance
  • What to Bring: raincoat, hiking or comfortable shoes, binoculars, camera, bug repellent.
  • Tour Type: nature, active, wildlife, family

Vida Silvestre Refuge Night Walk 

Top-Monteverde-Day-Tours-Activities

Experience the nocturnal wildlife of the cloud forest. Quietly walk through the forest with your flashlight and guide, looking and listening for the lively energy of the cloud forest after dark. Your naturalist guide will point out the hideouts of different species of dart frogs, insects, birds, snakes and more. Listen closely for forest rustling, and don’t forget to look up! The two-toed sloth is nocturnal, and can be seen in the forest canopy of Vida Silvestre. This is the perfect activity for nature lovers, and a chance to learn more about the intricate ecosystems of the tropics.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide and entrance
  • What to Bring: raincoat, hiking or comfortable shoes, binoculars, camera, bug repellent.
  • Tour Type: nature, family

Vida Silvestre Birdwatching 

Top-Monteverde-Day-Tours-Activities

This early morning visit to Vida Silvestre is a unique opportunity to see the exotic birds of Monteverde when they are most active. Walk through the primary and secondary cloud forest, a paradise for birding enthusiasts. The open areas of the refuge typically allow for more bird sightings as many migratory species flock here in the winter and in mating season. Some of the species you will find include colorful hummingbirds such as the purple-throated mountain gem, coppery-headed emerald, the black-breasted wood quail and more.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide and entrance
  • What to Bring: raincoat, camera, binoculars and comfortable shoes
  • Tour Type: birding, nature, wildlife

Don Juan Coffee & Chocolate Tour

Coffee is grown in the mountainous highlands of Costa Rica making the Monteverde Cloud Forest the perfect destination to learn more about your favorite morning beverage. This tour gives insight into the world of coffee, chocolate, and sugarcane production in Costa Rica. The tour begins with an introduction to the life cycle of the coffee plant, taking a look at its fascinating evolutionary cycle.  You’ll learn about how coffee cherries are picked, see the way the pulp of the cherry was originally removed, visit the drying patio and the warehouse. You’ll get to see the selection of coffee beans as well as the roasting and packaging processes of the Don Juan coffee. Then, discover the history of the cocoa pod, make your own chocolate using traditional Costa Rican recipes, and taste! Next, try for yourself the traditional Costa Rican method of extracting sugar cane juice using el trapiche and taste test again. Finally, return to the main building to enjoy a cup of Don Juan coffee and browse the extensive collection of Costa Rican culinary souvenirs.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide, equipment, and lunch
  • What to Bring: sunscreen, hat
  • Tour Type: family, cultural, food

Butterfly Garden Tour

Top-6-Monteverde-Tours-Activities

Morpho Butterfly

This tour begins in the nature center, where you’ll hear a general overview of insects.  Explore the four gardens of the butterfly gardens, each of which represents a local habitat (such as hot lowlands, deep forest, mid-elevation forest edge, and cloud forest.)  You’ll learn about butterfly natural history as you walk, and an experienced guide will help you to locate and observe as many different kinds as possible. At the end of the tour is a special exhibit on Leaf Cutter Ants, one of the country’s most interesting insects. While you might spot them working away in the forest, at the butterfly garden you’ll be able to see their underground excavations as well!  After the tour, you can go back to the gardens for pictures, visit the medicinal plant garden, bird watch from the balcony, or enjoy a 20 minute film on the butterflies of Costa Rica.

  • Duration: 1 ½ hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide and entrance fees
  • What to Bring: bug repellent, camera
  • Tour Type: nature, family

Horseback Riding Tour

Monteverde-Horseback-Riding

Monteverde Horseback Riding Tour

See the countryside and back roads of Monteverde and Santa Elena on horseback. This tour is great for a variety of ages and skill levels as your expert guides can accommodate the tour to meet your needs. The tour passes through the little town of Santa Elena, down dirt roads, by cattle ranches, and even briefly into the neighboring Guanacaste province. Finally, tie up at a charming coffee shop for a short coffee and snack break before heading back to the ranch.

  • Minimum Age: 6 years
  • Weight limit: 200 lbs.
  • Duration: *4 hours
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Includes: transfers, guide and equipment
  • What to Bring: comfortable clothes and shoes, sunscreen, bug repellent,
  • Tour Type: adventure, active

*A 2-hour horseback riding tour is also available. 

El Trapiche – Sugar Cane & Coffee Tour

Top-Monteverde-Day-Tours-Activities

Immerse in the traditions of the local culture by visiting El Trapiche family farm. Explore different crop plantations such as coffee and other local fruits. Learn about the history of coffee in Costa Rica. Experience firsthand the traditional sugar cane process at different stages and its delicious candy. You will also have a chance to ride a colorful Costa Rican oxcart. End your visit with a tasty cup of coffee or juice and try a delicious typical dish.

  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Includes: transfers, guide and entrance fees
  • What to Bring: poncho or raincoat, hat, sunscreen
  • Tour Type: family, cultural, food

 

19
1
PLAN YOUR TRIP