Top 6 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

Monteverde Reserve Hike

Monteverde Reserve Hike hanging bridge

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

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 Tour

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.