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CrDelights

Monteverde houses an amazing cloud forest. The weather is usually cool and rainny, so it is advisable to take rainwear and mosquito repellent. Monteverde is the place for mountain, greenery and rain enthusiasts. Another traits are its peacefulness and the efforts the neighboors make to make it a lovely place to live and visit.

Art enthusiasts will love the several nice galleries that showcase art and crafts from local and foreign artists.
In Monteverde there are many lodging and dining options. There are price options for all budgests, for low-budget travelers to luxury seekers.

Santa Elena
The small town of Santa Elena is charming. It is the place to do some shopping or exchanging money before you get to the park.
In 1951, nine Quaker families came from the USA, they bought some land and established the original Monteverde community. It certainly has a Quaker touch: in the 1950’s some families from the US moved there and built the Cheese factory, still famous for its fresh dairy products. 

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
The Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the first community-administered reserves in the country (not a national park, but under the protection of the Arenal Conservation Area). It is an excellent example of what people can do to preserve and learn from their environment. The reserve has trails where you can walk and enjoy the forest.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
At just 6 km from Santa Elena, here you will admire huge trees covered with orchids, bromeliads, ferns, vines, and mosses.
There are several trails to enjoy nature:
  CLOUD FOREST TRAIL: 1.9 km (1.2 mi) ; Rise 65 m. (213 ft.); 1.5 hours. A self-guided tour booklet of this trail is available at the entrance. One of the most popular trails because it’s one of the prettiest. Very good examples of strangler figs.
  THE ROAD: 2.0 km (1.2 mi.); Rise 45 m. (148 ft.); 1 hour. Wider and more open than the other trails . It attracts butterflies. Excellent for bird watching. SWAMP TRAIL: 1.6 km (1.0 mi.); Rise 40 m. (131 ft.); 1.25 hours. This trail passes through a swamp forest while traversing the Continental Divide.

What you will find in Santa Elena
Bank to exchange money
Internet cafe
Supermarket
Drugstore
Tourist information
Art galleries
Spanish school

Things to do in Monteverde

Monteverde is ideal for nature lover, adventure seekers. There are many tour options to choose from.
  Canopy tours: enjoy the cloud forest in all its magnificence. A fun and safe adventure for nearly everyone. We recommend Sky Trek (see their information in this section).
  Butterfly garden: Learn about the beautiful butterflies from bilingual guides. The Mariposario is located in Cerro Plano, between the town of Santa Elena and the Monteverde Reserve.
  Coffee tour: Visit a working coffee farm and experience the coffee-making process.
  Orchid garden: The garden has more than 400 species including the national flower of Costa Rica, the Guardia morada (Cattleya skinneri).
  CASEM: Non-for-profit cooperative of local people who sell unique, locally produced handicrafts and gifts.
  Cheese factory: Experience and sample cheese-making in Monteverde. Good place to buy locally made ice-cream and cheese.
 Children’s Eternal Rainforest: It covers 22,000 hectares (54,000 acres) and encompasses primary and secondary forest as well as regenerating areas.
  Hiking to Cerro Amigos: This is the highest peak in the area (1840 meters). The hike takes around 3 hours round trip. On a clear day you could see Arenal Volcano (See information in this section).
  Frog pond: a unique experience for those who love animals and who are willing to learn about this feared but amazing creatures.

 

How to get there

By car:From San José: Follow the signs to Puntarenas, then Penas Blancas or Liberia, turn off 50 meters before a bridge, at Lagartos. This turn off is about 10 km after the Texaco gas station.
From La Fortuna: First you need to get to Tilarán. The ride takes around 4 hours and it covers a distance of 136 kilometers. Because of the mountain, there is no direct route. The road makes a detour by Tilarán.
Through the Interamerican north you can also come by the town of Sardinal. You will see the signs guiding you towards Monteverde. This route is shorter, and it has the advantage that the first 15 km are paved, then the road is unpaved. Roads in downtown Monteverde are paved.

By bus:
From San José: Bus stop on 12th street, 7th and 9th Avenues.
From Puntarenas: There are two buses a day, the ride takes around 3 hours.
From Guanacaste: There are buses from several cities like Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Tamarindo, Flamingo, Playa del Coco, Montezuma, Samara and Liberia that would take you to Lagartos and La Irma. From there you can take the bus to Monteverde
From La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano): Bus leaves at 8 am for Tilarán. The ride takes around 4 hours. From there you can take a bus to Monteverde.

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