Monteverde, which means "green mountain" in English, is the ideal name for this peaceful, hilltop community and a very different kind of destination from anywhere else you will visit in Costa Rica. The small town of Santa Elena is considered the bustling hub of activity in the Monteverde area.
Monteverde is a great place for families, groups of friends, wandering travelers, or couples in search of a romantic getaway because there is plethora of activities to suit all interests and budgets: Ziplining above the treetops, hikes, walks above the clouds on hanging bridges, chocolate and coffee farm tours, horseback riding, birdwatching tours, and visits to the breathtaking waterfalls are some of the many tours available, all with one thing in common: nature, nature and more nature!
The Monteverde cloud forest reserve encompasses an area of over 50,000 acres of rainforest land in conservation, making it the largest private reserve in all of Central America. It sits at an altitude of 4,662-ft above sea level, in fact, at certain points you are so high up in the mountains that you can actually see the Pacific ocean even though its miles away!
Monteverde is the home to an amazing amount of biodiversity with over 400 different types of bird species, 2 types of the sloths, white-faced monkeys, agoutis, pizotes, kinkajous, and interesting frogs and snakes.Be prepared for some of the best birdwatching in Costa Rica especially for those who want to catch a glimpse of the famous Resplendent Quetzal. This elusive, crimson-breasted resident bird of the Costa Rican highlands has an unmistakable plumage of gorgeous iridescent green feathers. This bird only exists in the Cloud forests of Costa Rica and is a symbol of pride for the natives of Monteverde. The Aztecs also once referred to this bird as one of the Gods and believed that it's bright red chest came from the blood of the Aztec Emperor, Montezuma.
Santa Elena is a tiny town and the closest town to the Monteverde Reserve where many visitors love to hang out. Founded by a community of Quakers seeking refuge from World War II, Monteverde is where locals and tourist gather to wine and dine, stay in Monteverde hotels, check out the local art galleries, or have a drink at night. There is also a beautiful wooden music school, an English and Spanish language school, a cheese factory and plenty of other interesting things to see and do in Monteverde.
There are a variety of hotels to choose from, from rustic mountain cabins and cute little hostels, to family run B&Bs and luxurious hotels. There is a hotel to meet all needs and budgets!
When planning their vacations, many people choose stay in Monteverde either for weeks at a time or just a couple of days. In fact it is a great resting place for those travelling coast to coast or between the Arenal Volcano and the Pacific side of Costa Rica. The van-boat-van Adventure Connection boat trip between Arenal Volcano and Monteverde is considered a must-do form of transportation because you will get to spend some time on Lake Arenal and see amazing views of the Arenal Volcano!