Arriving in Monteverde, we truly felt like we were up in the clouds. As a cloud forest, Monteverde sits at a higher elevation, which is moister and has much cooler temperatures than near the coast. The climate of the cloud forest allows for denser forest and interesting flora, making it a beautiful place to visit.
We first stopped in Santa Elena, a small town (great for tourists) close to Monteverde where we enjoyed lunch at The Tree House Restaurant & Cafe. Santa Elena is a good stop for lunch, groceries, pharmacy, and other needs before heading to Monteverde.
If you want to get as close as humanly possible to wildlife, check out the Hummingbird Gallery. The gallery features several species of hummingbirds. They literally buzz right past you! I could feel the wind from their wings as they whizzed past my head. I’ve never gotten so close, and it’s an awesome photo op if you’re quick enough! I could have stood there all day watching the birds swarm back and forth from feeder to feeder and fight with each other over a spot; very entertaining. Check out our video.
On our first night in Monteverde, we couldn’t wait to experience the forest and all it had to offer so we signed up for a night hike tour. Picked up right from our hotel and brought to the outskirts of the forest, we were handed a flashlight and followed our guide into the darkness. We love day hiking, but there’s something special and more invigorating about hiking into the forest with just a small beam of light. As we ventured through we came across spiders with enchanting webs, a family of raccoons, sloths, an armadillo, and even a tarantula. I felt I had enough after a gang bats started flying straight at us! The night hike was certainly a memorable experience.
You can’t visit Monteverde without doing a suspended bridges tour and zip lining through the cloud forest. We did a tour at Selvatura Park and had a blast! The suspended bridges allow you to really get into the forest and get varying perspectives. Part of the tour involves paths on ground level, and some elevate you up to higher points over valleys and offer beautiful views. Definitely wear some hiking boots or supportive shoes.
After a relaxing suspended bridges tour, it was time to kick it up a notch. We geared up and headed to the zip lines! This was our first time zip lining and it was such a rush! The guides were excellent and made the tour fun and full of laughs. Pat’s a bigger guy and was sporting a beard at the time, and he got the name “Tarzan” on the tour. It’s obviously not for anyone afraid of heights, but if you’re looking for a thrill, zip lining is a must!
Also, if you’re planning to go to Selvatura, they have their own hummingbird exhibit in addition to other wildlife/insect exhibits so there’s plenty to do if part of your group isn’t up for the zip lines (chickens!).
Check out our zip lining video here. The video is on the last and longest one, and we got to go together.