Monteverde is a beautiful and breath-taking area that includes the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. As the name suggests the forests are almost always surrounded by clouds. Monteverde is Spanish for green grass which is a fitting description for this lush green forested area of Costa Rica. Monteverde is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Costa Rica.
Monteverde is also known for it’s Quaker population. In the 1950’s several Quaker families came to Costa Rica from the US. Pacifists who wanted to avoid the U.S. military draft of 1949 they moved to the Monteverde area of Costa Rica. They felt more in tune with Costa Rica’s political system since the Costa Rican government had disbanded the army in 1948.
The early Quaker settlers bought a lot the surrounding area and have continued to preserve the area. They began their dairy farms which now produce tons of cheese everyday. It’s some of the best cheese in the country and it’s imported all over the world. Most of the land the Quakers purchased back in the 50’s is now part of the Monteverde Cloud forest reserve. It’s absolutely stunning area. You can hike on your own or with guided tours. The trails are in very good shape and well maintained.
Aside from the beautiful Monterverde Cloud Forest Reserve the canopy and zip tours through the cloud forest are the best of all the canopy tours in Costa Rica so don’t miss that.
You can easily get to Montverde from Volcan Arenal. It’s about 90 miles away. Head towards Tilaran. From Tilarn to Monteverde the road is bit bumpy so a 4WRD is recommended. It takes about 2 hours driving. If you’re really adventurous you can take a 3 hour horseback ride from Monteverde to the Arenal Volcano. You’ll hit Santa Elena, Canyon Negro, through the Arenal Lake Dam, and into La Fortuna.
From San José take the Interamerican highway and turn off at Sardinal north of the Puntarenas turn off. It’s uphill from Sardinal heading towards San Luis and into Santa Elena which is the main town in Monteverde. It’s about a 4 hour car ride from San José.
El Bosque Lodge and the Trapp Family Lodge are nice places to stay at in Monteverde.
The forest features exotic animals and plants which we’ll leave you in awe. It’s one of the favorite spots for ecotourism with it’s preserved forests and undeveloped areas. Average temperatures ranges between 60-77 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can find more information from listening my to Costa Rica Podcast. CostaRicaTalkRadio.com.