Monteverde is in the Tilaran mountain range, about a four-hour drive from the Central Valley. The cloud forest covers about 180 square miles and it was named one of the seven wonders of Costa Rica. These are only a few reasons why a trip up this gorgeous mountain is a must on your next visit.
- Trails to explore. Inside El Establo Mountain Hotel there are many trails to explore without leaving the property. You can do so on your own or request a guide to accompany you to explain the sights and sounds. This is highly recommended as their eyes are trained to see flora and fauna you might miss, including miniature orchids and tiny frogs. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve has 9 trails to explore, adding up to about 8 miles of trails to hike through while breathing in the brisk cool air and taking in the colors of the forest.
- Diversity. Monteverde sits on the continental divide and has two protected areas to visit, Monteverde and Santa Elena. Its biodiversity is impressive, including the largest number of orchid species in the world and 91 species of migratory birds including the famous quetzal. Of the 134 mammals, there are marsupials, bats, primates, felines and wild pigs.
- Adventure to be had. The cloud forest may be explored in other ways apart from hiking through trails. You can zip line, walk over hanging bridges, or take a tram over the exuberant forest. You can also do bungee jumping or drive a 4×4 buggy over rivers and mountains.
- Delicious food and drink. Monteverde boasts a cheese factory founded by the Quakers who settled the area decades ago. This has spawned several pizzerias that take advantage of delicious local cheese to make brick oven baked pizza. From cafes where you can enjoy an amazing cup of Costa Rican coffee and a pastry, to typical sodas that serve up casados and gallo pinto. Laggus Restaurant at El Establo Mountain Hotel is one of the best options for fine dining in the area. Have a glass of wine while enjoying the gourmet meals presented with care and take in the view of the lovely lake surrounding the restaurant.
- Relaxation. Monteverde’s beautiful location, cool weather and fiery sunsets make for an excellent place for rest and relaxation. On a clear day, you can see the Gulf of Nicoya and its islands dotting the sea from El Establo Mountain Hotel. The Green Leaf Spa at El Establo Mountain Hotel offers massages, exfoliations and facials to soothe your body and soul and jumpstart your relaxation.
Come visit Monteverde for yourself and create your own top reasons for visiting this mountain paradise, and once you check it off your bucket list I’m sure you will want to return again and again.
Article by Katie Widdowson