- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
- Extreme Sports
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
- Sustainable Tourism
The Monteverde region is one of my favorite places in Costa Rica. It has a very particular atmosphere, undoubtedly due to its history. This is in fact intrinsically associated with a community of pacifist Quakers who came to live here in the 1950s to escape the Vietnam war. In particular, they were fervent activists when it came to preserving the region's heritage.
There is a variety of activities to do here, with the omnipresent mist and the lush plants lending the landscape a uniquely characteristic appearance, like something out of an Indiana Jones adventure. Take a tour of the Monteverde reserve and/or that of Santa Elena and discover the astonishing floral mosaics they present. A walk on the hanging bridges will give you the opportunity to see the forest from another perspective. As for the extremely popular canopy tour, it's good, but a little long.
I'm not going to hide the fact that this is a very touristy place. However, a visit here does not leave you with that sense of disappointment you sometimes experience at the more over-exploited tourist attractions. On the contrary in fact, because here you get the sense that nature reigns supreme, with we tourists merely observers, not conquerors.
The Monteverde area is a place quite often visited by tourists as they travel around Costa Rica and it has numerous attractions to offer.
Having a go at zip-lining is more or less obligatory, and there are several companies based locally that can arrange this for you. They are all more or less the same, but do make sure you try the swing : adrenaline rush guaranteed!
Due to its location - right amongst the clouds - plan to take rain and windproof clothing with you. The whole area itself is a veritable haven of greenery at the very heart of Costa Rica, and nature lovers will enjoy it here: the range of biodiversity is truly impressive! It's also one of the places where you will have the chance to visit the local area's coffee plantations.
It's a very touristy place but is charming nonetheless and has its own special spirit. The chalets of the village of Santa Elena remind you of French mountains in the summer. The bus journey is long but the scenery is breathtaking.
The paths of the Monteverde Reserve in Costa Rica are pleasant to walk along. The forest is humid and peaceful and you can see a whole palette of different greens. Every time you take a step you have to look up at the trees, each one always bigger and more beautiful than the last. The only things you hear are the babbling of a stream and the chirping of the birds.
At the La Ventana (window) observatory you finally understand about Bosque Nuboso, the mist which mixes with the forest to give you a magnificent view. After that you go along a suspended bridge and you are surrounded on all sides by the jungle - above and below. It's completely different to the rest of Costa Rica.
The only thing that disappointed me? I didn't get to see a quetzal, that wonderful bird that is so symbolic of the area...
I was lucky enough to have a go at zip-lining...it was amazing: pushing yourself off meters in the air only to be enveloped by the mist and have no idea where you are going...maximum adrenaline! It was incredible being up in the air in the heart of the Bosque Nuboso. There are several zip lines one after the other and they almost make you forget the cold and the rain. The course finishes with a tarzan swing : which consists of jumping off a platform (this one was 10 meters high) attached to a rope. I felt a real mixture of fear and excitement when the guide pushed me into the void. Then the fear was replaced by uncontrollable laughter. Finally, a 1 kilometer long zip line took us back to normality, but our heads were still full of clouds!