Monteverde's appeal centers around its scenery and nature. Many ecosystems exist in the numerous reserves, such as Bajo del Tigre, the Santa Elena Reserve, the Bosque Eterno de los Niños and the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Zip line canopy tours are an exhilarating way to experience the plants and animals of the surrounding rain forests. There is also The Monteverde Skywalk, a series of bridges and platforms that allow the visitor to explore the canopy in a safer and less nerve wracking way.
Other popular spots to check out include the Monteverde Cheese Factory, Butterfly Garden, Insect Museum, Serpentarium, and Frog Pond, just to name a few. There's also an impressive art scene, with many interesting galleries to visit.
When to go
Monteverde and Santa Elena are fairly 'moist' destinations at the best of times, but the wet season (May to November) can make negotiating reserves and hiking paths nearly impossible.
Higher altitudes lead to cooler temperatures and damper conditions. December to March is the dry season; temperatures are generally a few degrees cooler than in the wet season, however, you can expect year-round averages between 16-18ºC (61-64ºF).
How to get there
The cheapest way to get to Monteverde is by bus, but you may also choose to use the jeep-boat-jeep combo if you are coming from La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano area. This can be arranged through almost any hotel or tour operator in either town.
There are also private transportation companies that offer private transfers.
Most travelers do not need a visa to enter the country including those from Canada, U.S., Europe, Australia, the UK, Argentina, Israel, Japan, Panama, South Korea and Uruguay. Visitors can stay for up to 90 days. Note that it may be required to show a return ticket, ticket to another country, or proof of funds to purchase such tickets before being permitted to enter the country.
On guided tours, tip the guide US$1.00 to US$5.00 per person per day, and tip the tour driver about half of what you tip the guide. Naturally, tips depend upon quality of service. Taxi drivers are not normally tipped, unless some special service is provided. Upscale restaurants may add a 10% service charge to the bill. If not, you might leave a small tip to show your appreciation, but it is not required.