Located in the province of Puntarenas, Monteverde is one of the obligatory stops for tourists visiting Costa Rica; Monteverde is a great option if you enjoy eco-tourism or also if you like adventure tourism; Monteverde is about a three-four hour drive from San José, in this impressive Biological Reserve you can find 50% of Costa Rica’s biodiversity.
A little bit of history on Monteverde:
The town of Monteverde was founded in the 1950’s by Quaker families, pacifists from Alabama and Iowa that decided to flee from the U.S.A during the Korean War, these group, settled in the area of Monteverde, where they bought 3000 acres of land for about 400 thousand colones (less than $800 today),they started building their community from zero, the conditions here where perfect to establish dairy farms and soon they started their cheese factory, in 1954, under the name Productores de Monteverde S.A. (today that company has over 500 shareholders). Currently the closest developed town is Santa Elena, which has a population of around 6.500 permanent residents.
Monteverde Biological Reserve:
Moteverde was founded by the Quakers with the objective of protecting the water and nature of the area. Initially a big part of the reserve was donated to the Tropical Scientific Center (CCT) and in 1973 the CCT managed to raise enough funds to buy more land, throughout the years it continued to grow, today it encompasses 8 different biological zones and a total area of 10.522 hectares.
Virgin forests are the reason why Monteverde is visited by thousands of tourists every year as well as birdwatchers and scientists. Over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 1200 species of amphibians and reptiles live in this dense forest. The trails in Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest reserves are well maintained and you can request day or night tours depending on what you are looking to experience, if you enjoy the flora and bird-watching a day tour is recommended, if you would like to have a better chance of catching some of the wildlife then the night tour is perfect. Monteverde also has a butterfly garden, a bat exhibit, the serpentarium (snake exhibit) and an insect exhibit. You may also enjoy a tours of the Monteverde Cheese Factory.
If you are the type that needs a little more adrenaline there you may want to try the hanging bridges, the aerial tramway and canopy.
There are plenty of lodging options to choose from depending on your budget and your preferred style, the town of Santa Elena offers several restaurants and all main services.
Monteverde is perfect for a 3 day getaway, whether you want to go by yourself and relax, enjoy adventure tourism with a group of friends, take your loved one in a romantic trip or take a fun family vacation.