We know you have some big decisions to make — should you choose Arenal or Monteverde? What about Manuel Antonio or Nosara? Should you head straight to the beach?
We get asked these questions often.
In our opinion, a trip to Costa Rica isn’t complete without a visit to Monteverde.
Monteverde exemplifies everything Costa Rica stands for.
If you’re having a hard time deciding “Why Monteverde”, read on.
A Sense of Peace & Purpose
Do You Know Monteverde's Curious History?
It’s one that begins in the early 1950s. A group of 11 Quaker families from the United States fled to army-free Costa Rica in search of peace and tranquility.
In Monteverde, the Quaker families found just that: a safe haven up in the Tilarán Mountains, far from the fears of enlistment – or imprisonment – as the Korean War waged. They settled for a simple, harmonious life surrounded by nature.
Today, when you visit our charming little town amongst the clouds, you’ll feel the same sense of peace that Monteverde’s 11 founding families sought after. As you explore the cloud forest you’ll also understand exactly why the Quakers worked hard to protect it.
The Birthplace of Ecotourism in Costa Rica
Welcome to Costa Rica’s Eco-Epicenter
When the Quakers arrived in Monteverde, they acquired 1500 hectares of land for their homes and dairy farms. They also had the foresight to set aside a large parcel of cloud forest to protect the region’s watershed, and thanks to them it’s still intact today.
In the early 1970s, a number of Quaker families joined forces with resident scientists to make the case for an official private nature preserve, a first in Costa Rica.
With an initial plot of some 330 hectares, they successfully established the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve, handing over management responsibilities to the Tropical Scientific Center, a non-governmental organization in charge of the investigation and preservation of the land.
In the years that followed, tourism began to grow in Costa Rica from small numbers of scientists to thousands of tourists. Monteverde was on every itinerary and frequently still is. In order to expand the Preserve while maintaining its biological integrity, the Tropical Science Center turned to ecotourism.
They began to charge a small entrance fee and established maximum visitor quotas and low-footprint interpretation areas, turning the Preserve into an international model for conservation and an ecotourism trailblazer.
The Preserve now extends over 10,500 hectares, encompassing multiple different life zones.
The Jewel in the Crown of Cloud Forest Reserves
Step Into Nature’s Terrarium
But Monteverde’s nature is only part of the magic. Its microclimates are just as mesmerizing.
The weather can change at a moment’s notice – just as quickly as the clouds roll in enveloping the town in a fine mist, they blow by, making way for blue skies, vivid rainbows and intense sunsets.
Bring a sweater or jacket to cozy up and enjoy the show. Stand still for a little while and you’ll experience at least two or three dramatic weather changes. It’s all part of the captivating Monteverde experience.
Your Costa Rican Adventure Made Complete
Experience The Best of Costa Rica
Monteverde is a cooler respite from the steamy rainforests and sun-drenched beaches of the rest of the country. With its endless cloud forest attractions, it’s just as spectacular. Best of all, Monteverde is easily combined with other popular destinations in Costa Rica.
Monteverde is within easy reach of San Jose, Liberia, and the famous beaches of Guanacaste, making it an excellent first stop on any itinerary or a pleasant post-beach breather.
It’s much simpler to get here than to Arenal Volcano. Of the two frequently visited mountain destinations, you’ll find far more to experience in Monteverde.
Our top recommendation? Stay a few nights in Monteverde for the wildlife, the adventure and a good dose of culture. That way you’ll be able to experience the essence of Costa Rica and the majesty of our rare cloud forest before hitting the coast.
A True Monteverde Experience
“If you want to immerse yourself in nature, get some exercise, spot some monkeys, admire a scenic vista or cool off in a waterfall, there are countless places to do so in Monteverde.”
— Lonely Planet