Monteverde Costa Rica’s Remote Rainforest Reserve, Wildlife Refuge
Let’s visit unique place in Costa Rica, settled by the Quakers in the 1950’s. A bone-shaking road leads up to Monteverde from the Inter-American Highway 1. Only about 35 miles but takes around two hours to drive. It is unpaved and rocky and winds around the mountain up 3,500 feet above sea level. The views are lovely along the way but the drive is tiring and hard on the vehicle. Once at the top you have the feeling of going back in time. Life is rural and peaceful, a simple life. Quakers from Alabama in the 1950’s settled here looking for peace -free from war and unrest.
Places to visit: Serpentario Monteverde- 20 species of snakes inside glass cases.
Orquideas de Monteverde miniature orchids Monteverde Nature Center and Butterfly Garden- La Lecheria- cheese factory where fourteen different kinds of cheese is made. Monteverde cloud Forest Reserve- primary cloud forest with wonderful hikes to waterfalls. With luck you can see the reclusive Quetzal bird-brilliant turquois in color-the most beautiful bird of the rainforest.
Several different tour companies offer canopy tours, sky walk tours, and horseback riding.
Conservation is community based and is taught starting in the primary schools. Courses in local ecology are taught to local farmers at the Monteverde Institute.
There is no shortage of small hotels and inns. ( Refer to the Lonely Planet guide to Cost Rica) The local small restaurants specialize in fresh foods grown locally. My favorite restaurant is El Sapo Dorado. With its linen white table cloths, first classs food and service and a nice wine list.
If you are planning a visit to Monteverde, Costa Rica…the dry season is best…December thru April.
This area gets a lot of rain esp in the months of rainy season May-November..heavier in September and October. So bring a rain jacket and warm clothes, and good hiking shoes or tennis shoes.
Many people want to travel by car from Monteverde thru Tiliran on to Arenal Volcano. I did it and even in the dry season, it is very difficult . Road are not paved, rocky and hard on the vehicle. You need a 4×4. Much easier: You can contract thru your hotel –transportation by 4×4 to Lake Arenal , then cross the lake by boat, and then a taxi to your Arenal Volcano area hotel.
For the adventure tourists Monteverde offers many outdoor activities, Canopy tours, skywalk over the rainforests, horseback riding, butterfly farm, cheese factory tours, birdwatching and hiking into the reserves.
Here one feels like Heidi with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps.
How long should you plan to stay? 3 nights minimum I have stayed up to 5 nights and found things to do each day….and took time just to wind down and relax.