Ahhh yeah! Heading to Costa Rica and trying to decide which towns to hit? Well, let me be honest, for being such a small country (compared to countries like America, Mexico, and Australia) Costa Rica has more to offer than you could ever see in one trip! You have many different kinds of ecosystems from the beautiful beaches to the awe-inspiring volcanos to the luscious rain forests to the thick jungles.
I say, why not all of it? BUT, if the rain forests that caught your eye, I highly recommend checking out Monte Verde!
Monte Verde is in Northern Costa Rica, located inside the Cloud Forest and it is absolutely beautiful.
Things to do:
Tour of the Monte Verde Cloud Forest Ecological Reserve
The Monte Verde Cloud Forest Ecological Reserve is an absolutely lovely park with tons of wildlife and beautiful trails. If you are looking for a tour that is more walking trails than a climbing hike we would highly suggest this one. You can enter the park on your own (with an entrance fee) however booking with a tour guide is totally worth it! When you book with a tour guide they will provide you with transportation from and to your hotel/hostel, show you around the park pointing out wildlife that is often very difficult to see with the naked eye and will normally assist you in taking really lovely photos of some of your finds through their scopes. On our tour, we saw multiple different species of birds, including many species of hummingbirds, a tarantula, a sleeping sloth and some coatis. Of course, I can not promise you will see all of those animals but you could also see much more than we did! It was an amazing tour! Would definitely do again!
100% Aventura Zip-lining
If you are seeking a little adventure then I highly recommend booking something with 100% Aventura. We decided to go with the zip-lining package but they seemed to have many other excursions to choose from like ATVs and rafting. I personally love zip-lining and somehow I convinced mom to join me so we signed up for that! 100% Aventura is home to the longest zip-line in Central America and it is absolutely incredible! We 100% recommend 100% Aventura.
Ok, so we have all seen those travel photos of people on those beautiful hanging bridges, right? Well, I certainly have, and I was getting super jelly that I had never gotten to visit one. Well that all changed at Selvatura Park in Monte Verde. Here you can take a lovely walking trail that takes you across 8 beautiful hanging bridges with beautiful views. It is a nice and easy hike with a promise of picturesque moments and of course, since you are still in the forest, you do have the possibility of coming across some of the local wildlife. So, keep your eyes open!
The first restaurant we ate at in Monte Verde after a long day of traveling, Morphos, was a great intro to the cuisine for us. I got a simple pasta dish that was loaded with yummy veggies and mom got our first vegetarian Casado of the trip. This was the restaurant that began our love affair of Casados! The staff was super sweet and the menu was English friendly.
Tico Y Rico
Tico y Rico was another restaurant that the front desk at our hostel recommended to us and we were not disappointed. They had a good size English friendly menu but I got to say we ended up sharing another Casado! Yeah don't be surprised if I am talking about Costa Rican food and I only talk about Casados, they are just so good! We also got an order of fried yucca, can't go wrong with yucca! Great staff and good prices.
Ok, I know I have been seriously talking up these Casados but let's just take a step back and talk about my absolute favorite restaurant of our time in Monte Verde and you know what possibly our whole stay in Costa Rica, Neko Sushi. If you have read some of our articles from our time in Europe, you will know that we joke about constantly about the over-abundance of sushi places, well this trend continued with us in Costa Rica as well. Directly across the street from Tico y Rico, you will find Neko Sushi, who's menu is very English friendly AND, also, very vegan-friendly. It was amazing! We ended up getting so much food, but it was so good we ate it all: vegan spring rolls, vegan miso soup, and veggie rolls that had plantain on top! I know that sounds kind of odd but it was so good! The staff was super nice and the food was well priced.
Restaurante de Amy`s
Restaurante de Amy's was actually suggested to us by a friend I have in the states who is from Monte Verde. If you are craving some pizza this is the place to go. I got a cheeseless pizza that was piled high with veggies. Mom ended up getting a veggie fajita and was also pleased with all the veggies. It was more on the expensive side which would not be the best if you are on a budget but the food was good. English friendly menu but you will want to know a little bit of Spanish to communicate effectively with the staff.
We never actually ate at Open Kitchen (we just didn't have the time) but every time we passed it I just thought it was so cute. Yes, I am basing this restaurant suggestion purely off of the fact that it was aesthetically pleasing but I think we have all gone into restaurants, especially when traveling, just because we liked how it looked.
The Camino Verde Bed and Breakfast was not only an amazing place to stay in Monte Verde, but I think it is safe to say that it has made our top ten list of favorite hostels we have ever stayed at. This B&B comes highly recommended for multiple reasons! It is easily bookable being associated with Hostelworld.com and a great price for the quality of rooms. Breakfast is included every morning of your stay and the staff is absolutely incredible! We honestly have only good things to say about our stay at Camino Verde.
Monte Verde was an amazing stop on our tour of Costa Rica. If you have never been, we highly recommend! It is a walkable town with friendly locals and great excursions. We hope that if you find yourself traveling to Monte Verde in the future that this little guide helps you and that you have an amazing time! Pura Vida and remember...