Monteverde, Costa Rica truly fits it’s name, green mountains are everywhere. The cloud forests, the greenery & the vegetation is spectacular. This region is amazing to visit and one that should be on your travel list when visiting Costa Rica.
I spent a few wonderful days in Monteverde last spring and waned to help you out by writing this Monteverde 2 day itinerary! This Costa Rica itinerary is jam packed with things to do in Monteverde. Continue reading to plan your Costa Rica adventure!
Some links in this post are affiliate, if you click them I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
How many days to spend in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Recommended length of stay: 2-3 days
Our stay: 2 days in Monteverde
Monteverde, Costa Rica Weather
The weather in Monteverde, Costa Rica can be a little chillier and more wet than the beach side towns, therefore, make sure that you dress & pack appropriately when visiting. The temperatures range from low/mid 10 °C – high 30 °C (50-86°F).
How to get to Monteverde
Monteverde Driving Routes
- SJO Airport -> Monteverde: 2.5-3 hours via Route 27 & 606
- LIR Airport -> Monteverde: 2.5 hours via Route 1, 142 & 145
- La Fortuna -> Monteverde: 2.5 hours via Route 142 & 145 (similar to above)
- Tamarindo -> Monteverde: 3.5 hours via Route 21, 18 & 145
We took the La Fortuna -> Monteverde route. It was beautiful. The views are amazing, and, while driving, the regions change, resulting in a change of the scenery. From lakes and rainforests to green pastures and mountains, you will have views aplenty.
The routes are paved, however, as you enter Monteverde the roads are not as smooth. Depending on your final destination, a 4×4 may be necessary. We stayed at a farm Airbnb deeper into the mountains and this was definitely required.
At another point in our trip, we took routes 21 and 18, (when leaving Tamarindo), these are also well maintained and paved.
Need a car? Head to Rental Cars.
Public Bus: Transmonteverde
There is a bus that goes from San Jose to Monteverde. The bus runs daily, two times per day, at 6:30 AM and 2:30 PM. The booking can be found on, their website here.
The cost is around $6.00 USD.
We stayed in a finca (farm). It is a fun way to be immersed into Costa Rican culture and I highly recommend this type of experience (you will definitely need a 4×4 for this).
Click here for Monteverde Vrbo rentals.
Click here for Monteverde Airbnbs.
If that’s not for you, below are some hotels in Monteverde and Santa Elena.
1. Koora Hotel: Avg Cost $300.00 – $600.00 CAD per night
2. Monteverde Lodge & Gardens: Avg Cost $350.00 CAD per night
3. Hotel Belmar: Avg Cost $300.00 – $350.00 CAD per night
1. Tityra Lodge: Avg Cost $70.00 – $100.00 CAD per night – for an entire bungalow!!
2. La Guayaba Monteverde: Avg Cost $60.00 – $100.00 CAD per night
1. Hakuna Matata Guest House: Avg Cost $30.00 – $40.00 CAD per night
2. Camino Verde B&B Monteverde: Avg Cost $50.00 – $100.00 CAD per night
Monteverde, Costa Rica Itinerary: 2 Days in Monteverde
Check out my Costa Rica Travel Guide, as well as my 10 Day Costa Rica Itinerary, for more information and further help with planning your adventure!
Day 1: Santa Elena & Coffee/Chocolate Tour
Morning: Drive to Santa Elena, Monteverde Region (Puntarenas province)
See the driving routes above.
Lunch time/ Early afternoon: Santa Elena
Once you get to Santa Elena, park your car and walk around this sweet town. Grab a bite to eat at Tico Y Rico for traditional Costa Rican cuisine or grab an iced coffee at Panaderia Jimenez.
There are so many cute stores & souvenir shops. We spent a good chunk of time just wandering around.
This is one of my favourite ways to get to know a town. Go ahead and get lost!! People are friendly, you will find your way back to your car.
Afternoon: Chocolate, Coffee & Sugar Cane Tour
Spend your afternoon indulging in Costa Rica’s natural elements.
A) Join a local 3-in-1 tour that visits a chocolate farm, coffee and sugar plantation. This tour also offers pick up & drop off to your stay in Monteverde or Santa Elena.
B) A larger tour company that runs in Arenal & Monteverde is Don Juan Tours. They offer chocolate, coffee & sugar cane tours.
The chocolate, coffee & sugar cane tour is 2 hours in length with a few time options. They also offer a night walk option with coffee & chocolate which starts at 5:30 PM. You can also do a 4-in-1 tour; this includes coffee, chocolate, sugar cane & a night walk.
Prices updated in February 2023
Evening: Head to your Airbnb/Hotel
If you have the chance, (and a 4×4 vehicle), I recommend staying at a finca (farm), to get a full Costa Rican experience.
Our Airbnb had sheep, cows & horses. We got to spend time feeding the sheep with bananas from their trees and hanging out with the horses while they bathed the cows. It was amazing!!
Our Airbnb/farm was well maintained with many fruits & vegetables that they graciously shared with us (even coffee plants)!
It was truly an unforgettable Costa Rican experience. I strongly encourage you all to stay at a finca! Below are a few photos from our stay.
Make sure you head to your Airbnb/Hotel before dark. If you are staying deeper into the mountains it is important to drive with the daylight so as not to get lost/stuck in a ditch.
Day 2: Ziplining & Monteverde Cloud Forest
Morning: Breakfast & Ziplining at Sky Adventures Park
Head to breakfast at Choco Café Restaurant & Coffee Shop, I am sure you are not sick of chocolate and coffee yet (haha).
After a fabulous breakfast, head for your first adventure of the day… Ziplining! This Monteverde itinerary would be incomplete without ziplining.
You can visit any park and pay for tickets there, OR you can purchase a tour package that includes pick up and drop off here.
Check out my ziplining blog post review for the details. Do NOT leave this activity out when planning your trip to Costa Rica and/or the Monteverde region. It is AMAZING!! I recommend Sky Adventures Park, which I also detail in my ziplining blog post!
Look, how beautiful!!
Lunch: Have a delicious pizza lunch at Bon Appetit!
Afternoon: Monteverde Cloud Forest & Biological Preserve or Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
One thing you MUST do on your two days in Monteverde is visit a cloud forest. This region of Costa Rica is KNOWN for them. You can visit one of the below mentioned parks or opt for the hanging bridges walk at the Sky Adventures Park (this can be purchased as part of a package with your zipline tour).
Prices are updated October 2022 and are USD.
1. Monteverde Cloud Forest & Biological Preserve
Head to their website here, to book a tour!
If you do choose to go to Monteverde Cloud Forest, please be advised that you must pay for parking at the parking lot below and they shuttle you up to the cloud forest.
If you have not seen hanging bridges yet and are dying to at this park, ensure that it is open to visitors. When we were about to head over, we were told that the hanging bridge was closed for maintenance.
2. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve offers free parking. They recommend that you book in advance for special tours. If you would just like to purchase the entrance pass you can show up day of.
Head to their website here for booking.
3. Cloud Forest Night Walking Tour
Interested in taking a night walking tour of the cloud forest to see nocturnal creatures? Look no further, this tour includes pick up & drop off from your hotel, a tour guide and entry tickets into Monteverde Cloud Forest at night. The tour lasts about 2.5 hours and includes flashlights, for ~$38.00 CAD per person.
4. Monteverde & Santa Elena Cloud Forest Bird Watching Tour
Want to visit both cloud forests in one day? This tour is the FULL package. It includes; pick up and drop off at your hotel, entry into Santa Elena Cloud Forest, Monteverde Cloud Forest, AND Curi Cancha Reserve.
It includes your own private guide and binoculars for your viewing pleasure. In my opinion, this tour is the best value, as it includes your transport as well. The tour can be booked here for ~$230.00 CAD.
However, keep in mind, this tour will be focusing mostly on birds. If this is not for you, try visiting the reserves on their own and finding other guides!
Evening: Dinner & bed
Restaurants in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Head to dinner or order takeout from a restaurant in town. If you haven’t tried the above mentioned restaurants, I recommend giving them a try.
They are: Tico y Rico, Bon Appetit and Choco Café Restaurante & Coffee Shop.
Some other restaurants on my list:
- Restaurante Sabor Tico
- Tree House Restaurante
- The Green Restaurant
Get ready to continue your trip. If you are heading elsewhere, check out my 10 Day Costa Rica Itinerary for some more inspiration!