The Best of 2 Days in Monteverde Itinerary

Green mountains surround you in Monteverde, living up to it’s namesake. This Monteverde itinerary will have you exploring the moody cloud forests, ziplining through the trees and searching for the coolest wildlife.

Monteverde is truly a special place and a must visit on any Costa Rica itinerary.

Having personally experienced the beauty of Monteverde during the spring months last year, I am so excited to be sharing this 2 days in Monteverde itinerary for your upcoming holiday!

My Monteverde itinerary reflects our trip, so you know I wouldn’t lead you astray!

Some links in this Monteverde Itinerary post are affiliate, if you click them I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Ziplining at Sky Adventures, Monteverde a must on your 2 days in Monteverde
Ziplining at Sky Adventures, Monteverde

Monteverde Costa Rica Itinerary Snapshot & Map

Day 1:

  • Santa Elena Town 🏘️
  • Chocolate, Coffee Tour 🍫☕️

Day 2:

  • Zip-lining 🙀
  • Cloud Forest 🌳
Cows on the way to Monteverde, Costa Rica
Cows on the way to Monteverde, Costa Rica

How many days in Monteverde Costa Rica

Recommended length of stay in Monteverde: 2-3 days

Our stay in Monteverde: 2 days 

Reason for longer stay: To fully get to immerse yourself in rural Costa Rican culture, spend time on a farm and learn from locals, you can easily extend to 3 days in Monteverde.

Best Time to Visit Monteverde

As with most regions in Costa Rica, the best time to visit Monteverde is dependent on your travel preferences.

The dry season in Monteverde is from December to April, rain is minimal and the sun shines almost all day long. However, keep in mind that with the gorgeous weather comes the crowds. 

The rainy season, known as the “green season” in Monteverde, is from May to November. This is when Monteverde shines the brightest (not literally).

The greenery is so lush in the rainy season that some say this is truly the best time to visit the cloud forests. 

Although it may not be as green during the dry season, visiting myself in March (at the end of dry season), the greenery was gorgeous and I was mesmerized!

It is a much cooler climate in this region compared to the rest of Costa Rica so don’t forget to add warmer clothes to your Costa Rica packing list.

The temperatures range from low 10°C – high 30°C (50-86°F).

How to get to Monteverde

Monteverde Driving Routes

  1. SJO Airport -> Monteverde: 2.5-3 hours via Route 27 & 606
  2. LIR Airport -> Monteverde: 2.5 hours via Route 1, 142 & 145
  3. La Fortuna -> Monteverde: 2.5 hours via Route 142 & 145 (similar to above)
  4. Tamarindo -> Monteverde: 3.5 hours via Route 21, 18 & 145

We drove from 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 a 4×4 was required.

At another point in our trip, we took routes 21 and 18, (when leaving Tamarindo, Guanacaste Province), these are also well maintained and paved.

Need a car? Head to Rental Cars for deals.

Public Bus: Transmonteverde

Transmonteverde 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 cost is around $6.00 USD

Where to stay in Monteverde

When I was recently in Monteverde, we stayed in a finca (farm). It was one of the coolest experiences and I highly recommend it for a fun way to experience the culture of this region.

Depending on where the farm is located, you will most likely need a 4×4 car rental to accommodate the poorly paved roads!

Check out Monteverde vacation rentals to find your best fit!

If that’s not for you, below are some hotels in Monteverde and Santa Elena.

Luxury Hotels in Monteverde

Koora Hotel

Stay in the cloud forests of Monteverde at Koora Hotel. Koora Hotel is listed as the #1 Hotel in Monteverde by TripAdvisor.

This luxury hotel offers suites and bungalows, the perfect backdrop for your adventure. View monkeys and birds on your way to your bungalow and spend time enjoying the Costa Rican cuisine at their on site restaurant, Kiré.

Click here for Koora Hotel reviews & information.

Click here for prices and booking Koora Hotel.

Monteverde Lodge & Gardens

Located a short walk from downtown Monteverde but far enough away to feel like you’re in paradise. Visit Monteverde Lodge & Gardens for a tranquil escape.

This hotel is rated #1 in all of Santa Elena hotels.

Wake up to forest views while lying upon your plush bed, go for a quick dip after the cloud forest hikes and have a bite to eat at their on-site restaurant, El Jardin Restaurant.

Click here to check reviews for Monteverde Lodge & Gardens.

For Monteverde Lodge & Gardens booking and pricing information, click here.

Hotel Belmar

Located in the cloud forest is this gorgeous Hotel Belmar.

Fabulous on site amenities are offered here including; yoga classes, spa, juice bar, tea room, on site restaurant, and farm visits!

This is definitely one of the cooler places to stay in the region.

Check them out here.

Book a room at this cloud forest hotel here.

Mid-Range Monteverde Hotels

Camino Verde Bed & Breakfast

Stay here for a Costa Rican lodging experience that will have you feeling at home.

Tours, transportation and breakfast included Camino Verde is one of the best stays for value in Monteverde.

Click here for Camino Verde Bed & Breakfast reviews.

Click here for Camino Verde Bed & Breakfast booking information.

Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco Costa Rica

What started off small is now a large complex with stunning amenities.

Hotel & Spa Poco a Poco has free parking, a pool onsite, extensive spa menu, restaurant and bar on site and most importantly, free breakfast!

Check out their reviews here.

Click here for prices & booking.

Monteverde Budget Hotels

Hakuna Matata Guest House

A Monteverde guest house with access to a shared kitchen and bathroom. A few kilometres from Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Airport shuttle can be arranged ahead of time for an additional cost.

Click here to check out Hakuna Matata’s reviews.

Check out their deals & booking information here.

Selina Monteverde

For a hostel stay check out Selina Monteverde. Shared rooms and amenities help to keep things under budget. Enjoy group classes from yoga to movie or karaoke nights.

Check out Selina reviews here.

Click here for booking and pricing information for Selina Monteverde

Monteverde Itinerary: 2 Days in Monteverde

Let’s pack your bags and head out on your Monteverde adventure!

Whether you are starting off in Monteverde or tagging it onto a longer Costa Rica trip, you are in for a treat! 

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.

Obviously, I am starting the Monteverde itinerary with delicious Costa Rican food

Grab a bite to eat at Tico Y Rico for traditional Costa Rican cuisine or grab an iced coffee at Panaderia Jimenez.

Cafe Jiminez in Costa Rica
Cafe Jiminez in Costa Rica

There are so many cute stores & souvenir shops. We spent a good chunk of time just wandering around.

Markets in Santa Elena Costa Rica
Markets in Santa Elena Costa Rica

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 some of Costa Rica’s best natural elements.

A) Join a local 3-in-1 tour that visits a chocolate farm, coffee and sugar plantation.

This tour offers pick up & drop off to your stay in Monteverde or Santa Elena.

Check out the tours and prices here!

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.

Additionally, they 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.

Check out their tours & prices here!

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, hanging out with the horses and watching the cows get bathed.

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.

Sheep at our AIrbnb finca in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Our farm Airbnb in Monteverde, Costa Rica

TIP: Make sure you head to your accommodation 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.

Many of Monteverde’s roads are not well paved and definitely are not lit in the dark, so avoid driving in the dark at all costs. Once the sun sets in Costa Rica it becomes dark FAST.

Good night!

Brush up on some Spanish to English words for this region of Costa Rica. If you are staying at a finca, you should know some Spanish words!

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… Monteverde Ziplining!

This Monteverde 2 day 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.

Do NOT leave this activity out.

It is AMAZING!! I recommend Sky Adventures Park. They were professional, safe & most of all fun to hang with for the day!

Double zipline at Sky Adventures, Monteverde

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).

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.

Check out tours & prices here!

If you visit Arenal, Costa Rica first, make sure to visit Mistico Hanging Bridges Park for an amazing suspension bridge experience.

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

Good night!

Busy? Pin the 2 Days in Monteverde for later!

Need help with personal travel planning?

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Monteverde Itinerary Final Thoughts

Monteverde is the perfect destination for outdoor adventure and wildlife. It brings something different and contrasts Costa Rica’s beach towns, volcanoes and luxurious hot springs.

With its awe-inspiring cloud forests, abundant greenery, and remarkable biodiversity, this region will have you leaving a piece of your heart behind.

This detailed Monteverde itinerary offers a taste of the wonderful experiences awaiting you in Monteverde.

Make sure to add onto this Costa Rican adventure with a trip to Manuel Antonio and Jaco, Costa Rica.

Whether visiting for a little or a long time, your Costa Rica trip will have you returning again and again. 

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