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How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

newport, ky
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How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

How much time should I allow to spend in the Monteverde Reserve? I plan on taking a guided tour which lasts about 3 hours through CCT. Should I allow myself more time before or after the tour to see more of the reserve?

newport, ky
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11. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

Thanks so much for all of the information Monteverdeguy!! This really helps a lot. How much do the semi private guides charge?

Monteverde Costa...
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576 posts
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12. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

The actual cost for the guides service for the semi-private tour is $17.00 each. No student discounts on that and the guide needs to be payed in cash. The entrance fee for the reserve is $9.00 kids and students and $17.00 adults. That can be paid in cash or credit card.

Another good example today with two couples going to the reserve. One couple with a guide saw quetzals and other things. The couple without the guide enjoyed the forest of course but no quetzals or good views of other birds.

Have a good time. I´m sure you will.

Calgary
8 posts
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13. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

I would spend at least two days, if not three in Monteverde. Have a look at <a href="itravel-costarica.com/monteverde_cloud_fores…">Monteverde travel attractions and activities</a>. I went on the Butterfly Garden tour, Sky Walk and Seprentarium, as well as a night -time bug tour at Monteverde Cloud Forest.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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14. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

Thank you Monteverde guy...incredible nice explanation...and so complete...GRACIAS!

merryxmas

Luis

Alexandria, Virginia
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8 posts
5 reviews
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15. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

(Summary: we skipped both Cloud Reserves, did a cheaper night walk at our hotel, saw hummingbirds for free at the Monteverde reserve entrance, and experienced Santa Elena cloud forest via Selvatura Park experience)

I will be the odd person out by saying that we didn't even bother going into monteverde or santa elena cloud reserves, because we'd already seen sloths, coatis and other animals in our first 3 days in CR (Arenal) and had done a good night hike at our hotel Montana de Monteverde.

Our night hike was right here down the hill from the hotel and cost $17/adult and $10/child. (Seems you have to really make a point of asking for the child discount in booking any tour in CR.) We chose this hike since we arrived at 4pm after a long rough drive from La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano and didn't have time to book the Monteverde reserve night walk, but also after doing quick online research in our hotel lobby (good wi-fi and ample space on couches) decided it wasn't a huge loss. The Monteverde Cloud Reserve night walk is $20/person with no child discount and several different locals said you'll see similar things in the preserve by our hotel and it's better to start at 5:30pm vice 6pm (maybe winter start time vice the 7pm listed in guide books?). Our guide was very good and informative. We learned a lot and saw a tarantula, lots of crickets, leaf-cutter ants, brown jay(?), the racoon-like Coatimundi (on drive near Arenal, we stopped our car and joined others in feeding a cluster of these cute animals - ok, let the criticism fly), but no sloth (ok, since we saw a few during our fun whitewater rafting trip in La Fortuna - Wave Expedition $65pp plus 10%discount adult and 20%off for kids thru our hotel).

In reading other reviews about the Monteverde Reserve night walk, it sounds like the experience was comparable, but we avoided the hassle of driving a rough steep rd in the dark and paid $54 vice $80 for our family. I know I risk being villified for this comment, but I think even $54 for a family of 4 is over-priced for a 2-hr guided walk (no transportation necessary). Yes, the guide was knowledgable, but he's probably only paid $5/hr and there were a total of 10 people in our overall group. I appreciate that locals get a discount or don't even have to pay for some activities, but the mark-up for tourists is ridiculous.

The next day after a leisurely breakfast and seeing all the tour groups rush off to the Monteverde cloud reserve, we drove to the reserve entrance to see the hummingbirds at the (free) Hummingbird Gallery and that was wonderful and more exciting to us than the prospect of paying $40 (for family of 4) for 2-3 hours of walking among crowds to see flora and fauna and maybe one or two animals. We as a family appreciate natural beauty and learning interesting facts about nature, but won't go out of our way or pay unreasonable prices. (I know the entrance fees supposedly go to help preserve the forest, but other more beautiful parks and preserves we've visited in Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia weren't as expensive. )

After leaving the Hummingbird Gallery, we did sort of regret not getting to walk in the cloud forest, but that was fixed we later did the Selvatura adventure park zipline and hanging bridges which is located way high up adjacent to the Santa Elena Cloud Reserve. Beautiful experience "flying" through and above the misty forest - plus, when you walk from station to station where the zips weren't connected, you get the experience of hiking thru the forest albeit with helmet and zip equipment strapped on.

Monteverde Costa...
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16. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

Working in tourism and seeing people pay money for activities I do agree that things can add up and some activities are overpriced. I encourage any tourist here to speak up and do not be shy to tell the people at an activity after having down it that you felt the price was too high. In my experience most people will not say anything directly for fear of being rude.

Although back at home you may be the first person to look for the store manager and offer a complaint.

Well it is better to open your mouth and give your opinion than to leave unsatisfied and then the tour operator has no feedback. And there is no problem voicing opinions here on tripadvisor but as consumers we need to tell the tour operators what we think. And offer suggestions.

Two points:

1) What looks like an overpriced activity in fact may not be so. You need to consider more than what the guide may be getting paid.

So say the guide gets $5.00 an hour. He probably is on salary so those days when no one shows up for the tour there is still that cost. And I can tell you there are many days when no one shows up or 2 or three. Also we have whole months like October with almost no tourism. Ok so add 40% to the salary since that is Costa Rican law for benefits, then how about the cost of the person who has to take reservations and coordinate transport. Also the cost of transport which is included in the price and most people will need. Insurance, trail maintenance etc.

I personally know one owner of a night tour who lost his house this year due to lack of income. He now has to rent and is struggling to get by.

Anyway my point is that what may seem expensive may not even cover expenses let alone generate any large profits.

2) I went to Columbia and Ecuador this year on vacation and things were extremely cheap. Nice hotel rooms for $12.00, lunch for $1.50, cheap buses etc etc.

But what I found is that the tourism industry there is not well developed. Only in a few areas were there real activities that I could do. When found, they were a bit cheaper than Costa Rica but I found myself relying on spending my time looking at churches and interesting architecture and some small museums that I could find. (which I really enjoy)

I had a bird guide in Ecuador and while a really nice guy he was not anywhere up to par with the guides at the reserve here.

Also very few people there spoke English. So for me no problem but for the majority of Americans who can not speak Spanish having an educated English speaking guide here in Costa Rica is a real advantage and frankly needs to be paid for.

I explained above in my first post here how little the guides at the reserve really make on a yearly basis.

So anyway while I certainly understand the price value issue I think it important for people to understand the whole picture. And also to appreciate the fact that there are more things to do here and some really varied types of tours with English speaking guides that allow you to have things to do the whole family can enjoy.

But of course there are costs involved.

So don’t hesitate to speak your mind while here and offer tips for how the tours can improve. Lack of communication will just keep things the same without improvements.

Enjoy Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica
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17. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

Nice post...I just like to said today...Merryxmas...Happy Holidays!i

Luis Roadadvisor

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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43 reviews
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18. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

For me I am a 2 nighter in Monteverde. It IS magical and the view is beyond compare but I start to go a bit stir crazy after a couple of days....Maybe it's the altitude...

Cheers

Inca

19. Re: How much time for Monteverde Reserve?

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