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Please help with planning Monteverde activities

San Diego
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Please help with planning Monteverde activities

We are staying at the Monteverde Lodge for 3 nights, and are trying to organize our activity plans since there are so many options available. Here is what we have planned so far:

Day 1: Arrive approximately 11 AM – Noon from Arenal via jeep/boat/jeep. We want to arrive at the Children’s Eternal Rainforest between 3:30 and 4:00 to have time to explore before the twilight tour.

Day 2: Monteverde Reserve first thing in the morning. Hiking approx. 4-5 hours? Rest of day open.

Day 3: Santa Elena Reserve, followed by canopy tour and walkways (Skytrek/Skywalk or Selvatura).

We would like to do some horseback riding – perhaps a sunset tour with a view to the Gulf of Nicoya. We may want to see the Ecological Farm one afternoon/evening (if we don’t see much wildlife at Children’s Eternal Rainforest & aren’t burnt out on hiking). We would like to do a little shopping for local artwork.


1. We are considering doing a little exploring and shopping on day 1 during the 3-4 hours we will have free before we need to be at the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. Based on the map, it looks like it is about a 2-3 km walk between our hotel and CER. Would this be a pleasant walk with restaurants and shopping, or should we have a taxi drop us off at some point closer to CER?

2. Which are the best galleries/shops for local art with decent prices, and where are they located?

3. Which companies offer the best horseback tours?

4. We were going to do the canopy tour first thing in the morning on day 3 so there would be less chance of rain, but some of the reviews have said to do hiking first because you don’t feel like doing anything after the canopy tour – I’d appreciate any insight on this timing issue.

I’d appreciate any suggestions on the best way to organize our activities, or whether we are trying to squeeze too much into 3 days. TIA!

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1. Re: Please help with planning Monteverde activities

1. I don't think it would be a very pleasant walk, well I wouldn't do it it is along a dusty road. There isn't much shopping from there to CER.

2. There's one along the way to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, it starts with a C and is made by local people... hmmm you'll see it though... I didn't go but I heard it's good.

3. Don't know, sorry!

4. Yeah, do hiking first. I did the hiking first I know if I did the canopy first I wouldn't feel like hiking after..


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2. Re: Please help with planning Monteverde activities

On day 1 I would say have a nice relaxing lunch and go to Children’s Eternal Rainforest earlier - in 2 1/2 hours you can probably walk all the trails. We got there at 4 and I wish we went earlier. But we did an hour long loop and saw plenty. When you come back to the "office" go around it on the left - we took amazing sunset over the mountains photos from there.

For shopping I remember 2 places - the center of Santa Elena village ("the triangle" on the map) has a supermarket, a produce store, restaurants, and a few shops, and CASEM, which is the local handicrafts cooperative (close to Children's Eternal Forest, across the street from Stella's Bakery).

You can walk, but it would be on the dusty unpaved road with some hotels and restaurants on the way, but nothing much to see.

We didn't do horseback riding and I don't know what company is best, but I found a brochure I have for Caballeriza El Rodeo is Santa Elena. I did a Google search for it and saw a few articles mentioning it. The brochure talks about their 2 hour local tour with views of Gulf of Nicoya, their sunset tours, and mentions customized tours. There is no website mentioned, but the email address is elrodeo@racsa.co.cr, phone (506) 645-5764.

In the cloud forest it rains any time it wants to, not just in the afternoon. The weather also differs in the village vs. lower elevations of the cloud forests vs. the overlooks at the higher elevations. Wear layers and bring rainjacket and waterproof backpack and / or rain cover.

I think you have done a great deal of research, and know what you want to do. You shouldn't plan out every hour of the day. Leave some room for flexibility and spur of the moment kind of activities or just doing nothing. Relax - you will have a wonderful trip.

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