Costa Rica hotel finder
   Hotels directory for any budget and taste: Monteverde and Santa Elena

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Monteverde and Santa Elena are two villages located in one of the most interesting and wild areas of Costa Rica. The area is famous for its cloud rain forest, and acclaimed as one of the most outstanding wildlife refuges in the New World Tropics. It has more than 100 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds including 30 kinds of hummingbirds, tens of thousands of insect species (over 5000 species of moths) and 2,500 species of plants, among them 420 kinds of orchids. The villages are located in the Cordillera of Tilarán, 185 km north east from the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. It is surrounded by the Arenal conservation area and the Children's Eternal Rain Forest. Its elevation is approximately 1200 meters (4500 ft) above sea level.

Monteverde is known as an international ecotourism destination and one of the top places to visit in Costa Rica. It is colder than other places in Costa Rica, the mean temperature is  16-18 C (61-64 F), with annual rainfall of  3,000 mm (118 inches)  

There are no paved roads in this area, which makes it feel more remote and isolated than it actually is. A 4WD is recommended, it takes about three and a half hours from San Jose, but there are also frequent buses. The village of Santa Elena is bigger than Monteverde and has more shops and cheaper accommodation options. There are plenty of nature museums and activities in Monteverde and Santa Elena, more than anywhere else in Costa Rica. The most popular experience is doing one of the many canopy tours and sky tracks which are offered by different companies, a unique adrenalin experience and a totally different way to view the cloud forest.


You need to have a bit warmer and longer clothes when going To Monteverde than almost anywhere else in Costa Rica. Sandals, T-shirt and shorts will not do.

If you want to go from Arenal to Monteverde or vice versa, and you don't go with your own car, the easiest way is to use the "Jeep-boat-jeep" service, which takes you with a jeep to the Arenal lake, puts you on a boat, and another jeep is waiting on the other side. The alternative of using the road is more time consuming (about 4 hours), as this  road is notoriously bad even in Costa Rican terms.


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Monteverde  and Santa Elena hotels and cabins

Pension Santa Elena

Price range: $5 to $40 

Location:  Santa Helena, 100 meters downhill from the bank, near the bus stop.

Description: friendly, family run, full kitchen, variety of rooms with and without bathroom

Tel: 645-5051


The Sunset Hotel

Price range: $30$ for single, $40 for double room. Including breakfast.

Location: on the way to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest

Description:  comfortable rustic rooms & nice private trails great for bird watching, great sunset views of the Gulf of Nicoya.


Monteverde hotel



Price range: $60 single, $70 double.

Location: The closest lodge to Monteverde Reserve.

Description: cozy new 20-room inn, private balcony in each guest room, and a family-style restaurant fronted by huge picture windows. Set in a small private reserve, the lodge is ideal for families.

Tel: (506) 645-5858

santa Elena hotel


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