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Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

Jersey City, New...
Level Contributor
30 posts
54 reviews
Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

Hi, for my upcoming CR trip, I only have 18 hours in Monteverde and try to cover as much as I can. I will be arriving around 3-4 pm and planning to do one of the night tour. (Any recommendation for the tour operator?) Next day, I am trying to decide whether I should do morning hike by joining tour or take zip line tour before my departure at 2pm. or is it possible to do both?

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,308 posts
119 reviews
1. Re: Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

I think you can do all 3 tours you are looking for!

Love the night tour...and yes again...morning ealry as you can hike...and zip line...


Monteverde Costa...
Level Contributor
665 posts
59 reviews
2. Re: Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

hard to do the reserve and a zip line leaving at 2Pm. Reserve needs 3 hours minimum plus time to get out there and back. Monteverde reserve best with guide. You could do Selvatura for zip line which is right next to Santa Elena cloud forest. Take shuttle to reserve early (picks up at 6:30Am at your hotel) Call Chico 8373-5226 for shuttle ($2.00 each to Santa Elena Reserve) Then hike the reserve and leave 10:30Am walking back to Selvatura and do the 11:00Am zipline which then would give you transport back to your hotel by Selvatura. Problem with this is that it could be a bit later than 2:00Pm or right at 2:00Pm when you get back. If Selvatura is busy there can be delays. If you are leaving on a shuttle or jeep boat jeep at 2:00Pm could be risky. If you chance it make sure when you leave early to have all your bags ready for when you get back and explain to your hotel what the plan is.

Good luck

Antigua, Guatemala
Level Contributor
2,958 posts
23 reviews
3. Re: Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

Every hotel offers the same night tour, I would just go with the hotel you are staying.

For the morning, how about going with skytrek for both the zipline and a hanging bridges hiking tour. This way you get the best of all worlds and you are done before 2.

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1 review
4. Re: Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

This is one of the reasons why most people don't recommend a visit to Monteverde for just one night. It makes it kinda rushed and sorta forces you to give one thing or other short shrift.

Marina is right about the night tour. The simplest thing would be to just let your hotel arrange it for you. You'll probably wind up on just about the same tour no matter where you book it anyway.

And Monteverdeguy was right on about how to go about doing the morning hike. Doing it at least first with a guide is HIGHLY recommended and those tours usually take about 3 hours. The plus side is that since early morning (and late afternoon) is also the best time to do a tour, they also have a lot of groups start very early (with more leaving throughout the day as demand requires). So you shouldn't have too much trouble getting on the trail by 7:30AM provided you leave for the park early enough. So also "finishing" by 10:30AM is certainly very doable too. Of course, the earlier you get there the more absolutely certain you can be of being in one of the very first groups to set out (6:30AM from your hotel sounds pretty good). OTOH, getting back to what I said in my 1st paragraph, IMHO you won't get as full a taste of the place if you just do the basic guided tour without trying to explore at least a little bit on your own afterwards (though certainly many do just that).

How to go about fiting in that zip-line tour will be a bit dicier. Most of those tours are located north of Santa Elena on the way to the Santa Elena Reserve rather than in the direction of Monteverde, which is to the east of "downtown". So you might want to choose that Reserve rather than Monteverde itself for your morning hike in order to make hitting one of the ziplines on your way back to town more logistically simple. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, Santa Elena is a somewhat different type of forest than Monteverde being on the other side of the Continental Divide. Because of that it does not catch as much of the moisture laden Pacific tradewinds and thus is not nearly as most (or cloudy) as the Monteverde Cloud Forest. That doesn't mean it isn't also very worthy of a visit too. Getting back to my earlier comments, ideally you should visit both, but if you have such limited time and also want to try to get in a zip-line tour than perhaps you should just stick with Santa Elena as Monteverdeguy suggested.

Marina also had a good suggestion if you decide that trying to both a guided forest hike and the zip-line is not logistically doable given your 2PM departure time. In that case, one thing you could certainly do is bag both Santa Elena and Monteverde and do the combo bridges/zipline tours instead. Both of those will take you through rain/cloud forest environments, though the GUIDED bridges tour will allow you to take in and understand more of what you're seeing.

I'll suggest one other possible solution. Forget about doing the zip-line tour in this area. Since those are mainly about the thrills of zipping at breakneck speeds through the forest canopy rather than learning about a particular environment, you could really do those anywhere and its not like there aren't lots of zipline tours all over CR including probably somewhere else where you'll be heading (such as the Arenal/Fortuna area perhaps).

I'll make one last comment, and please don't take this the wrong way. One of the mistakes that many CR visitors commonly make is to try and schedule too much in too short of a time. I'll admit I've done that myself on occassion. I don't know about the rest of your itinerary, but it sounds like you are one of those types who are trying to fit in all of CR in just a week or so's trip. And that can't really be done. The reality probably is that you won't be able to squeeze in absolutely everything you're attempting during this trip (if not at Monteverde than at one or more of your other stops. So please be prepared to accept that. Figure out your priorities, which activities or sights are your absolute must-sees or do's and focus on them. Everything else should be regarded as just "it would be nice if I can also do that too". Figure you're going to "waste" at least some time waiting around to check in to hotels, get everybody together to go out dinner, or any other number of things and then there is also simple down time to relax and/or recover from some of your more strenuous activities. This may be the trip of a lifetime for you, but if you really love CR, as many of us do, you can always come back to see or do whatever you had missed the first time around.

Jersey City, New...
Level Contributor
30 posts
54 reviews
5. Re: Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

Hi All! Thank you very much for your suggestions. Everyone has really good point and you all really helped me to decide.

Projilo - thank you for your thoughts. Yes. I totally agree that I need more time to enjoy MV. Perhaps, I can go back there to explore more.

Marina - was Canopy in Arenal as great as in Monteverde? I might just do in Arenal since I have more time there.

Monteverdeguy - as you pointed out, it might be a bit rush to do all so I'd choose one, probably hike in trail in MV.

Roadadvisor - yes, your suggestion was my ideal. :)

Again, thank you so much for the kind suggestion!

6. Re: Need help planning on my 18 hours in Monteverde.

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