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Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves are in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica.
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Points of Interest
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Points of Interest in Monteverde
The most scenic parts of Monteverde are at the Trocha in San Luis, at the Ventana in the Monteverde Reserve or at the Mirador in the Santa Elena Reserve. Mist and clouds often obscure these views.
Monteverde's appeal centers around its scenery and nature. Many ecosystems exist in the numerous reserves, such as Bajo del Tigre, the Santa Elena Reserve, the Bosque Eterno de los Niños and the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
A major industry is the zip-line business, and there are several choices, including the mediocre Original Canopy Tour, the good Sky Trek and the stellar Selvatura Park. These "canopy tours" offer a good albeit fast look at the canopy from dizzying heights.
Minor attractions include:
- the Bat Jungle, with live bats, museum & an Argentinean restaurant
- the Frog Pond, which affords a decent look at the numerous local amphibian species
- Monteverde New Media Expedition. The
- the Butterfly Garden in Cerro Plano
- the far superior Victorian-style Butterfly Garden at Selvatura Park (ask a guide)
- the astounding Insect Museum in the same complex
- the San Luis waterfall
- the very interesting Bajo del Tigre night walk (guarantees tarantula and sloth sightings)
- the Monteverde Cheese Factory
- Caburé Chocolate tour, Center of Monteverde, ☎ (506) 2645-5020. 2pm & 4pm. A bean to bar chocolate tour at an Oompa-Loopa-sized chocolate factory.
- horseback riding... All Day Cowboy Ride and San Luis Waterfall Ride exciting alternative options to the normal 2.5 hour rides
- UGA Costa Rica Campus, San Luis de Monteverde, ☎ (506) 2645-8049. Visit the San Luis Botanical Garden with arboretum trails and 75 species of medicinal plants; Resident Naturalists offer day and night-time natural history walks through forest trails; participate in UGA Costa Rica's Carbon Offset Program and help reforest with native species; stop in and enjoy a cup of coffee or fresh, cold juice and a meal after hiking to the San Luis waterfall!
Go to downtown Santa Elena to get the best food. Sophias Restaurant has really exotic food. Tramonti is great for italian food. Fried chicken next to the bank in Santa Elena. Great chocolates at Café Caburé.
- Panaderia Jimenez, San Elena and Canitas. The Panaderia Jimenez on Santa Elena's main street has delicious bread, pastries, coffee, and more at budget prices. Stop by for breakfast or a snack for the trail or bus ride. Their products are both served at restaurants and on the store shelf throughout the region.
- Café Caburé, Center of Monteverde, ☎ (506)2645-5020. 9am-9pm. Café Caburé is an Argentine restaurant, chocolate, and coffee shop, located at the Paseo de Stella Tourist Center in Old Monteverde. Products include handmade truffles and assorted chocolates, as well as a variety of Argentine and other international dishes. Fine food at a moderate price.
Bar Amigos is the premier place for Ticos and tourists to mingle. Beers are ¢700, but expect an occasional ¢1000 cover charge. Service is mediocre but the food is great.
The Guarida del Sapo is a more upscale and much more expensive locale, with beers going at a criminal ¢1200. However, the service is amazing and the music is never as loud as Bar Amigos.
The Unicornio is a locals only spot for the most part, with beers at ¢700 and (hilariously bad) karaoke most every night. Proceed to Unicornio with prudence and trepidation; you're likely to stick out here as a tourist of any kind.
The Bromelias souvenir shop sometimes converts into a bar with great live music, but this is rare. Beers here are also ¢700, but Bromelias is by and large the best place to drink when it's functional.
All throughout the main drag of Santa Elena, T-Shirts, shot glasses and other standard tourist fares are sold. Coffee products are sold throughout town as well, though the Coffee Roaster in Monteverde is particularly noteworthy. A women's art commune, CASEM, is a good place to look for wooden wares and a variety of rainforest themed stuffed animals, but is not cheap. Cerro Plano also boasts a South American clothing store, which is relatively cheap but certainly not Costa Rican. Overall, Monteverde souvenirs are tourist-geared kitsch, however.
- Marvin Anchia (Horse Trek Monteverde), Santa Elena, Monteverde, Costa Rica (Santa Elena Center with Desafio Adventure Company), ☎ 506-2645-5874. 5-7. Howrseback Riding in Monteverde Costa Rica. From 2.5 hours to the exciting new All Day Cowboy Ride and San Luis Horseback Ride. Good horses, fantastic scenery.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves on Wikivoyage.