Would you like to know how to make the most of your 2 days in Monteverde?
So you are heading to Monteverde, woohoo! Spending 2 days in Monteverde is going to be an action-packed mini-adventure and I can’t wait to dive into all the fun things you can do in just 2 days.
Costa Rica is well known for its stunning landscapes and diverse nature, and Monteverde is no exception. This cloud forest location is famous for its beautiful, lush green forests, diverse wildlife and of course adventure activities!
2 days may not seem like a lot but if that is all you have to work with, then not to worry. You will be surprised by how much action you can fit into 2 days.
Many of the activities in this Itinerary we did ourselves during our visit. So I can confidently say, you are going to have a blast.
you can also use this along with our full 3 week itinerary to plan one epic trip.
So let’s dive right in…
How To Spend 2 Days In Monteverde – Itinerary
I have put together this detailed itinerary to give you plenty of things to do to make the most of your time in Monteverde. Saving your time and effort is the goal while making sure you have an awesome time.
Feel free to remove some things if it feels like it’s going to be too much. That’s the beauty of travel, ultimately you get to decide what you do and when.
This Itinerary is assuming you will be arriving either the night before day 1 or early in the morning. Then leaving late on day 2 or early the day after. Giving yourself a full 2 days to explore and have some fun.
Plan a budget for your trip to Costa Rica with our detailed guide.
2 days in Monteverde Itinerary
Here is a quick overview of what your 2 days in Monteverde could look like;
- Day 1 Morning – Ziplining, Hanging Bridges & Sloth Sanctuary
- Day 1 Afternoon – Hummingbird Garden & Monteverde Brewery
- Day 1 Evening – Night Walk
- Day 2 Morning – El Tigre Waterfall Hike
- Day 2 Afternoon – Coffee, Chocolate & Sugar Cane Tour
Now let’s get to the details on timings, logistics and the best tours to book.
Day 1 Morning
For the first activity of the day, head into the cloud forest to do some Ziplining and explore the canopy on the photogenic hanging bridges. We personally visited Selvatura Park to do these activities and I would highly recommend them.
If you book tickets in advance to go to Selvatura then they will include transport to and from the park.
The Ziplining course consists of 15 different lines! Yes, you read that right. You will get to fly through the air 15 times. One of them is over 1.5km long and was the biggest thrill! On two of the lines, you get to do it in tandem with someone else. trust me, it will be pretty cool to share the excitement with a buddy.
They also have a Tarzan swing at the end if you are feeling extra adventurous. I am terrified of heights so gave this a miss but Guido absolutely loved it.
Once you are done flying through the air, head out on the park’s hanging bridges. The route is a round path that takes around an hour. There are many bridges that lead through the treetops, allowing you to slow down and take in nature from a unique point of view.
This hike is one of our favourites from our time in Central America.
It can be tricky to spot wildlife in the cloud forest but if you take your time and keep an eye open you may get lucky and see one of the elusive Quetzals. We saw one flash past us while we were there.
The cost of all of this is around $120 per person. It’s not cheap but we looked around and found all of the tours and different parks tend to charge similar amounts. If they are a lot cheaper there is usually a reason for it.
Once you are back at the centre, you also have the option to visit their sloth sanctuary. We are very careful about seeing animals in captivity but this sanctuary was great. The sloths are all rescues that cannot be released for their own safety. Not to mention they have a huge space to live in.
It is worth a visit if you want to see these lazy animals up close and personal. Just remember not to touch. We also have a guide to seeing sloths in Costa Rica if you want to get some more tips.
When all of this is done, jump on the free shuttle back into town for a late lunch.
Day 1 Afternoon
After lunch, it’s time to jump in a taxi and drive 15 minutes down the road to the Hummingbird Garden. These charming gardens are home to hundreds of hummingbirds, of all different species.
The garden is completely free to enter.
They are totally wild, free to come and go as they please and they are used to being close to humans now. This means you get to sit and enjoy a coffee in the cafe as they whizz all around you. It’s a lovely way to spend an hour or so relaxing after your adrenalin-filled morning.
When you are ready head back to town for dinner and you could even pay a visit to the Monteverde Brewing Company. Just make sure to be done by 8 pm for the final activity of the day.
Day 1 Evening
A guided night walk in the Monteverde forest. Many of the species that live up in this climate are nocturnal. So a popular way to experience them is to go out in the forest at night, with a skilled guide and see what you can find.
The cost of this tour is around $34 per person.
This popular tour leaves at 8 pm and will pick you up from your accommodation and drop you back off when you are done.
Day 2 Morning
Rise and shine sleepy head. We are going to get day 2 in Monteverde started bright and early with a hike to El Tigre waterfalls.
You can book your tickets directly on their site and they also offer a pick-up and drop-off service too. I recommend booking the earliest pick-up at 7:30 am.
The cost to enter the Hike is $29 per person and the pick-up service is $10.
The hike is an 8km round trip and takes you over 10 hanging bridges and past 4 big waterfalls with pools that you can swim in. So don’t forget to pack your swimsuit! Then the return drop off back at your accommodation is at 12:30 pm which will give you plenty of time to complete the hike and enjoy some time in the water.
The paths are well maintained on the route and only the last part of the trail is steep, so you don’t need to be in super fit shape to enjoy this hike.
Once you are back in town, grab some lunch before the final activity on the itinerary.
Day 2 Afternoon
At 3 pm join a guided coffee, chocolate and sugar cane tour. This tour is only 2.5 hours long but will give you a good look into how these 3 local products are produced in the area. This is a great way to learn a little more about the local people, history and products that they have been producing for many years.
And of course, there will be tastings.
To join the tour you will need to grab a taxi for the 5-minute drive to the meeting point just outside of the town. The cost is around $44 per person.
You will be done with the tour and back in time to head out for one last meal in Monteverde before departing for your next destination.
More Things To Do In Monteverde
I know we have packed a lot of things into our 2-day itinerary. In case you decide to stay longer or don’t fancy any of the mentioned activities, here are a few more ideas for fun things to do in Monteverde;
- Take a walk to the incredible bridge made entirely naturally from the roots of a tree. You can see the location here. We visited this bridge, it’s a very short walk from the centre of town and then onto a well-marked and maintained path down to the bridge. It is also free to enter.
- Visit Monteverde butterfly garden.
- Hike to Viento Fresco waterfall. A little further away but if you love nature and hiking then this could be a really great option for you.
- Do a mountain biking tour. Rather than just hiring one for the day you could join a guided tour and be taken to all the best spots in the area.
- Do a guided wildlife and nature tour during the day. Usually in the cloud forest, either on the ground or on the hanging bridges but this time with a guide. This is great as they know where to look and are usually really great at spotting things we would never normally notice.
- Enjoy a sunset with incredible views at Cerro Pinocho.
Where to stay in Monteverde
Considering you only have 2 days in Monteverde, I would strongly recommend staying centrally in the town of Santa Elena. This way you will be closer to all the restaurants and most of the activities and tours mentioned in the itinerary. It will make your life a lot easier.
So here are a few suggestions on where to stay based on different budgets;
📍 Budget Option – Hostel Paco House
This is where we stayed on our visit to Monteverde and it was perfect. On the lower end of the budget scale which suited us perfectly but we got a lot for our money. Our room was big and clean and breakfast was included too.
The couple who live here are very kind and the location is perfect just on the edge of town.
📍 Mid-Range Option – Camino Verde B&B
This B&B features large, clean rooms, and free breakfast and has incredible reviews. However, the biggest attraction to staying here is the rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the forest.
This is the perfect place to relax and unwind after some long days of activities.
📍 High-End Option – Chira Glamping
Ok, so you are on vacation in Costa Rica and you want to treat yourself, why the hell not? You could splurge on a luxury glamping stay in one of these gorgeous glamping domes situated up on the hillside.
They are luxurious inside and have balconies with the most incredible views. This would not just be a place to stay but a whole experience in itself.
2 Days in Monteverde – How To Get Around
There are a few different ways you can get around Monteverde but the absolute best way is…
Getting around Costa Rica in general is best done by rental car. If you have your own transport, it will make everything you do in your 2 days in Monteverde so much smoother.
Costa Rica is safe to drive, has mostly great roads and plenty of rental companies offering a whole range of vehicles.
We wished we had got a rental car when we were in Costa Rica but we left it too late to book one and they were either all sold out or crazy expensive. For this reason, I highly recommend reserving one well in advance if you can. I’m talking months in advance.
Don’t worry though, if you book through Discover Cars you can usually cancel the reservation for free if your travel plans change.
If you don’t fancy renting a car for yourself then you can always grab a taxi. In Monteverde, the taxis are mostly pickup trucks and 4x4s due to the nature of the area.
There was always a bunch of taxis in the centre of Santa Elena ready and waiting. Most of the distances you will need to travel are pretty short so the prices shouldn’t be too crazy.
Just remember to always agree on a price BEFORE you set off.
TOP TIP** If you are taking a taxi to one of the activities mentioned in this itinerary, don’t forget to arrange for them to come back and pick you up if needed.
By mountain bike
Lastly, another great way to get around the area, if you are fit and strong is by mountain bike.
You can rent one from a few different spots around town for around $15 for a day. This would be an ideal way to get to the hummingbird garden or coffee tour for example.
Just keep in mind this area is very hilly and the roads can be narrow and very bendy. The locals tend to drive faster than they should and are often on their phones, so keep close to the edges and wear a helmet at all times.
It is very rare for anything to happen but it is better to be safe than sorry.
For details on how to get to Monteverde from Liberia, you can read our full post.
Where To Eat In Monteverde
When it comes to finding great food in Monteverde/ Santa Elena, you have loads of options. However, Costa Rica is known for its high prices and Monteverde is no exception. In fact, we found this was the most expensive place for food.
So if you are travelling on a budget keep this in mind and maybe look to stay places with a kitchen so you can save some money by cooking for yourself.
Here are a few of the places we loved the most when we visited;
🍽 The Tree House Restaurante
This unique restaurant is quite literally built around an enormous tree! They serve great food and have live music a lot of the time too.
🍽 The Open Kitchen
This place had an amazing vegan burger. They do a range of different meals including some healthier options too. They also have a bar downstairs and craft beers on offer.
🍽 Morphos Restaurant
This is a more upscale restaurant with awesome views over the town. They have lovely decor inside and they serve lots of really great dishes. We loved their pasta.
🍽 Soda La Amistad
We were so glad we found this place. They have a huge (rather hard to read) menu and their prices were a lot more reasonable than anywhere else we found in town. The portion sizes were big too.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Monteverde
If you only have 2 days in Monteverde then I can understand why you would want to make sure you visit at the very best time of year. But not to worry, Costa Rica is a beautiful place all year round and that includes Monteverde.
With that being said, there is still an optimal time to visit.
The months of December to April are the country’s dry season. With December having the lowest rainfall. However, February to April are the hottest months. So it very much depends on what kind of weather conditions you prefer.
No matter what time of year you go, Monteverde cloud forest will always be lush and green thanks to the higher climate.
2 Days In Monteverde FAQs
Now that we have covered all of the vital information such as where to stay and eat and how you will fill your 2 days in Monteverde. Here are a few more answers to some frequently asked questions.
Is Monteverde Worth visiting?
We think yes, if you have enough time on your trip to Costa Rica to fit in a few days in Monteverde then you absolutely should! However, if you are on a short trip or a very tight budget then I would perhaps skip Monteverde.
Is 2 days enough in Monteverde?
Yes, 2 days should be plenty of time to experience all the best things in Monteverde.
Is the night Walk in Monteverde worth it?
although we didn’t personally do a night walk, we heard from some other travellers who did that it was great! You don’t actually get to see a lot of wildlife during the day as around 80% is nocturnal and very good at hiding from us.
This makes the night hikes the best way to get to see the local wildlife and you do by all accounts get to see all kinds of critters. From frogs and snakes to sloths.
How many nights do you need in Monteverde Costa Rica?
If you only plan on spending 2 days in Monteverde, I would strongly recommend spending 3 nights to give you the whole 2 days to explore. Otherwise, 2 nights should also work well.
Is it possible to visit Monteverde on a budget?
It is possible to visit Monteverde on a budget. To do so I would take the public buses to get there, stay in the budget accommodation we recommended or a hostel. The prices in restaurants are crazy so I would try and cook for yourself for a few days.
From the activities mentioned, there are a few pretty affordable ones such as the waterfall hike or night walk. Choosing to do either the zip lines or hanging bridges instead of both will save you some money too.
Alternatively, you can visit the natural tree root bridge and hummingbird garden for free.
2 Days In Monteverde – Final Thoughts
So there you have it folks. A fun-filled and action-packed 2-day itinerary for your trip to Monteverde cloud forest. We really enjoyed our time flying through the trees, meeting the wonderful sloths and just enjoying being surrounded by nature for a few days.
I hope this itinerary helps you plan for your visit and have the absolute best time! I would love to hear from you if you do use it and find out what you think.
Enjoy your trip!