If there is one activity you can surely do and enjoy immensely in Monteverde, it is hiking! The trails are numerous and varied in length, in difficulty, and in the type of forest you will encounter along the way. What is definitely the same is the immersion in nature and all the wonders Monteverde has to offer with your hiking boots on and in action. Ficus Sunset Suites has selected the 5 Best Hiking Trails in Monteverde that will take you into the heart of the forest and the essence of this amazing, mountaintop gem.
Ficus Sunset Suites sits in the very heart of Monteverde and offers all the modern conveniences that a Monteverde hiker would like. Spacious, airy rooms with a private terrace that welcomes the morning sun or farewells the day of adventure with amazing views of the Ficus signature sunsets. It also offers a gourmet restaurant for a hearty breakfast before you set off on your hike, or a gourmet dinner filled with conversations about your day in the forest.
So, after a delicious night's sleep and an early morning Costa Rican coffee and breakfast at Ficus, it is time to put on those hiking boots and begin to explore the endless trails in Monteverde. They will take you through cloud forests, rainforests, and lots of secondary forests thanks to the continued efforts of the Monteverde conservation groups, and their protection of this precious mountaintop. Ficus Sunset Suites is part of this movement of the love of nature. But most of all, the love for Monteverde.
Here are the 5 best hiking trails in Monteverde
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is our best place for exploring the cloud forest from the forest floor. The reserve has a network of hiking trails that interconnect at different points. These are easy to moderate trails that can be done with or without a certified guide.
Some popular landmarks along the different trails include a suspension bridge, a waterfall, and a great lookout called La Ventana or The Window. It is located at the top of the Continental Divide so you can see how the moisture-rich clouds roll in from the Caribbean side of Costa Rica bringing lots of humidity to Monteverde.
A positive aspect of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is that you can spend as much time as you want exploring the different, well-maintained trails. You will also have great bird-watching opportunities including the elusive resplendent quetzal that is always exciting.
- Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is another of our best hiking trails in Monteverde. This private reserve has 5 trails to choose from, one of which is adapted for nature-lovers with different physical capacities.
All trails connect at some stage of the hike, the longest being Caño Negro that is nearly 3 miles long. The Youth Challenge trail boasts a fantastic observation deck, that on a clear day, you can marvel at seeing three of Costa Rica's volcanoes and even Lake Nicaragua.
Santa Elena also has a Shinrin Yoku project with a trail to experience forest bathing. This is run by a group of volunteers. Other trails will cross bridges and there are some lookout decks with views to the Arenal Volcano and beyond.
- Selvatura Adventure Park
Ficus Sunset Suites knows that Monteverde is an adventure paradise too, so Selvatura Adventure Park is included in the 5 best hiking trails in Monteverde. Selvatura is on the list as its trail through the cloud forest includes 8 bridges that cross the canopy of the forest.
Selvatura Adventure Park has a nearly 2-mile walk through the cloud forest considered easy and leisurely. The high point of the trail includes the state-of-the-art suspension bridges or treetop walkways, that take you through the highest level of the cloud forest where most of the animals and birds prefer to live and feed.
This trail means that hikers have the chance to see the cloud forest from a different perspective, but also offers great views of the surrounding forest and beyond. If you want to combine the hike with some adventure in the form of ziplining, Selvatura Adventure Park is your place to hike and fly.
- Curi-Cancha Reserve
Curi-Cancha Reserve is a great place for hikers in Monteverde. Not only because of its beauty, but it is also a favorite for avid bird watchers with up to 200 bird species spotted in the reserve. It is also a good place to see wildlife including the armadillo, monkeys, sloths, and coatis.
The Reserve has a network of hiking trails of nearly 7 miles that will take you through the primary and secondary cloud forest and open areas too. You can opt for a guided tour or hike the trails on your own.
Curi-Cancha Reserve also offers a night tour of the cloud forest which is a favorite for nature lovers. The night tour will show a cloud forest that is much more active as many of the animals are nocturnal. The night tour is also a wonderful opportunity to see lots of furry balls of sleeping birds.
- Children’s Eternal Rainforest
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is Costa Rica's largest private reserve and bestrides the continental divide. It has four stations each with their own trails that will take you through rainforests and others.
One of the stations is the Bajo de Tigre that has 8 hiking trails, two of which are cataloged as difficult. They are not long trails, but you will be walking within a rare type of forest known as a rain shadow forest, that is drier than its cloud forest cousin.
The San Gerardo Station offers 6 open trails through primary and secondary rainforest, all of which are easy to moderate difficulty. Explore the beauty of the rainforest, crossing over bridges and the Waterfall Trail will take you to a beautiful cascade as a high point to your walk. A day of hiking in a reserve that was born from the love of a group of Swedish children who decided to raise money to save the rainforest. It is now a worldwide program and a community effort to continue to protect and grow.
Monteverde is full of trails and hiking opportunities. Whether it is your love for hiking, for birdwatching or a desire to feel and live the beauty of nature up close by immersion, there is a reserve for you. Ficus Sunset Suites is your hiking companion in Monteverde, and we love to hear our guests’ stories from their walks in the Monteverde forests. When will we hear your story?