The family adventure of a lifetime in Monteverde

Family on a suspension bridge near Ficus Lodge

A family vacation destination has to check a number of boxes before it makes the shortlist of possibilities. It has to be a place that can keep all members entertained, a great hotel with all the conveniences, lots of different activities to cater to all the varied tastes of the group, and it sure has to be pretty beautiful. The family adventure of a lifetime in Monteverde is the destination that checks all those boxes. It also has to have wildlife galore, great family-style restaurants, and be just a few hours’ drive from the beach and the airport.

Monteverde sits on a mountaintop that overlooks the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This celebrated spot is a very special one as it is home to the cloud forest. This very delicate forest is beautifully particular and is likened to elf woodlands or goblin forests thanks to the misty clouds that blanket the trees and the undercover. It is a fantastic opportunity for story-telling, as your imagination comes alive while exploring the enchanting forest and walking through the clouds.

Before venturing out into the mystical cloud forest, you need to leave your bags at the best family hotel on the Monteverde mountaintop. Ficus Sunset Suites is the perfect basecamp for the family adventure of a lifetime in Monteverde, with its large airy rooms with generous balconies offering additional family space. It is also conveniently located just steps away from the heart of Monteverde, the cloud forest, and all the close-to-nature adventure activities that you have come to experience.

So, after a delicious breakfast at the The Fig Restaurant with amazing views down onto the Pacific Ocean coast, it is time to venture out into the magical cloud forest and begin to experience the family adventure of a lifetime. Every family has their decision-making system on what to do first, but based on the Ficus Suites Monteverde experience of very successful family adventure stories, the one that continues to bring joy and create happy faces for all family members is ziplining at Selvatura Adventure Park.

Fun family fact: The Cloud Forest makes up just 1% of the world’s forests. When visiting Monteverde, you are immersing yourself in a forest that is fragile and needs to be protected.

Flying through the cloud forest canopy!

If there is just one adventure activity that the family decides on doing together, it has to be ziplining! This is a guarantee of fun, squeals of laughter, and will make a thrill-seeker out of everyone. It is a perfect introduction to Monteverde and can be done as a family activity as it can be adapted to all ages, sizes, and thrill levels.

Selvatura Adventure Park is a nature and adventure ecological park that sits within 850 acres of protected land. It is a top Monteverde attraction and a guarantee for adventure. The ziplining “track” runs through the canopy or top level of the cloud forest so not only will you be flying through the air, but you will also enjoy birds-eye views of the cloud forest and its dwellers.

With 13 cables and a Tarzan swing at the end, in the expert company of the Selvatura ziplining guides and team, safety and the thrill of the ride is the Selvatura ziplining mantra. This means, when your child zips off into the clouds with a squeal of delight, that this adventure will be the favorite theme of many family stories to come.

Fun family fact:  The Monteverde Cloud Forests are protected within a network of private reserves. The local community decided to purchase the land that houses the cloud forest as a way of ensuring its preservation. We love the caring, nature-loving community of Monteverde.

Walking through the cloudy forest! 

There are different ways to experience the cloud forest from the ground. After viewing the canopy of this mystical forest from above, a walk along its vibrant and fairytale-like forest floor brings new perspectives and new adventures.

From the cloud forest floor and exploring at a pace you decide upon, this is the perfect opportunity to focus on its details and transform your experience to a journey of the senses. Follow the paths of the ants, identify the melodious songs of the more than 400 bird species that make the cloud forest their home. Enjoy the numerous types of plants, moss, ferns, orchids, and trees that allow only the minimum of the sun's rays to filter through.

This is where Mother Nature really created a special type of forest. As the clouds waltz elegantly among the trees, a sense of mystery and wonder overtake, and new stories are born from the unique experience of walking in the forest of the clouds.

Monteverde has a number of reserves including the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, and the Selvatura Adventure Park. Most of the nature trails through the cloud forests at these places are easy to moderate so all the family can enjoy the walk. The Selvatura Adventure Park has an additional thrill factor with a series of suspension bridges or treetop walkways on its 1.9 mile-long trail which children love! They also become great wildlife viewing decks which is yet another fabulous family adventure activity in Monteverde.

Fun Family Fact: The hummingbird is a frequently seen cloud forest dweller. It has a wingbeat of around 80 beats/second which creates a humming sound. That is where their name comes from, and it means they need to supply their energy by consuming nectar. They are also the only birds in the world that can fly backward and upside down!

Wildlife watching!

As you explore the cloud forest zipping through its canopy or walking along its floor, the probability of viewing the diversity of wildlife that inhabits Costa Rica and Monteverde is incredibly high. From the smallest of insects to the colorful, iconic resplendent quetzal to the barking howler monkeys, Monteverde has them all!

Monteverde is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, so come prepared to see lots of animals of all shapes and sizes. Make a list of how many of the 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians each family member spots and identifies to create some healthy family competition that will keep even the weariest explorer engaged and entertained.

The Selvatura Adventure Park also has a butterfly garden, reptile and amphibian exhibition and a sloth sanctuary to help you really observe these animals up close and inside carefully designed living spaces that mirror the animal’s natural habitat. The sloth sanctuary is part of an educational and environmental conservation program giving visitors the opportunity to view these iconic Costa Rican animals that have been rescued from different life-threatening situations and can now live safely and slowly at the park; this is a real favorite for the children.

After your days of family adventure in Monteverde, the Ficus Sunset Suites is your evening sanctuary to share your stories about the misty, magical cloud forest and the secrets and treasures it holds. It is also a place for the fearless adventurers exploring and discovering new places and perspectives in nature.

Ficus Sunset Suites can´t wait to be your home away from home during your family adventure vacation of a lifetime in Monteverde. Let's start writing that new adventure story.