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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Monteverde with other popular and interesting places of Costa Rica, for example: Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Alajuela, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Santa Teresa, Tortuguero, Quepos, Tamarindo, Monteverde, Jacó, San José, etc.
How to Book a Hotel in Monteverde
In order to book an accommodation in Monteverde enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Monteverde hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Monteverde map to estimate the distance from the main Monteverde attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Monteverde hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Monteverde is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Monteverde is waiting for you!
Hotels of Monteverde
A hotel in Monteverde is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Monteverde hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Monteverde are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Monteverde hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Monteverde hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Monteverde have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Monteverde
An upscale full service hotel facility in Monteverde that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Monteverde hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Monteverde
Full service Monteverde hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Monteverde
Boutique hotels of Monteverde are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Monteverde boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Monteverde may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Monteverde
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Monteverde travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Monteverde focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Monteverde
Small to medium-sized Monteverde hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Monteverde traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Monteverde hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Monteverde
A bed and breakfast in Monteverde is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Monteverde bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Monteverde B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Monteverde
Monteverde hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Monteverde hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Monteverde
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Monteverde hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Monteverde lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Monteverde
Monteverde timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Monteverde often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Monteverde on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Monteverde
A Monteverde motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Monteverde for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Monteverde motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Monteverde, Costa Rica is a small community in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, located in the Cordillera de Tilarán. Roughly a four-hour drive from the Central Valley, Monteverde is considered a major ecotourism destination in Costa Rica. The area is host to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and numerous other reserves, which draw considerable numbers of tourists and naturalists.
National Geographic has called the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve "the jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves". Newsweek has declared Monteverde the world's #14 Place to Remember Before it Disappears." By popular vote in Costa Rica, Monteverde was enshrined as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Costa Rica, along with Isla del Coco, Volcán Arenal, Cerro Chirripó, Río Celeste, Tortuguero, and Volcán Poás.
This article deals with Monteverde and its surrounding zone. This includes the larger town and tourism hub Santa Elena, as well as the nearby cluster of homes and businesses known as Cerro Plano, along with numerous reserves and attractions on the periphery of the town.
Resting roughly at 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) above sea level, Monteverde is misty, humid, and windy, with a mean annual temperature of 18 °C (64 °F) (Nadkarni 2000: 17). Annual rainfall averages around 3,000 millimetres (118 in). Humidity oscillates between 74% and 97% (Nadkarni 2000: 34).
Various pre-Columbian artifacts testify to the longtime occupancy of the Monteverde region by a small population of Clovis Native Americans, who once farmed in villages circa 3000 BC. Between roughly 3300 BC to 2000 BC, the nearby tribes of the Arenal area experienced a population decline. These nearby tribes re-established villages in the region between 2000 BC to 500 BC. Agriculture intensified in the 500 BC to AD 300 period, with chiefdom societies replacing small tribal societies. Intense deforestation accompanied horticulture, and stone foundations dating to this period can be found. Jade objects became prominent characteristics of these villages. From AD 300 to 800, complex chiefdoms supplanted simpler chiefdoms and more intricate villages appear, with cemeteries, public squares, gold-work and inter-tribal trade and conflict. Around 1300, a general decline in population occurred, possibly due to Arenal Volcano's increased activity.
When the Spanish arrived in 1502, Costa Rica endured two generations of warfare. Nationwide indigenous populations fell from an estimated 400,000 to 80,000 within little more than 50 years. However, unlike Costa Rica's neighbors, Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica did not yield considerable amounts of Indian labor or mineral resources, and thus the region experienced colonization at a much slower rate than many other Spanish colonies.
Monteverde: Early 20th century
In the first three decades of the 20th century, Creole populations arrived in small numbers to what is now called Monteverde. Many were employed by, or provided services to the employees of, the Guacimal gold mines. Many settled the nearby lower, warmer valley of San Luis.
Monteverde: 1950s and forwards
What is now considered Monteverde was founded by Quakers from the United States whose pacifist values led them to defy the American draft before the Korean War. The majority of the group hailed from Fairhope, Alabama, and it included people who were not Quakers but pacifists and conscientious objectors. The spokesman of the group was Hubert Mendenhall, a dairyman who had visited Costa Rica in 1949 after joining a farmer's tour. These Quakers and pacifists chose Monteverde for its cool climate, which would facilitate dairy farming, and due to Costa Rica's non-violent, army-free constitution. Mendenhall noted that the soil was fertile and the people were friendly as well. The Quakers stewarded and farmed a large tract of land, which they eventually set aside for conservation. This reserve, which was named the Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde (Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve), has become a major tourist attraction.
Monteverde: 2005 bank raid
On March 8, 2005, a group of three armed Nicaraguan men raided and attempted to rob the Monteverde branch of the state National Bank (Banco Nacional). A guard killed two of the armed men. However, the other one held all the people inside the bank hostage for 28 hours. The police intervened in the situation. A senior police officer was killed during an attempt to end the siege. Nine civilians died and only one of the attackers survived. This event raised tensions between Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans nationwide and prompted use of higher security in many national banks.
In recent years rapidly increasing numbers of tourists has brought a sizeable influx of Costa Ricans into the area. Now, an estimated 250,000 tourists visit Monteverde a year. Improved goods and services, including partially paved roads, have arrived in recent years. In 2007, Costa Ricans voted Monteverde one of Costa Rica's Seven Wonders, along with Isla del Coco, Tortuguero, Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chirripó, Rio Celeste and Poás Volcano.
Santa Elena, Monteverde's larger neighbor and primary provider of goods and lodging
As in the majority of Costa Rica, the official and most-spoken language is Spanish. However, due to the presence of Quakers and 3 schools taught at least partially in English, one can expect a fair deal of bilingual Costa Ricans. Hotels and hostels as well as restaurants will have either English menus or staff who can speak English due to the large number of tourists from English speaking countries.
The population of the Monteverde community has between 250 to 750 residents, of whom about 50 are Quaker. The more developed Costa Rican-dominated town of Santa Elena has 6,500 permanent residents as of the most recent census.
There are several public schools in the area, including the Escuela Santa Elena, the Escuela Cerro Plano and the two Escuelas in San Luis. The Colegio San Rafael and Colegio Técnico Professional (also known as the Colegio Santa Elena) are responsible for the majority of secondary education in the area.
Private education is fairly robust in the Monteverde region. The majority of North Americans and a considerable number of Costa Ricans are enrolled in private schools.
In 1951, the Quakers constructed a Quaker Meeting house, which served as a general store and classrooms. This became known as Monteverde Friends School (MFS) and has since grown over the years to a Pre-K through 12 fully bilingual program. The school has limited its enrollment to 120 students in order to maintain the intimacy and high quality of a small-school learning environment. The majority of students at the school are Costa Rican, and a
A larger and fully bilingual (English/Spanish) institution, Cloud Forest School, the "Centro de Educación Creativa" or Cloud Forest School (CFS) began in 1991 as a parent-run kindergarten for 30 local students. In the 20 years since its inception it has since expanded to an enrollment of roughly 200 students from Pre-K through 11th grade, over 90% of whom are Costa Ricans. The CFS is fully accredited by the government of Costa Rica and over 50% of its graduates go on to university.
The small private Adventist school, the Escuela Adventista, is also bilingual.
While there is only one institution of higher education in Monteverde,the UNED, The State Distance University, the area is home to a considerable number of local and foreign undergraduate and graduate students drawn to international study abroad programs furnished by Monteverde Institute, EAP, CIEE, and the University of Georgia (see below). Monteverde is also home to a substantial number of foreign-born scientists. Most residents of Monteverde pursue higher education in the Central Valley at institutions such as the University of Costa Rica.
Agriculture has long been the main source of income and sustenance for both Costa Ricans and Quakers in Monteverde. The original Creole populations were restrained by poor infrastructure, and relied mostly on subsistence agriculture. Initially they hunted tapirs, deer, pacas, monkeys, and birds, but diminished those populations and turned to pigs, corn, beans, vegetables, fruits, herbs and livestock. In the 1950s, both Quakers and Costa Ricans produced garlic, beef, flax, and homestead cheese. The Quakers took advantages of the infrastructure improvements of the 1960s and exported cheese and beef to the rest of the country. However, due to overgrazing, the dairy industry declined in the 1970s. This led the population to turn to coffee. In the mid-1990s, coffee farmers were receiving the highest prices in the world for their coffee beans. In the mid-1990s 210 families were contributing milk to the local dairy factory, with a revenue of $5.2 million.
Tourism is a growing sector in Monteverde's economy. Having grown from less than a hundred yearly visitors in 1975 to around 50,000 in the mid-1990s to 250,000 in recent years, much of the economy is becoming increasingly dependent on tourism. An increase in hotels, taxis, guides, and other tourist-geared services have appeared since the early 1990s. Three bilingual schools have been founded to provide the English essential for catering to Monteverde's many visitors.
Monteverde: Places of interest
One of the many eco-tourism oriented suspension bridges in the area. (Selvatura Park)
Due to the cloud forests (not rain forests) in the greater Monteverde area, Monteverde has become a major part of the Costa Rican tourist trail - despite difficult access. It was recently voted one of the "7 Wonders of Costa Rica" by the Costa Rican newspaper La Nación. Of Monteverde's total 250,000 annual tourists, around 70,000 tourists visit the reserve.
The bulk of Monteverde's cloud forest can be found in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a private nature reserve created in 1972 by scientist George Powell and Quaker Wilford Guindon. The area around the park entrance is the most visited, though camping (not camping but staying in the shelters) deep in the reserve is possible with reservations. (Nine)only 6 main trails, which total 13 km, are well-kept and easy to access. The reserve features a large network of less accessible trails and a number of rustic research stations, two of which house 10 persons each, as well as one research station that can house as many as 43 persons, though these can now only be used by researchers.
To the West of the community (we have no town up in Monteverde) of Monteverde lies the Bosque Eterno de los Niños conservation area, a project funded by schools and children from all over the world. The Bosque Eterno is the largest preserve in the area with 22,000 hectares (54,000 acres). Most of the Bosque Eterno lands surround the Bosque Nuboso lands to the North, East, and South of the smaller Bosque Noboso preserve. Bajo del Tigre (this place is not part of the land purchased by the school kids it just belongs to the same org that owns the Children's Eternal Rain forest that no one has access to because it is a rain forest so it can not be within the Monteverde area), a small section of the Bosque Eterno de los Niños, is known for birdwatching and night hikes.
Still farther north, past Santa Elena, is the Reserva Santa Elena. This area is visited less frequently by tourists than the Monteverde Reserve, but offers a rustic station and views of Arenal Volcano.
Arguably the main attraction of Monteverde, the massive 10,500-hectare (26,000-acre) Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve draws 70,000 tourists a year.
It is known as the site with the largest number of orchids in the world, with 34 of its 500 species newly discovered. 58 species of amphibians, including the extinct Monteverde-endemic golden toad, have been found in Monteverde. This area is also a stop for 91 species of migratory birds. The famed quetzal resides here seasonally. The 134 mammals of Monteverde include representatives from both North and South America as endemic species. The mammalian fauna of the region includes six species of marsupials, three muskrats, at least 58 bats, three primates, seven edentates, two rabbits, one ground hog, three species of squirrels, one species of spiny mouse, at least 15 species of long-tailed rats and mice (family Muridae); one species of porcupine, one species of agouti, one paca, two canids, five mustelids, four species of procyonids, six species of felines, two species of wild pigs, two species of deer, and one tapir.
Monteverde: UGA Costa Rica
The University of Georgia owns and manages a 155-acre satellite campus outside of the Monteverde region (in the San Luis community, which is located 700 meters above sea level, as opposed to Monteverde which is located higher at about 1400 m above sea level). Collectively the operation is known as UGA Costa Rica, its focus being the operation of numerous study abroad programs, ecological and forestry research, as well as ecotourism via its on-campus lodging, the Ecolodge San Luis. Additionally, UGA Costa Rica is responsible for various conservation and sustainability initiatives in the San Luis Valley, namely its UGA-sponsored Carbon Offset Program and its reforestation efforts throughout the Pájaro Campana Biological Corridor.
Monteverde: Other sights
In terms of nature-related attractions, Monteverde boasts a modest array of businesses. There are several serpentariums (including Serpentario de Monteverde), insect museums (including Monteverde Theme Park), butterfly gardens (including Selvatura Park), and other zoological attractions in the area. A surge in these types of attractions has occurred within the last five years. Zip lines and suspension bridges through surrounding forest have also become popular. Other activities include horseback riding and mountain biking. The town of Santa Elena also includes several bars and over two dozen restaurants providing everything from typical Costa Rican food to more U.S. American fare, such as pizza and fried chicken.
"Top Ten Costa Rica - National Geographic Traveler". Traveler.nationalgeographic.com.