Getting from San Jose airport to Monteverde

Monteverde was our first planned stop in Costa Rica. Before going into the details, we’ll quickly explain our route to Costa Rica and how we made it and spent our 2 days in Monteverde.

We flew from Toronto Pearson Airport to Juan Santamaría International Airport with Air Canada. Following a two hour delay, we arrived to crowds of people queued to go through immigration and customs. It literally took us three hours to get through. 

Once we got through immigration and customs, we picked up our luggage and bought a local Costa Rican sim card (booth located in the baggage pickup hall). Sim card cost us $20 (only accepted cash).

We then walked out from the airport and booked an Uber to our accommodation in Monteverde using data from our newly purchased sim card. We set pick up from departures (across the street from arrivals and up the elevator/escalator. Cross the street again and you’re right in front of departure doors). There were a few options to get to Monteverde which we knew of:

  • Catch a local bus from downtown. 
  • Book a private shuttle.
  • Uber.

Catching a bus from downtown was out of the question. We arrived quite late due to delays with our flights and we missed the last bus to Monteverde. Uber was simply cheaper than a private shuttle for two persons so went with that option.

Uber from San Jose airport to Monteverde took 2.5 hours and cost us $83.

Monteverde - Mar Inn B&B Costa Rica

Day 1

How much does it cost to get from Monteverde center to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve?

Without having anything booked for our first day in Monteverde, we paid a visit to our receptionist at around 07:15 and booked transportation from the hotel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This cost $6 each including return. 

How much does it cost to enter the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve?

On arrival at the reserve, we paid $25 each at the reception and hiked pretty much all available trails without a guide. The trails themselves and the views from some of them are simply amazing. Seeing how the forest sustains itself through its own ecosystem and biodiversity is truly something. Hard to think of a time when we felt closer to nature. We were also lucky to spot a side-striped palm viper at the very end of our stay in the reserve.

How much time do you need in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve?

We spent around 5 hours hiking and taking in all the views that the reserve has to offer.

2 days in Monteverde - Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
A trail in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Day 2

Ziplining and Hanging Bridges 

Our second day started off with Sky Adventures picking us up from the hotel at 08:00. We booked Ziplining/Canopy and the Bridge Walk/Hanging Bridges from this company a day before from their office in town center. These two activities including transportation to and from our hotel cost $108 each. 

We started with the Bridge Walk at around 08:20 with a tour guide. The bridges themselves (around five of them) were quite interesting. You get to see the forest from a different angle and learn about the local fauna and wildlife. During our walks we spotted:

  • Hummingbirds
  • Black Guan
  • Tarantula 
  • Agouti 
2 days in Monteverde - Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

The Bridge Walk finished at around 10:00 and we immediately headed to get our gear for ziplining. Ziplining with Sky Adventures consists of seven lines and finishes with either a backward “freefall” jump or being lowered down slowly with a rope. The ziplines were as exciting as ziplines can get. The backwards jump was actually quite exciting. It was well organized, you get to see the forest from yet another angle, and at no point did we feel unsafe.

We headed back to our hotel from Sky Adventures at 12:00.

Night Hike

We were quite skeptical about whether we should go on the night hike but were actually glad we did. We booked this tour with Kinkajou on the same day from a tour operator in the town center. 

The tour company picked us up from the hotel at around 17:45 and we paid $29.12 each once we got there for the hike.

The hike itself is around 1.5 hours long and everyone is split into groups of around eight people with each group having its own guide. It can feel a little crowded at times but getting to see wildlife at night is well worth it. This is what we were lucky enough to spot:

  • Emerald Toucanet
  • Olingos 
  • Scorpion 
  • Keel-Billed Toucan 
  • Rofous-eyed stream frog
  • Broad-winged hawk
  • Tarantula 
  • Wolf spider 
  • Grey-necked wood rail
Monteverde Costa Rica - Rofous-eyed stream frog
Rofous-eyed stream frog
Monteverde Costa Rica - Wolf spider
Wolf spider
Monteverde Costa Rica - Scorpion

Where to eat in Monteverde

Restaurants which offered vegetarian options and we thoroughly enjoyed were Taco Taco Taqueria and Gusticos.

Taco Taco Taqueria Monteverde Costa Rica
Taco Taco Taqueria

Check out our next stop in La Fortuna.

4 thoughts on “2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica (From SJO airport)”

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  3. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures with us, if we can’t be with you we can certainly dream

    through you. How awesome see God’s creation as He Intended.
    Love & blessings Gene & Helen.

  4. Pingback: Costa Rica Itinerary: 3 weeks of beaches & Pura Vida!

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