Nature Reserve in Monteverde & Santa Elena

San Luis Ecolodge & Research Station

Formerly a tropical biology research station, this drop-dead gorgeous facility is Monteverde’s best-kept secret. Administered by the University of Georgia, it integrates academia with high-quality ecotourism and edu…
Nature Reserve in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Bosque Eterno de los Niños

What became of the 1980s efforts of a group of Swedish schoolchildren to save the rainforest? Only this enormous 220 sq km reserve – the largest private reserve in the country. It's mostly inaccessible to tourists, …
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Butterfly Garden

Head here for everything you ever wanted to know about butterflies. There are four gardens representing different habitats; they're home to more than 40 species. Up-close observation cases allow you to witness the b…
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena


Returning to its former glory as the Ranario, or Frog Pond (it's changed names a few times), this place has added an insect house and a butterfly garden. The frogs are still the highlight – about 25 species reside i…
Church in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Friends Meeting House

This simple meeting house in Monteverde is the ‘church’ of the American Society of Friends, or the Quakers, who first settled this area and committed to protect a portion of the cloud forest.
Gardens in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Jardín de Orquídeas

This sweet-smelling garden in Santa Elena has shady trails winding past more than 400 types of orchids. On your guided tour, you’ll see such rarities as Platystele jungermannioides, the world’s smallest orchid. If y…
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Bat Jungle

The Bat Jungle in Monteverde is a small but informative exhibit, with good bilingual educational displays and a habitat housing almost 100 free-flying bats. Make a reservation for your 45-minute tour to learn about …
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Herpetarium Adventure

For those who prefer their reptiles under glass (or at least behind it), a guide will show you around and introduce you to more than 50 species of slithery snakes, frogs, lizards, turtles and other cold-blooded crit…
Church in Monteverde & Santa Elena


A local landmark in the center of Santa Elena. The adjacent roasted chicken shack apparently has no religious affiliation.