Top things to do

Top Choice Mexican in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Taco Taco

Quick and convenient, this taquería (taco stall) offers tasty Tex-Mex tacos, and burritos and quesadillas filled with shredded chicken. There's also slow-roasted short rib, roasted veggies and battered mahimahi. The…
Top Choice Cafe in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Orchid Coffee

Feeling peckish? Go straight to this lovely Santa Elena cafe, filled with art and light. Grab a seat on the front porch and take a bite of heaven. It calls itself a coffee shop, but there’s a full menu of traditiona…
Top Choice Jewelry in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Luna Azul

This super-cute gallery and gift shop is packed to the gills with jewelry, clothing, soaps, sculpture and macramé, among other things. Owner Stephanie's jewelry in particular is stylish and stunning, crafted from si…
Cafe in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Tree House Restaurant & Café

It’s a fine line between hokey and happy. But this restaurant – built around a half-century-old higuerón (fig) tree – definitely raises a smile. There’s a menu of well-prepared if overpriced standards, from ceviche …
International in Monteverde & Santa Elena

El Jardín

Arguably the ‘finest’ dining in the area. The menu is wide ranging, always highlighting the local flavors. But these are not your typical tipica (traditional plates) – beef tenderloin served on a sugarcane kebab, an…
Fusion in Monteverde & Santa Elena

d’Sofia

With its Nuevo Latino cuisine – a modern fusion of traditional Latin American cooking styles – d'Sofia has established itself as one of the best places in town. Think plantain-crusted sea bass, seafood chimichanga o…
Steak in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Toro Tinto

This Argentinean steakhouse lures in customers with soft lighting and a cozy brick-and-wood interior. It keeps them sated with steaks that are perfectly cut and grilled to order, plus unexpected specials and delicio…
Arts & Crafts in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Monteverde Art House

You’ll find several rooms stuffed with colorful Costa Rican artistry here. The goods include jewelry, ceramic work, Boruca textiles and traditional handicrafts. There’s a big variety of offerings, including some pai…
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, …