Cerro Pelado

Northwestern Costa Rica

A fabulous mountain for hiking if you've got your own wheels and a keen sense of adventure. It's best to scale this at sunrise or sunset, and to avoid it during times of high wind (November to January).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northwestern Costa Rica attractions

1. Viento Fresco

6.13 MILES

If you're travelling between Monteverde and Arenal, there's no good excuse for skipping this stop. Viento Fresco is a series of five cascades, including…

2. Iglesia de Cañas

6.79 MILES

An unexpected architectural landmark in this otherwise innocuous town, this Catholic church was designed by famed local painter Otto Apuy. The church (and…

3. Ecomuseo de las Minas de Abangares

8.44 MILES

It’s not often you see the terms ‘eco’ and ‘mining’ so close together. Set on 38 hectares, this little museum has photographs and models depicting the old…

4. Las Pumas

9.62 MILES

This wild-animal shelter was started in the 1960s by the late Lilly Hagnauer, a Swiss environmentalist. It’s one of the largest shelters of its kind in…

5. Iglesia

12.95 MILES

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

6. Ranario

12.97 MILES

Returning to its former glory as the Ranario, or Frog Pond (it's changed names a few times), this place also features an insect house. The frogs are still…

7. Jardín de Orquídeas

13.03 MILES

This sweet-smelling garden in Santa Elena has shady trails winding past more than 500 types of orchids. On your guided tour, you’ll see such rarities as…

8. Herpetarium Adventure

13.08 MILES

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…