Monteverde & Santa Elena

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 the highlight – 28 species reside in transparent enclosures lining the winding indoor jungle paths. Sharp-eyed guides point out frogs, eggs and tadpoles with flashlights. Your ticket entitles you to two visits, so come back in the evening to see the nocturnal species.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Monteverde & Santa Elena attractions

1. Iglesia

0.15 MILES

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

2. Herpetarium Adventure

0.16 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…

3. Jardín de Orquídeas

0.18 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…

4. Butterfly Garden

0.48 MILES

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…

5. El Arbol Hueco

0.52 MILES

There's no sign, no website, and last we checked, nobody was collecting any money for this delightful roadside attraction. It's simply a hollowed-out fig…

6. Bat Jungle

0.93 MILES

The Bat Jungle in Monteverde is a small but informative exhibit, with good bilingual educational displays and a habitat housing almost 100 free-flying…

7. Friends Meeting House

1.44 MILES

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…

8. Reserva Santa Elena

2.23 MILES

The exquisitely misty 310-hectare Reserva Santa Elena offers a completely different cloud forest experience from Monteverde. Cutting through the veiled…