Top things to do

Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Reserva Santa Elena

Reserva Santa Elena

The exquisitely misty 310-hectare Reserva Santa Elena offers a completely different cloud forest experience to Monteverde. Cutting through the veiled forest, the 10km of dewy trails see much less traffic, retaining …
Top Choice Cafe in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Orchid Coffee

If you’re feeling peckish, go straight to this lovely cafe in Santa Elena, filled with art and light. Take a seat on the front porch and take a bite of heaven. It calls itself a coffee shop, but there’s a full menu …
Top Choice Cafe in Liberia

Mariajuana

There’s a great mellow vibe at this alfresco bar, tucked into a big tree-shaded yard at the end of a dead-end street. It’s part cafe and part gallery, with wind chimes in the air, African masks on the walls and a me…
Top Choice Waterfall in Bagaces

Llanos de Cortés

If you have time to visit only one waterfall in Costa Rica, make it Llanos de Cortés. Scramble down a short, steep trail to reach this spectacular 12m-high, 15m-wide waterfall, which you’ll be able to hear as soon a…
Top Choice Jewelry in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Luna Azul

This supercute gallery and gift shop in Cerro Plano is packed to the gills with jewelry, clothing, soaps, sculpture and macramé, among other things. The jewelry in particular is stylish and stunning, crafted from si…
Park in Parque Nacional Palo Verde

Parque Nacional Palo Verde

At the head of the Golfo de Nicoya, the 184-sq-km Parque Nacional Palo Verde is a wetland sanctuary in Costa Rica’s driest province. The park’s shallow, permanent lagoons are focal points for wildlife, including the…
Wildlife Reserve in Bosque Nuboso Monteverde

Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde

This beautiful reserve came into being in 1972, when the Quaker community, spurred on by the threat of encroaching squatters, joined forces with environmental and wildlife organizations to purchase and protect an ex…
Fusion in Liberia

Café Liberia

This beautifully restored colonial-era building has heavy wooden furniture and frescoed ceilings, creating a romantic ambience for rich coffee and gourmet fare. Simple food is taken to new levels: ceviche (seafood m…
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 makes us happy. There’s a menu of well-prepared if overpriced standards, from ceviche …
Mexican in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Taco Taco

Quick and convenient, this taquería offers tasty Tex-Mex tacos, burritos and quesadillas filled with shredded chicken, slow-roasted short rib, roasted veggies and battered mahimahi. The only difficulty is deciding (…