Top things to do

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…
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 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 Cafe in Liberia


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 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 …
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Butterfly Garden

Head here for everything you ever wanted to know about butterflies, with four gardens representing different habitats and home to more than 40 species. Up-close observation cases allow you to witness the butterflies…
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena

Monteverde Theme Park

Formerly known as the Ranario, or Frog Pond, this place has added an insect house, a butterfly garden and canopy tour – hence, it’s now a theme park. The frogs are still the highlight: about 25 species reside in tra…
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…
Zoo in Monteverde & Santa Elena


A guide will show you around and introduce you to some 40 species of slithery snakes, plus a fair number of frogs, lizards, turtles and other cold-blooded critters. Your ticket entitles you to a return visit after d…
Costa Rican in Liberia

Los Comales

This convivial, popular local spot is run by a women’s collective. Come for traditional Guanacaste fare, such as arroz de mais (chicken and corn). Lunchtime is crowded which means slow service.