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The Best Monteverde Cloud Forest Hotels, Costa Rica (2024)

Aerial view of El Establo Hotel in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

If you’re planning a trip to the remote town of Monteverde to check to visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest, then keep reading! I’ve taken many trips to Costa Rica, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is easily one of my favorite places in the country.

It’s definitely out of the way and getting there can feel like an excursion in itself, but hiking through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve (amongst other things) was seriously worth the effort.

Aerial view of Mountains in Monteverde Cloud Forest
Aerial view of the mountains in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The feel of untouched nature is unmatched!

I’ve stayed in many hotels and resorts in Monteverde Costa Rica, and they all truly have something unique to offer. This is great of course, but it means it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide which hotel is best for your stay.

To help, I created this guide to help you navigate the many hotels and resorts that Monteverde has to offer so you can find the perfect place for your Monteverde visit.

This guide will give you a complete roundup of the best hotels in and near Monteverde Cloud Forest, whether you’re on the hunt for an affordable place to lay your head at night or something more on the luxury side.

All hotel recommendations in this list are sorted by price tier (from budget-friendly to high-end) and include quick links for booking so you can check out even more helpful info like guest reviews, photos, and current pricing as you start booking your trip.

Wayfare With Pierre is reader-supported and may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. We only recommend experiences and things that are personally tried or that come highly reviewed by close friends.

Selina Monteverde hotel

Best Budget

Selina Monteverde

This no-frills hostel is comfy and inviting and is the perfect way to meet fellow travelers.

Aerial view of El Establo Hotel in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Best Mid-Range

El Establo Mountain Hotel

With a beautiful view of the Monteverde mountains and countless amenities, this hotel is my favorite in town.

Best High-End

Belmar Hotel

For travelers wanting more luxury amenities without compromising sustainability, Belmar is a sure bet.

Monteverde, Costa Rica Travel Overview

About Monteverde

From my most recent hike through Monteverde Cloud Forest (2023). Photo by Wayfare With Pierre

A large majority of the hotels and resorts in Monteverde have a more rustic and eco-friendly feel to them, and that goes for the high-end options as well. Even still, they all have up-to-date amenities and everything you’ll need to feel comfortable.

But if you’re aiming for a luxury vacay that’s more about the glitz and glam, you’ll be better off visiting Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, or one of the beach towns. If you’re a nature lover and visiting the world-famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then visiting Monteverde is a dream come true!

The name ‘Monteverde’ literally means “green mountain” and it’s a direct reflection of what you can expect during your visit. You’re completely surrounded by beautiful greenery and the views of the surrounding mountainscape are truly out of this world.

Monteverde vs. Santa Elena

Keep in mind that the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve area technically consists of two towns. The first is Santa Elena, which has its own little downtown area and more budget hotel options to choose from. The second is Monteverde itself, which is smaller and more spread out.

Monteverde has more high-end hotel options and is closer to the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. However, it doesn’t have a downtown and feels more relaxed compared to Santa Elena.

This list includes options from both Santa Elena and the town of Monteverde itself, but they’re just a short walk from one another.

Things to do

The beautiful quetzal bird sitting on a branch in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
The beautiful quetzal bird sitting on a branch in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
  • Explore the Monteverde Canopy Tour
  • Visit the Sky Adventures Monteverde Park
  • Ride the Sky Tram
  • Go on birdwatching tours (try to see the legendary quetzal bird!)
  • Tour the Santa Elena Reserve
  • Visit Selvatura Adventure Park (for the hanging bridge tour)
  • Tour a local coffee field
  • Hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
  • Relax at the Monteverde Butterfly Garden
  • Visit the Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and Cafe
Hummingbird at the Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery at the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Photo by Wayfare With Pierre

Length of stay

You will need two nights at minimum to fully experience the main nature and wildlife attractions in Monteverde. However, I personally recommend staying at least three days so you’re not feeling rushed during your trip.

After all, Monteverde is all about embracing the beauty and peacefulness of nature. It’s hard to do that if you’re constantly checking your watch to cram everything into a short stay.

Weather to expect

One of the hanging bridges at Selvatura Park in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Monteverde Costa Rica’s weather can be defined by two general seasons. From mid-December to April is the dry season, which brings temperatures of around 70-85°F. This makes it the perfect time to get out for some outdoor excursions and activities.

As the months from May to November roll in, Monteverde Cloud Forest truly transforms into the lush rainforest it’s known for. With that, of course, you can expect the rain showers that come with the rainy season. Temps in the rainy season usually range between 65-80°F.

Things to bring

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Getting to Monteverde, Costa Rica

Mile marker sign on the drive from La Fortuna to Monteverde. Photo by Wayfare With Pierre

The closest airport to fly into for your trip to Monteverde is Juan Santamaria Intl. Airport (SJO) in San Jose. From there, you can drive or take a shuttle to Monteverde, which is about 2.5 hours away.

If you’re going to rent a car and drive yourself, I highly recommend opting for a 4×4 vehicle since the last 12-mile (20 km) stretch of the drive is very rocky and unpaved. You can get away with driving a 2WD vehicle in the dry season, but a 4×4 is absolutely essential for the rainier time of the year.

I rented this Geely GX3 for my trip to Monteverde in March of 2023. It worked well overall, but there were some roads near Monteverde that were very rough. I couldn’t get over one hilly road so I had to take another random route I found.

Another option you have is to first drive from SJO to La Fortuna, which is about a 3-hour drive. You can stay in La Fortuna for a few days to check out the Arenal Volcano National Park and the Mistico Hanging Bridges, see sloths at Sloth’s Territory, relax in a hot spring or two, the list goes on. Arenal Volcano National Park is a must-see if it fits your travel plans.

From there, you can take a 3-hour drive around Arenal Lake to get to Monteverde. The road is also rocky and unpaved once you get close to Monteverde, so a 4×4 vehicle is the way to go.

I recommend checking out prices for your travel dates on Discover Cars, which collects rates from just about every rental car booking platform so you can get the best rate.

You can also take a 2.5-hour drive to Monteverde if you’re flying in from Liberia Airport, but flying into SJO tends to be the most popular choice for most travelers.

Best Budget Hotels In Monteverde, Costa Rica

1. Mar Inn

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Location: Santa Elena (17 min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

Mar Inn is a great family-run budget hotel right in the heart of Santa Elena. It’s right within walking distance of downtown Santa Elena so you have quick access to local shops, restaurants, and activities.

The rooms are minimally decorated with rustic decor and wooden furniture to match the eco-friendly vibe of Monteverde. Free breakfast and free parking are included in the daily rate for this small hotel, and you can schedule activities (like the hanging bridges or canopy tour) with the front staff for a small fee.

All in all, Mar Inn is a perfect Monteverde inn for budget-conscious travelers and makes for an easy and affordable launching point for your daily Monteverde adventures.

Check availability, reviews, and photos

Address: 50 metros al norte Agencia del CIE, 60109 Monteverde, Costa Rica

2. Historias Lodge

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Location: Monteverde (12-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

Another great budget option, Historias Lodge is a perfect hotel for nature lovers. The lodge is located in the town of Monteverde itself, so it’s right within walking distance of a lot of wildlife viewing opportunities.

It’s only a roughly 16-minute walk to The Bat Jungle, Monteverde Orchid Garden, Monteverde Serpentarium, and more. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is just a short 12-minute drive away.

As far as amenities, this Monteverde lodge has just about all the modern accommodations a budget traveler needs! The rooms include all the amenities you’d expect such as free WiFi access, a flat-screen TV, a sofa, air conditioning, and more. Each room comes with either a mountain view or views of the on-site lush gardens.

The hotel itself provides free breakfast, or you can hit up one of the nearby restaurants that are right within walking distance. All in all, this is a really solid hotel for a relatively low price. You can’t beat it.

Check availability, reviews, and photos

Address: Cerro Plano De la Escuela Rafael Arguedas 50 metros Noroeste., 60109 Monteverde, Costa Rica

3. Selina Monteverde

Selina Monteverde hotel

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Location: Monteverde (6-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

If you’ve ever stayed at a Selina hostel, then you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Selina Monteverde. Located right in the Monteverde town area, this is one of the stays closest to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve– it’s a quick 6-minute drive away.

While the Selina line of hotels/hostels tends to be geared toward solo travelers and budget-conscious travelers, Selina Monteverde caters to just about everyone, with rooms ranging from simple shared rooms (hostel style) to private suites.

With sustainability at its core, this hotel is an eco-friendly property that offers guilt-free relaxation and amazing ways to meet other travelers on the road.

For a quick rundown, Selina Monteverde’s amenities include free private parking, free access to WiFi, an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site bar, and an on-site restaurant. Rooms include a hot tub, coffee maker, a shared kitchen, access to a shared game/lounge room with a pool table, and more.

With its relatively low cost, a great hotel rating by guests, a great location, and fun ways to meet other travelers, Selina is always a safe bet if you’re not sure which hotel to pick for your stay.

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Address: Carr. a Reserva de Monteverde, Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, 60109, Costa Rica

Best Mid-Range Hotels In Monteverde, Costa Rica

4. El Establo Mountain Hotel

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Location: Monteverde (14-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

Of all the hotels and lodging on this list, El Establo Mountain Hotel has grown to become my personal favorite option whenever I want to visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

From the moment you drive up to the hotel’s gates, you get a feeling of relaxation, security, and even a bit of luxury. It’s not a five-star resort, but I’d have to give it five stars for its location, great staff, comfort, and insanely beautiful views.

Drone view of me at the El Establo hotel. The hotel is truly in the mountains and gives you the best views from every floor!

It would be such a shame to visit Monteverde without checking out the Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, but El Establo Mountain Hotel offers so much that it could almost serve as a destination in itself.

As the name implies, all of the rooms at El Establo Mountain Hotel are situated on a mountainside, giving you some of the best views in all of Monteverde. Some rooms even have views of the Pacific Ocean in the distance!

All of the simple but cozy rooms offer either private balconies or a private terrace (depending on which floor you’re on), and room amenities include a flat-screen TV, a laptop safe box, free WiFi (although it’s spotty), and more.

This family-run hotel offers great activities for guests including a spa and outdoor swimming pool area, fine dining at the unique restaurant Laggus, a la carte Costa Rican grub via Las Riendas Restaurant, a convenience store at the front-desk check-in,

The on-site spa, the Green Leaf Spa, is tucked away in peaceful natural surroundings and provided amazing massages during my stay. These massages worked wonders, especially after those long days spent hiking through either the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve or the hotel’s on-site private hike, which also offers a night tour.

As if all that isn’t enough, there is also a tennis court and a peacock sanctuary. Especially if you’re looking for a mid-range hotel with lots to offer without breaking the bank, it doesn’t get any better than El Establo Mountain Hotel.

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Address: 1km East of Santa Elena, Monteverde, 60109 Monteverde, Costa Rica

5. Trapp Family Lodge

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Location: Monteverde (3-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

Only 3 minutes away from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, Trapp Family Lodge is one of the most popular Monteverde Cloud Forest lodge options in town that offers a lot of bang for your buck.

The hotel itself provides an on-site restaurant, an organic garden with a terrace, beautiful views of a private nature reserve, and more. As far as the rooms, Trapp provides a lot of amenities including a work desk (great for digital nomads!), cable TV, balcony views, complimentary WiFi, a sofa seating area, and more.

Being very close to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, this Monteverde lodge is one of the most popular options in the area for travelers who don’t want to worry about driving. This boutique hotel is a quick walk away from the Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary, the Cloud Forest, the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens, the Selvatura hanging bridges, and more.

All in all, Trapp is a great mid-range hotel choice that’s one of the best in the area if being close to the cloud forest itself is at the top of your list.

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Address: 5 Km West Of La Frtuna Central Park, Alajuela Province, La ortuna, Costa Rica

Best High-End Hotels In Monteverde, Costa Rica

6. Hotel Flor de Bromelia

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Monteverde (13-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

If you want your stay in Monteverde to be a healthy mix of luxurious and nature adventure, then Hotel Flor de Bromelia is a sure bet. As a high-end hotel option in Monteverde, it’s known for offering a more luxurious experience without compromising sustainability.

With a great location, this hotel is roughly 1.5 miles from Sky Adventures Monteverde, 2 miles from the famous Selvature Adventure Park, 2 miles from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve itself, and even a short 11-minute walk away from the Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary.

If you want to take a day off from exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and other outdoor adventures, the hotel itself provides the perfect ambiance to do exactly that. The eco-friendly rooms are all equipped with large windows on all sides, making you feel like you’re truly immersed in the relaxing sounds and views of the Costa Rican rainforest.

If you’re aiming for a hotel that perfectly blends nature, access to adventure, and a luxurious experience, Hotel Flor de Bromelia fits the bill better than most.

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Address: Barrio el Sapo Dorado 150 Sur Oeste del Centro Educacion Creativa, 60109 Monteverde, Costa Rica

7. Senda Monteverde Hotel

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Location: Monteverde (13-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

If getting away from modern city living without giving up on modern amenities is what you’re after, then you’ll feel right at home at Senda.

The hotel is right in the middle of the beautiful Costa Rican rainforest (and the amazing local wildlife), making it an absolute paradise for nature lovers still wanting a luxurious experience.

Part of the world-renowned Cayuga Collection of hotels, Senda is a smaller boutique hotel that focuses on providing a luxury experience for each guest instead of trying to go for a higher quantity of guests it can host.

Every room has picture-perfect views of the surrounding forest, making you feel like you’re truly immersed in Mother Nature. As you’d expect, the hotel provides everything you need and more to make your stay comfortable and relaxing.

Whether you’re seeking time out in nature, a luxury experience, or a blend of both, Senda is a great luxury launch point for your daily Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve adventures.

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Address: 250 Metros Norte del BCR , Cerro Plano, Monteverde., 60109 Monteverde, Costa Rica

8. Hotel Belmar

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Location: Monteverde (19-min drive to Monteverde Cloud Forest)
WiFi: ✅

Another great high-end stay in Monteverde, Belmar is yet another hidden gem that perfectly blends luxury and natural beauty.

All of the furniture and decor are sustainably designed (browns, greens, and exposed wood is pretty much the norm for all hotels here), but they do a great job of “dressing it up” so that it still Mo feels elegant and luxurious compared to most other options in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve area.

The sustainably crafted rooms range from standard no-frills options to lavish suites, complete with private balconies and that damn near unreal infinity feel. The floor-to-ceiling windows seriously make you feel like you’re comfortably inside and out in nature (with amazing views of the cloud-covered mountains) all at once.

When you’re hungry, the on-site Celajes Restaurant whips up amazing farm-to-table Costa Rican dishes with all-organic ingredients sourced from the on-site organic garden. As if that isn’t enough, Belmar has its own juice bar and an on-site brewery so you can get your drink on at any time of the night or day.

There are other options within a short walk or drive if you want to switch it up as well.

Aside from El Establo, Hotel Belmar is my favorite stay in Monteverde when I want something with a bit more of a luxurious feel. To say that it is an experience in itself is an understatement. In fact, it was voted as the #2 best hotel in all of Costa Rica in 2023 by Travel + Leisure. Now that’s saying something.

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Address: 300 meters east of the gas station 5655, 00111 Monteverde Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Best Time To Visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

Before you start booking your Monteverde stay, here’s a quick overview of the best time to visit Monteverde. After all, the last thing you want is to book your trip and have your daily itinerary all planned out, only to realize that your packing list doesn’t match the weather whatsoever.

Unlike other northern countries, Costa Rica is a tropical country and has two main seasons to prepare for: the rainy season and the dry season.

Bridge in Monteverde Cloud Forest
One of the bridges in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Photo by Wayfare With Pierre

As you might’ve guessed, the sweet spot for visiting is during the dry season, which starts around December and lasts through the end of April.

During this timeframe, you can expect clearer skies, less rainfall, and even better driving conditions, which makes it prime time for hiking through the cloud forest, hitting up outdoor activities, and driving to Monteverde in the first place.

Cows on the side of the road on the drive to Monteverde
Saw these cows and the bird on my drive from La Fortuna to Monteverde! The drive around Arenal Lake was very scenic, to say the least.

However, because this is the best season to visit, just keep in mind that other tourists are thinking the same thing and you might find Monteverde a little more busy.

If you want to avoid the crowds and you don’t mind a little (or a lot of) rain, then you could aim to visit during the “shoulder season”, which lasts from May through November. The weather is definitely wetter during this time period, but many travelers still prefer it since they can get cheaper flight fares, cheaper hotel rates, and even better potential to see wildlife due to fewer crowds.

However, I would recommend avoiding a trip to Monteverde from September through October. This is the peak of the rainy season, which tends to result in muddy trails, rough (dangerous) driving conditions, and generally unideal weather.

Closing Thoughts

The sign at the entrance of the Monteverde Cloud Forest
The sign at the entrance of Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve. Photo by Wayfare With Pierre

And there have it! If you’re planning a trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica, you’ll find a ton of amazing hotels and lodging that resemble the ambiance of Monteverde perfectly.

To help you with your trip planning, the above options are truly the best hotels in Monteverde and are all vetted by myself and friends.

If you’re short on time and want a middle-of-the-road option that will give you a complete experience plus some, I personally recommend El Establo Mountain Hotel or Belmar. They both do a great job of providing the perfect home base for your daily Monteverde adventures.

Whether you’re all about pampering yourself or you prefer something cheap and no-frills, these hotels are the best in the area, hands down. They’ve got everything you need to really soak in the raw natural beauty and chill vibes that Monteverde is famous for. Pura Vida and enjoy your trip!

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