When choosing a place to stay in Monteverde, be sure to check whether the rates include a meal plan. In the past, almost all the lodges included three meals a day in their prices, but this practice is waning.

El Sol ★ ((tel) 2645-5838; www.elsolnuestro.com) is a unique little boutique option, on the road to the Inter-American Highway, about 10 minutes south of Santa Elena. Also worth considering is Monteverde Country Lodge ((tel) 888/936-5696 in U.S and Canada, or 2645-7600 in Costa Rica; www.monteverdecountrylodge.com), a homey, simple hotel run by the folks at Hotel Poco a Poco.

For real budgeteers, there are quite a few backpacker havens in Santa Elena and spread along the road to the reserve. The best of these is the Pensión Santa Elena ★ ((tel) 2645-5051; www.pensionsantaelena.com), which also offers swankier rooms with private bathrooms in its new annex. Owned and operated by Texan Ran Smith, and right next to the popular Taco Taco takeout counter run by his sister, this affordable hotel is centrally located in Santa Elena’s triangular, three-street downtown.


Finally, it’s possible to stay in a room right at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ((tel) 2645-5122; www.cct.or.cr). There are 12 rooms here with private bathrooms that sleep anywhere from to 2 to 6. The $164 price includes three meals per day and admission to the reserve.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.