Things to do in Santa Elena, Costa Rica

Our most recommended things to do in Santa Elena, Costa Rica

Monteverde: Curi-Cancha Reserve Tour with Entry Ticket

1. Monteverde: Curi-Cancha Reserve Tour with Entry Ticket

Go on a tour of the Curi-Cancha reserve in Monteverde. Get picked up from your hotel, and drive to the 83-hectare reserve. Start your tour with a local guide and see a variety of rare birds and unusual animals. Marvel at the views and take lots of photos. Get dropped back at your hotel at the end. Begin your hike and listen to your guide tell you all about the wildlife in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for rare birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal, the Three-Wattled Bellbird, the Blue-Crowned Motmot, and the Orange-bellied Trogon. Continue along 7 kilometers of natural trails and get to see the flora and fauna of the tropical forest. See if you can spot unusual wild animals, such as armadillos, coatis, and two-toed sloths and use the opportunity to take photos. Learn about the sustainable practices of the reserve. Marvel at impressive views of the mountains surrounding you. Get taken back to your hotel at the end of the tour.

Monteverde or Santa Elena: Suspension Bridges Private Tour

2. Monteverde or Santa Elena: Suspension Bridges Private Tour

Embark on a nature tour with a naturalist guide in Monteverde. Take a bird's eye view of the delicate tree tops as you walk across hanging bridges and witness the cloud forest from above. As you hike, watch out for animals in their natural habitat and immerse yourself in biodiversity. Feel the ease of getting picked up from your accommodation in either Monteverde or Santa Elena and get ready to hike through the natural environment of Costa Rica. Begin your hike along the flat trails that are easy to traverse and feel yourself relax with your naturalist guide. Cross over eight suspension bridges of various lengths and watch over the treetops, feeling totally safe and secure along the longest suspension bridge system in Costa Rica. Lose yourself in the magnificent diversity of the region, with many opportunities to witness animals and plants in the wild.

From Monteverde or Santa Elena: Cloud Forest Canyoning

3. From Monteverde or Santa Elena: Cloud Forest Canyoning

Embark on a canyoning tour through the Monteverde Cloud Forest with round-trip transfers from your hotel in Monteverde or Santa Elena. Enjoy support from your guides as you rappel down six waterfalls and look out for a variety of local wildlife. Begin with a convenient pickup from your hotel and meet your guides. Put on your safety equipment before following your guides into the beathtaking Monteverde Cloud Forest. Identify rare birds with the help of your guides and if you're lucky, you might see a monkey. On your way to the waterfall, admire delicate orchids and massive ferns growing among the tangled foliage. After a brief walk, your guides will give you a safety briefing on how to use the equipment before you start. Once you feel comfortable, make your way to the edge of the first waterfall located in the beautiful canyon of the Cañas River's source. Rappel down six waterfalls in total, the tallest of which is 40 meters high. Enjoy support from your guides throughout the activity as you gain confidence with each descent. After your activity, be transferred back to your accommodation.

Monteverde: Canopy Tour, Treetop Bridges & Butterfly Garden

4. Monteverde: Canopy Tour, Treetop Bridges & Butterfly Garden

Canopy Tour Monteverde's outstanding canopy tour has some of the longest cables in Costa Rica and is the only one truly immersed in virgin forest. The tour is made up of 15 cables and 18 viewing platforms, traversing over two miles of forest and combining the thrill of the zip line with a unique perspective of the tree-top canopy. After an initial introduction to the safety equipment, visitors are fitted with the highest quality harnesses by professional guides. Soon after, riders will begin their flight through the forest. Treetop Suspension Bridges The Tree Top walkway is the ideal cloud forest experience for those who wish to explore the beauty of the canopy at their own pace and appreciate the incredible array of vegetation and exotic bird life that the region has to offer. The walkway consists of 8 suspension bridges connected by trails covering 1.9 miles (3km). The bridges vary from 150ft (50m) to 500ft (170m) in length and are suspended at heights ranging from 36ft (12m) to 180ft (60m). At almost 5ft (1.5m) wide, the bridge system is the widest and sturdiest in Costa Rica. Butterfly Garden Monteverde's stunning butterfly garden is one of the largest on the continent. At 300ft long and 90ft wide, with a huge 50ft dome ceiling, the giant garden is host to 50 species of butterflies. Accurate and sensitive temperature controlling enables the survival of species from a range of altitudes and climate conditions throughout Costa Rica. Take a guided tour through this fascinating live exhibit and learn about the life cycle, special behaviors, and evolution of these unique creatures. Reptile and Amphibian Exhibit This reptile and amphibian exhibition include over 30 species of frogs, toads, lizards, geckos, and snakes, all of which are native to Costa Rica. The live specimens are housed in an array of terrariums, each adorned with vegetation and natural lighting and humidity levels to simulate natural habitats. Everything is monitored by a permanent, on-site biologist. Get to know the herpetology of Costa Rica while being accompanied by a specialized guide during your visit to these beautiful facilities. Sloth Sanctuary The sanctuary was born through cooperation with the Caribbean Sloth Sanctuary, a foundation that shares the vision of conservation, and has worked in the rescue, conservation, reintroduction, and monitoring of sloths in their natural habitat for over 20 years. We’ve designed a natural exhibit where sloths can travel freely between paths specially created so that they can roam among the trees and foliage of the exhibition. This provides a safe distance that allows observation while preventing as much stress on the animals as possible. These beautiful mammals have arrived at this sanctuary as refugees from the effects of poaching, habitat destruction, orphanage, illness, and accidents among other reasons that prevent them from being reintroduced to their natural habitat.

From La Fortuna: Transfer to Monteverde via Arenal Lake

5. From La Fortuna: Transfer to Monteverde via Arenal Lake

Travel easily between La Fortuna and Monteverde with a van-boat-van transfer crossing over Arenal Lake. On the fastest route between the two towns, you'll experience the beauty of the Arenal Volcano National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Enjoy transportation from your hotel door in La Fortuna to your location in Monteverde or Santa Elena. Your transfer lasts approximately three hours, including one hour of sailing over Lake Arenal. Take in the route's spectacular views of the lake, Arenal Volcano National Park, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. There's also time for a pit stop to stretch your legs, use the bathroom, take photos of the scenery, and buy food. Make use of the free wifi on board the vans. The non-private transfer operates on a pre-set daily schedule, and the private option can be scheduled at any time. Both options include door-to-door pickup and drop-off from within the designated zones.

Monteverde and Santa Elena: Cloud Forest Bird-Watching Tour

6. Monteverde and Santa Elena: Cloud Forest Bird-Watching Tour

Delve into the cloud forests of Monteverde and Santa Elena on a guided bird-watching tour from Monteverde or Santa Elena. Explore the Curi-Cancha Reserve and see rare birds, including the resplendent quetzal and the keel-billed toucan. Be picked up from your hotel in Monteverde or Santa Elena and arrive at the Monteverde Cloud Forest. With an elevation of 1,440 meters (4,724 feet) above sea level, the park attracts a diverse range of tropical bird species. Follow your guide through this lush forest and observe a variety of birds with 400 native species. See the beautiful quetzal, a bird that migrates to the lower parts of the reserve during breeding season, and identify the thirty species of hummingbird. Continue to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Situated slightly higher than the Monteverde reserve, the forest is more secluded and boasts a rich population of wildlife. Explore quiet trails with sprawling vegetation and catch a glimpse of the collared trogon or resplendent quetzal. Finally, make your way to the Curi-Cancha Reserve - one of the best places in the area for bird watching. Walk along the rugged trails and scout out birds, such as the bar-tailed trogon, the keel-billed toucan, and the bobo bird.  At the end of your bird-watching experience, be returned back to your accommodation in Monteverde and Santa Elena.

Costa Rica: Transfer from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde

7. Costa Rica: Transfer from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde

Travel easy, safe, and fun between Manuel Antonio and Monteverde! Our transportation service removes the hassle and stress of navigating on your own, while still being flexible with your travel schedule and needs providing door-to-door service and offering a safe, convenient, economical, and flexible way to travel around Costa Rica. All the vehicles used for transportation are modern, comfortable, air-conditioned, well-maintained driven by reliable and punctual professionals. Shared shuttle routes operate daily. However, shared shuttles are by no means public bus transportation. Another nice feature of our shared shuttle is that there is at least one stop along the way where passengers can stretch, pose for photographs, use the facilities, and get food. Private transport can be scheduled anytime you wish and from any airport, hotel, private home, or identifiable landmark in Costa Rica. Another nice feature of our private transport is that it allows one hour of free wait time for the journey, giving your group opportunities to coordinate a road adventure, pose for photographs, take bathroom breaks, or enjoy a meal. Enjoy your way with Wi-Fi inside the vehicles to share every adventure of your trip. Our local drivers and guides who are eager to help your group move safely around the country will show you our amazing country. Trust is earned. Give us the opportunity to earn yours. We will be happy to be part of your next trip!

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Elena, Costa Rica

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