5 Cheap Or Free Things To Do In Monteverde, Costa Rica

Looking for some budget activities to do in Monteverde? TravelCoterie just got back from the region and think these are some of the best best things you can do on a budget or … for free. 

1. The Ficus Tree of Life

Sky Adventures offers tree climbing activities at their Monteverde location, but at $40 a pop, that can quickly add up for a group. For those still interested in being arboreal on a budget, there’s an old ficus tree the brave can scale from within. This slightly psychedelic ascension is a five minute drive from downtown Santa Elena. It’s free to scale but not an official tourist’s destination so make sure to lock your car if visiting, and as don’t leave valuables inside. You can get the coordinates by clicking here.

2. Bat Jungle

Witnessing a bat’s sheer enjoyment eating mango will quickly remind you of how close we all really are. Free of any cheesy Batman paraphernalia is Monteverde’s Bat Jungle. This sanctuary houses over eight species of bats and is operated and owned by bat biologist, Dr. Richard K. Laval. In addition to seeing around 90 bats, there are also interactive live feedings throughout the day. The price:  $5.


3. Monteverde Butterfly Gardens

If snacking on beetles inside a room of tarantula’s sounds like a good time, you’ll love this place. And if that thought makes your stomach turn, you’ll still dig this place. I’m part of the latter group, but had a memorable experience learning about the many, many, many insects and arachnids living in Costa Rica. The big, hairy guys are thankfully behind glass, but a few others are ready for socializing. Before exiting the first stop of the tour, you’ll get a chance to sample the flavor profile of a live beetle. Crunchy, these tiny guys feel like bursts of peppers in your mouth. 

And then there are the butterflies. Three separate structures house some of the over 1,200 species of beautiful, vibrant and in some cases, mysterious butterflies found in Costa Rica. They circle you, eat, land and circle you again in some variation of that order. Hanging out with a few blue morphos is one of the most breathtaking and wonderful experiences you’ll ever have. The entrance price is $15 and takes about two hours to complete.

4. Drink The Coffee

There are several coffee farms in Monteverde, but visiting them on organized tours can range up to $30. While having a hands on experience is nice, it’s also cheaper to head into one of the area’s many coffeeshops for a local pour. Pop open a good book and enjoy coffee likely harvested within a few miles of you. 

5. Watch The Clouds

There is something majestic about resting in a coffee shop and watching clouds glide pass the window. And it’s because of that we have decided the best thing you can do in Monteverde is appreciate the cloud forest environment. Taking in the weather and the landscape is free whether you’re hiking or chilling outside a cafe. At 4,600 feet above sea level, Monteverde provides amazing views of the nearby Pacific Ocean on clear days, or romantic, misty clouds to stroll through on others. The sunsets on those clear days however, with lakes and oceans bouncing setting light back towards the trees and mountains, make for a phenomenal evening. 


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