How to get There?
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens is located in the Tilarán Mountain Range, about 15 minutes from the entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest and a ten-minute walk from the restaurants, bars and attractions of downtown Santa Elena.
There are several ways to get to Monteverde and it’s best to call us before you begin your trip to get the most updated information. You can call our operations department at +506 2521-6099. From outside Costa Rica, dial +506 2521-6099. After 6:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Standard Time) dial +506 8707-5212. Also, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By far the easiest method for getting to Monteverde is to buy a complete package that includes round trip transportation, lodging, excursions and meals. If you’re interested in booking a complete package, please visit our Packages page.
Shared Transportation is only available from San Jose and Arenal.
When traveling to/from San Jose, we offer vans that can accommodate from six to 16 guests. Your driver will be Spanish-speaking as well. The advantage to shared transportation is that it costs less. However, the disadvantage is that you have to adjust your schedule to go at set times and sit through the pick-up and drop off process at other guests’ hotels.
When traveling to/from Arenal, we offer land transfers to/from Monteverde Lodge and to/from Lake Arenal as well as boat transportation across the lake with transportation to/from your Arenal hotel.
Private transportation to/from any destination in Costa Rica or Nicaragua is also available. Your transportation is by mini-van with a Spanish-speaking driver. This form of transportation is more expensive because you don’t share the costs with anyone else. The advantages are that it can be scheduled at the time of your choosing and you don’t have to sit through the process of picking up and dropping off other guests at their hotels.
Bilingual guides services are available for all transfers at an additional cost.
The Unwritten of the Costa Rican Roads
If you choose to rent for at least the driven portion of this route, be aware that driving conditions in Costa Rica are challenging. There are potholes, very few road signs, and drivers passing on blind curves - sometimes all at once. While you shouldn’t be scared, please be aware that thieves and traffic cops looking for bribes routinely target rented cars. Road signs are scarce and maps are approximate. So giving precise directions is not one of Costa Rica´s national strengths. Most importantly, the unwritten rules of the road are very different from what you are used to at home.
Three of the crucial differences you should know:
- Just like in the US, rolling stops are illegal. However, in recorded history, no one has been cited for a rolling stop in Costa Rica. A rolling stop at a stop sign in the US means you may get a ticket. A full stop at a stop sign in Costa Rica means you may get rear-ended.
- In the US, passing on a blind curve is a sin. In Costa Rica, not letting somebody in who passes on a blind curve may be a mortal sin. When you see a big, slow truck in the oncoming lane, be ready for the guy behind him to be passing this vehicle. Then expect the woman behind your car to be passing you.
- Understand that driving in the US and driving in Costa Rica stem from vastly different cultural traditions. Driving in the US is derived from the lore of the Old West. There may be a veneer of courtesy, but the reality is a showdown at high noon. If you back down your very manhood – and womanhood -- has been compromised. Hence, road rage can occur.
Driving in Costa Rica is inspired by the ancient tradition of the bullfight. How close can you come without causing injuries? The driver who cuts you off in Costa Rica is not insulting you. He´s playing with you instead. Your role in the game is not to get cut off while also avoiding harm. For this reason, everybody tailgates.
The best way for you to handle this challenge is the same as for newcomers to all games: play, but remember the local rules. Don’t play too intensely and expect to lose. Defensive driving at all times is the key.
You must understand that the rules and policies regarding car rentals in Costa Rica are even more in favor of the company than in the US. Before renting a car in Costa Rica, you be aware of the differences and make sure that they’re acceptable to you.
If you're not renting a car through us and plan to bring a Garmin GPS, we recommend purchasing the navigation software through the button below (a ten-day version is $49). EzFind uses up-to-date points of interest to navigate Costa Rica because the street addresses you're probably accustomed to simply aren't used here. Keep in mind that it takes 36 hours after making the purchase to receive the EzFind software, which only works with Garmin GPS devices.
PURCHASE EZ FIND ONLINE
Help Planning Your Vacation
To get the most out of your Costa Rica adventure, visit Costa Rica Expeditions for detailed assistance with planning a fully-tailored itinerary.