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Monteverde or La Selva?

Plano, TX
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18 posts
47 reviews
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Monteverde or La Selva?

We could use your help!

We have most of or itinerary settled I believe:

- Arrive Liberia Apr 4, picking up a compact SUV

- Playa Hormosa in Guanacaste - 3 nights

- Arenal, just outside La Fortuna - 2 nights

- Insert help here - 2 nights

- San Juan - 1 night

- Leave SJO on an early-ish flight.

We have 2 nights to play with, and are unsure whether from Arenal we should head back around Lake Arenal to Monteverde, or push on to La Selva.

Is Monteverde too crowded? Even if it is, is it worth it for 2 nights? Not sure if hunting a sight of the quetzal is worth it for us. But Hotel Belmar looks nice there.

Or is La Selva roughly as bio-diverse with less traffic? Selva Verde has caught our eye as a possibility to stay.

Your opinon would be appreciated!

Craig

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,808 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

La Selva is nice and Sarapiqui is world famous for bird watching...but from Arenal...to Sarapiqui is about 2 hours...and then back to Arenal to take the road around the lake to Guanacaste...

Monteverde is closer to Arenal...and once finish in Monteverde...just drive down to Pan Am Hwy...and back to Liberia!

In your case I will go to Monteverde...Belmar is a good hotel!

El Establo, Poco a Poco, Sapo Dorado,

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in Paradise...

roadadvisor

Plano, TX
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18 posts
47 reviews
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2. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

Thanks Roadadvisor!

I may not have been clear, but the doubt in our itinerary is whether to go to from Arenal to either:

- Monteverde or

- La Selva

Either way, our next stop would be San Jose on the way out to the airport.

I think we're siding with La Selva, perhaps a bit more off the beaten path, but if anyone has input that could help us, we'd appreciate it.

Craig

Owen Sound, Canada
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628 posts
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3. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

Monteverde and Sarapiqui area are very different eco-systems. Selva Verde is good for birding and wildlife onservation but note that it is beside a fairly busy road. The OTS La Selva Biological Reserve is close by and is a wonderful place to see wildlife and some impressive primary and secondary forests. If birds and wildlife are important to you the Sarapiqui region is great.

Jerry

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,808 posts
35 reviews
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4. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

If you are driving from Arenal...it is a great idea Sarapiqui...then to San Jose...and only about one hour and half from the airport!

roadadvisor

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,808 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

Sorry let me make that clear ...from La Selva to International Airport Juan Santamaria is about one hour and half...

roadadvisor

Pensacola, Florida
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12,945 posts
55 reviews
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6. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

www.monteverdeinfo.com

is an unique cloud forest eco-system

many different cloud forest animals quetzals better then La Selva

Hidden Valley night tour is great there as is Belmar

where I have personally stayed and www.fondavela.com

More touristed because it is better than La Selva.

Have fun,

Boston
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51 posts
40 reviews
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7. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

I've never been to La Selva, so I can't comment on it.

But Monteverde is beautiful, just beautiful -- it did not at all feel too crowded or touristy -- the forest stands for itself. These amazing tall trees, and the mist rolling in, and sunset views from the mountain. I would be sad to have missed it!

If you want to go to the Monteverde area and avoid people, I would try the Santa Elena reserve -- same beautiful cloud forest ecosystem without the tourists.

Antigua, Guatemala
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2,958 posts
22 reviews
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8. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

Hi,

I would recommend heading to Monteverde, much more interesting experience and plenty to do for 2 nights.

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

Munich, Germany
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343 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

I recommend La Selva. Much more wildlife in my opinion and off the beaten path. Monteverde is too touristy for me and we did not see much wildlife there. For Quetzal observation other places are much better than Monteverde.

I've been to Monteverde twice and prefer La Selva by far. It is also closer to Arenal and San José.

Owen Sound, Canada
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628 posts
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10. Re: Monteverde or La Selva?

Monteverde is by no means "unique" , and there is more wildlife diversity in the Sarapiqui area. Both have highlights of couse. Monteverde [or anywhere at that general altitude ] is better for hummingbirds , the quetzal and other higher elevation species of birds. Sarapiqui is better for more species of birds, poison arrow frogs, and a good assortment of mammals.

My suggestion is Sarapiqui this trip and a visit to the Savegre Valley next trip for Quetzals and a beautiful cloud forest area.

cheers-Jerry