Top 10 Things to Do as a Solo Female Traveler in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Are you thinking about going to or are you a solo female traveler in Monteverde, Costa Rica?
Then you’re in good company!
When I backpacked solo around Costa Rica, Monteverde was my first stop after arriving in San José.
Monteverde’s close proximity to San José makes it relatively easy to get there, which is good news for solo travelers.
Famous for its unique cloud forests as well as its amazing diversity of flora and fauna, Monteverde is the perfect nature retreat for every solo female traveler. This makes it the perfect place to begin your conscious wellness retreat in Costa Rica.
Keep reading to discover the 10 top things to do as a solo female traveler in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
1. Visit the cloud forest reserves
The first thing to do as a solo female traveler in Monteverde, Costa Rica is to visit the cloud forest reserves, of course!
These are what Monteverde is known for, first and foremost.
While the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (Reserva Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde) is the most famous one, there are actually many other reserves dotted across this wide area of lush green. These include:
- Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
- Children’s Eternal Rainforest
- Large and small family-owned farms (fincas)
Your pick is your choice, depending on what you’re looking for.
While choosing to visit or stay at a traditional finca may give you an amazing local experience and jungle sites unseen by most other visitors, it can also get costly as a solo female traveler in Monteverde.
Especially if you only have the time or money to visit one cloud forest reserve, I highly recommend visiting the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve as a solo female traveler in Monteverde.
It’s over 60% cheaper than the more popular Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It’s also much less crowded.
The best part? The Santa Elena reserve is at a slightly higher elevation than the Monteverde one, meaning there’s a lot better chance you’ll actually experience that dreamy mist of clouds rolling through the trees while you hike!
Entry to the park as a non-local costs $16 USD (vs. $25 USD at the Monteverde reserve). Ask your accommodation host how to get there and they can often arrange cheap minibus transportation to pick you up!
Read more: Wondering about the best clothes to pack for hot weather in Costa Rica? Check out my related post on the best clothes for hot weather!
2. Zipline on a canopy tour
Behind the cloud forest reserves, ziplining comes in at a close second for what Monteverde is most famous for!
There are rumors that Monteverde is the birthplace of the zipline because of the mountainous terrain. Locals say that in order to transport goods to one another across the various dips and valleys, zip lines were created!
Now, whether that’s true or not is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is this:
You should definitely zipline as a solo female traveler in Monteverde!
And just to quell any fears that you might have – I’m pretty terrified of heights, but I don’t regret going ziplining! You’re anchored in tightly the whole time and the equipment is frequently tested to make sure there are no accidents.
There are lots of zipline tour companies available, most of which operate out of the village of Monteverde. I personally went on the Original Canopy Tour and had a great time!
To get the best prices, I recommend shopping around in Monteverde for the best price. Remember that in Costa Rica, no price is necessarily final, so use your bargaining skills and see how low you can get them to go!
Pro tip: I stayed at Monteverde Backpackers Hostel in Monteverde and the guy working at the desk there was so awesome that he personally called the Original Canopy Tour company and told them that I was a student so I could get an awesome discount!
3. Tour a coffee plantation
Costa Rica is the land of the liquid of the Gods – and by that, I mean, coffee.
Are you a coffee lover? Then this is especially a must-do for you as a solo female traveler in Costa Rica!
Many coffee plantation tours operate out of Monteverde and Santa Elena and usually include transportation, the tours, and sometimes meals, too.
There are many available, so again, I recommend price shopping to get the best rate. However, I know that the coffee tour from Don Juan is one of the most well-liked and -respected tours in the area.
And, it’s only $45! (as of the time of writing)
In Costa Rica where expenses can start racking up quickly, this is a great price, especially for any avid coffee-lover!
Related: Check out my top recommended coffee-related tours in the Monteverde area below!
4. Take a chocolate-making tour
Similar to the coffee tours mentioned above, Costa Rica is also full of chocolate!
Yes, you can truly learn about all of your favorite vices as a solo female traveler in Monteverde.
You can opt for a chocolate-only tour like those from Caburé Chocolate Tour ($15/person). Or, you can wrap coffee and chocolate tours all together with the combination tours that Don Juan offers.
It’s really a “choose-your-own-adventure” with countless options when it comes to coffee and chocolate tours in Monteverde!
Read more: Traveling alone for the first time in Costa Rica? Read my complete guide for solo traveling for the first time!
5. Walk across the famous hanging bridges
While Monteverde might be most famous for its cloud forests and ziplining more generally, on social media, it’s definitely most famous for its hanging bridges!
You can find hanging bridges in a lot of different reserves throughout the Monteverde area. However, your safest bet within Monteverde is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Monteverde Sky Adventures Park.
Go to either of these and you’ll be able to find plenty of hanging bridges across canopies to discover!
It’s important to note that the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve does not have big, long hanging bridges in the tree canopy.
It does have some smaller bridges, but none that you might see as the “famous” ones on social media.
So, if these famous bridges are more important to you than mistier forests, more lush green moss, and fewer crowds, make sure to check out the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve instead of the one in Santa Elena.
Related: Check out the top hanging bridges and ziplining canopy tours you can easily book on Viator below!
6. Go on a guided night hike
Did you know that 80% of the cloud forest wildlife is nocturnal?
Now you’ll understand that the forests of Monteverde come alive in a completely different way at night! Because of this, there are plenty of night tours available to show you around.
You can only hike through the forests at night with a certified guide. This is partly what makes this activity so safe for a solo female traveler in Monteverde! Just make sure if you’re looking for a guide yourself that you check that they have the right credentials from the Costa Rican government.
The Costa Rican people work really hard for these certifications and the knowledge you get from them during a night hike is absolutely worth it! Plus, it’s a great way to support locals.
One great night hike tour is the Monteverde Rain Forest Night Walk. This night hike is one of the most highly rated available in the area. With the flashlights provided, the guides will help you discover everything from snakes and spiders to sloths and kinkajous!
Related: Make sure you’re covered on all your adventures in Costa Rica and stay safe as a solo female traveler with proper travel insurance. I recommend World Nomads travel insurance – they have the most comprehensive coverage on the market!
7. Visit the Monteverde Cheese Factory (with ice cream!)
Yes, another vice to discover as a solo female traveler in Monteverde!
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love cheese. So what better way to satisfy your craving than with a visit to the Monteverde Cheese Factory?
Before the popularity of ecotourism in Monteverde, the Monteverde Cheese Factory was the area’s #1 employer. This company was started by the Quakers who settled in Costa Rica during the 1950s.
Unfortunately, the factory no longer offers tours. However, you can still peak through the glass to see how the cheese is made. And, they also make other tasty products you can try, like yogurts and, most importantly, ice cream.
The ice cream here is to-die-for. I couldn’t recommend it more!
8. Go horseback riding
Many tour operators, as well as privately-owned fincas, in the Monteverde area also offer horseback riding. This is another great activity and a unique way to see the sights as a solo female traveler in Monteverde!
Two great options are Sabine’s Smiling Horses and Finca El Rodeo. Both offer stunning views through jungles, grasslands, rainforests, and coffee plantations. However, make sure not to miss the popular waterfall tour or full-moon tour with Sabine and the specialty sunset tour overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya with Finca El Rodeo!
Read more: Before you head to Monteverde, check out my list of 13 amazing travel essentials that will seriously change your life!
9. Shop for art
I would best describe the village of Monteverde as a small, eco-friendly town with a little bit of a hippie vibe to it. Because of this, there are plenty of art galleries!
From jewelry to handicrafts, you’ll find plenty of beautiful pieces and trinkets to bring home as a reminder of your time as a solo female traveler in Monteverde.
Luna Azul is a gallery specializing in jewelry, while the Monteverde Art House and Casem are full of beautiful Costa Rican handicrafts.
Check all of them out and see what you like best!
Related: Ready to book your flight to Monteverde? Use my favorite flight search engine below to start planning your trip now!
10. Indulge in the best tacos around
Okay, I know what you might be thinking:
But Claire, tacos aren’t Costa Rican. Why would I bother eating tacos in Costa Rica?
Yes, I know tacos aren’t Costa Rican. But in spite of that, many places in Costa Rica make damn good tacos!
One of my favorite taco places in all of Costa Rica (because yes, I indulged in a lot of tacos there) is the aptly-named Taco Taco in Monteverde. They offer both bar seating that’s great for making friends as a solo female traveler in Monteverde, as well as table seating for your newly-made hostel friends.