Too far to drive for too little experience means little value
Full-Day Monteverde Tour with Hanging Bridges and Reptiles | Mar 2020
The adventure getting up to Monteverde from San Jose has been nothing less then a frustration during our visit to Costa Rica. The first excursion company cancelled on us within 9-hours of departure - that's "Monteverde Cloud Forest and Hanging Bridges Full-Day Tour from San Jose" (by AyE Tours Travel - avoid that excursion!!!
This one at least committed to the trip and followed through taking us up there even with just 2 travelers.
The drive is long from San Jose and the tour/activity is short. Very short. Turns out to be about an hour hike.
Now, Arturo, the guide, he did the best he could really. He was kind, courteous, polite and went out of his way to make our excursion fun.
But, the review it's not about how nice a tour guide is to you, not entirely. It's about the value, right? Caue for 2 people, this is almost $300.
So we either, missed, skipped or weren't supposed to do the "Biological Preserve" hike. We stopped there. There was confusion with our tickets. The description seems of the tour seems to imply we'll have an "on the ground" nature walk.
When we arrived at the Hanging Bridges, there was just as much confusion about our tickets. Eventually we went. The 3 of us. No guide from the facility to tell us about things. Fortunately my wife is a scientist/biology teacher of 25 years. She enjoyed it. But it was over in about an hour.
So whoever markets this place Monteverde as a "Cloud Forest" was a brilliant marketing strategy. They had a great aerial photographer on a cloudy day take pictures that implies you are among the clouds - you are not. You are high upon the tree canopies, but not the clouds.
The "Reptiles" was a small nature house. No bigger than a McDonald's dining area with "animals" behind the glass. I'm using the generic term, because it wasn't just reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards), it was frogs too (technically amphibians) and Frogs are nocturnal so most were inactive or not found. But it took all of 15 minutes to look at them. I'm sure we could've taken longer, and that wouldn't have posed a problem for our driver, but more time wouldn't make up for the lack of substance.
We should've been able to see so much more of the ecosystems that make Costa Rica famous.
Fortunately we have 8 days in Costa Rica and can see a lot of thing, but if your time is short, don't bother with this trip to this area.