This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.
The main attraction in Costa Rica’s beautiful Monteverde region is the famous cloud forest, but a coffee tour is also a must while you’re here! One of the things Costa Rica is famous for is its coffee and Monteverde is actually one of the best places to do a coffee tour. There are some fantastic tours here where coffee is the star of the show, as we’ve discovered on our many visits to this stunning region.
We love a cup of coffee to start a busy day of exploring Costa Rica – whether we’re grabbing it at a local shop or in our hotel room before heading out. But I think there’s something really cool about going to a coffee farm to see how this delicious drink gets its start.
Another huge bonus about coffee tours (if you have a sweet tooth like me!) is that they also often teach you about chocolate. Now, we know that not everyone likes coffee, but I haven’t met someone who doesn’t love chocolate!
A coffee tour is such a fun way to learn more about the Monteverde region. So whether you love coffee or could live without it (something that I personally couldn’t imagine), keep on reading to discover our top 3 picks for coffee tours in Monteverde.
Don’t have time to read the full article? Only 10 minutes outside town, this coffee tour at the Don Juan plantation is a winner in our books! We learned all about coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane with plenty of tastings along the way. It’s available daily for only $52 USD.
About Coffee in Monteverde
Costa Rica is among the top 20 largest coffee producers in the world, despite the fact that it only makes around 1% of the world’s coffee beans. Still, Costa Rican coffee is held in very high regard thanks to its incredible flavor. Plus, the country’s diverse landscape produces several different types of beans.
Coffee has been grown in Costa Rica since the early 1800s, but plantations only began popping up in the Monteverde region in the early 1930s. Families from Costa Rica’s central valley moved out here and introduced coffee farming to a totally different part of the country!
Monteverde is one of the lushest regions of Costa Rica, which is really saying something. One thing that makes Monteverde stand out is how many different flavors it’s able to produce. Some of the most notable ones are fruit, chocolate, citrus, and cedar, whereas many other areas are known for just one or two of these.
There are lots of small farms in the area, many of whom work together to ship exceptional coffee all over the world! Monteverde has a pretty small population, so coffee is a big part of the local economy here.
Best Coffee Tours in Monteverde
1. Coffee, Chocolate, and Sugar Cane Tour (Best Overall)
This coffee tour is our favorite overall! It’s a guided tour of the Don Juan coffee plantation, and it’s super fun and engaging. We had an amazing time when we did this – in fact, we think it’s one of the best coffee tours in the whole of Costa Rica.
As you explore the lush fields of the farm, you’ll learn so much about how coffee, cacao beans, and sugar cane are grown, and then transformed into the products we know and love. The tour is very interactive and you’ll help your guide press sugar cane juice, and of course, get to taste plenty of coffee. There’s also a chocolate workshop where you’ll make your own, and then get to eat it for a true bean-to-bar experience.
This tour was so interesting, our guide had us captivated the entire time. It’s also a perfect tour for families because it’s so interactive and walking around the farm isn’t physically strenuous at all. Plus, all the paths are paved, so they can easily accommodate a stroller or wheelchair. Basically, it’s a great tour for travelers of all ages.
The tour costs $52 USD for adults and $16 USD for kids, although this doesn’t include transport to and from the Don Juan plantation. It’s really easy to reach from Santa Elena though, which is where most people stay in Monteverde. It’s 10 minutes in a taxi or you can drive yourself if you’ve got a rental car.
The tour lasts for 2 hours and you can reserve it online here for 8 am, 10 am, 1 pm, or 3 pm. It’s available every day of the week, so it’s easy to fit into your trip, and it really does deliver an exceptional experience.
2. Coffee and Chocolate Walking and Sightseeing Tour
If you’re looking for a coffee tour that includes transport, this half-day tour is the perfect choice. You’ll be picked up at 8 am, so you can enjoy walking around the farm before it gets too hot, and then have the rest of the day free to relax or tick off another must-do Monteverde activity.
You’ll visit a plantation near the Monteverde Cloud Forest and learn all about how coffee and chocolate are grown and produced in this lush tropical environment. Your guide will also teach you more about the parts that these products play in Costa Rica’s economy and society. Then, after you’ve finished exploring, you’ll enjoy a coffee and chocolate tasting with views over the Gulf of Nicoya.
The tour costs $81 USD per person and you need to book for at least two people at a time. It lasts for 4 hours, so you’ll be back at around midday to grab lunch at one of the best restaurants in Monteverde. We really like the fact that this tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off so you don’t need to worry about it on the day.
3. Monteverde Cloud Forest and Coffee Tour Shore Excursion
If you’re staying in the coastal city of Puntarenas or stopping here on a cruise, you can explore Monteverde’s famous cloud forest AND visit a coffee farm on this full-day tour that leaves from the port!
You’ll be picked up from the port in Puntarenas at around 8 am and driven to Monteverde, which is about 1.5 hours inland. There, you’ll head into the stunning Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which you’ll explore by hiking across suspended bridges. From here, you get amazing views of the forest and you’ll see so much tropical wildlife.
It’s great going with a guide because they will teach you about this amazing forest and help you spot wildlife, including quetzals and poison dart frogs! The Cloud Forest is also home to monkeys, ocelots, jaguars, and 14 different species of hummingbirds, so you’re bound to see some cool creatures along the way. Our guide was awesome at pointing out animals I totally would have walked right by!
After exploring Monteverde Cloud Forest, you’ll have a traditional Costa Rican meal for lunch, which is usually a casado consisting of meat, rice, and beans.
Then, you’ll head to a coffee plantation to see a totally different side of the Monteverde region. You’ll get to learn about the bean-to-cup process and of course sample some of the plantation’s top blends. Then, you’ll head back to Puntarenas where you’ll be dropped back at the port between 5 and 6 pm.
It costs $128 USD which we think is a good deal since it includes transport, lunch, and guided tours of the Cloud Forest and a coffee plantation. It’s perfect if you’re not staying in Monteverde but still want to see the area and do a coffee tour!
We think that this tour is a fantastic way to get a snapshot of Monteverde in just one day, not to mention enjoy a quintessential Costa Rica coffee farm experience, so reserve a spot online here if this sounds like the experience for you!
Why We Book Tours with Viator
Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:
- Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
- Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
- Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
- Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.
Check out the Viator website here!
Are Coffee Tours in Monteverde worth it?
Yes! We had an incredible time on the tour that we did, and overall we think that Monteverde is one of the best places to do a coffee tour in Costa Rica.
The other is La Fortuna, where there are also lots of great choices. One that really stands out, though, is the Don Olivo chocolate tour. On this tour, you get to explore a farm that has been producing chocolate for almost a century, as well as tropical fruit, rum, sugar cane, and spices.
It’s a family-run plantation, so it’s a great place to support, and the guides are so passionate and funny. You get to sample so much fruit, coffee, and of course chocolate along the way that you’ll feel a bit like a kid in a candy store – only better! Plus, it’s a steal at only $25 USD per person when you book online.
Other Things to do While You’re in Monteverde
While enjoying some of the best coffee in the country is definitely a must-do, don’t forget to explore the rest of this area. There are so many fun activities in Monteverde, that you could spend your entire vacation here! These are just a few of our favorites:
- Night walk – There are some animals you can only see at night! Guided Night Walks in Monteverde are a great way to (safely!) explore the jungle after dark. This night tour is a small group of up to 8 and you’ll have a naturalist guide to help you spot all the nocturnal creatures. It’s also super affordable at only $33 USD including round-trip transport.
- Go ziplining – Ziplining is easily a top adventure activity in Monteverde. This ziplining tour has it all! It’s three hours of fun including the Superman zipline, which is the longest and highest zipline in Costa Rica and all of Latin America!
- Selvatura Park – Selvatura Park is a nature and adventure park located inside a protected rainforest. This park has a network of hanging bridges above the tree canopy that give you incredible aerial views of the rainforest. Explore all the bridges and the surrounding trail with the Selvatura Park Hanging Bridge Tour. This gives you two hours to enjoy the forest from unique viewpoints.
- Go bungy jumping – Bungy jumping is one of the fun Monteverde attractions you have to try … if you’re brave enough! The Extreme Bungee Jumping in Monteverde Tour has a daring jump from over 460 feet (140 meters). That’s the highest in Costa Rica and all of Central America!
- Horseback riding – This is a great way to give your feet a break and explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest! This Monteverde Cloud Forest horseback riding tour lets you cover a lot of ground as you trek through farmland and the surrounding landscape in Monteverde. Keep an eye out for toucans, parrots, monkeys, and other critters as you experience the rural side of Costa Rica, far from any crowds or traffic.
Where to Stay in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde may be a small tourist town but there are a surprisingly large amount of great hotels in all budget ranges. To help you pick a favorite, here are our top recommendations:
Selina Monteverde – $
If you’re a budget traveler or backpacker, there are lots of nice hostels in Monteverde. If you like modern features and outstanding facilities, Selina Monteverde is the best option. The hostel is beautiful, has great reviews, and lots of activities including yoga.
Camino Verde B&B Monteverde – $$
For those well past their backpacking days who can spend a little more, I love Camino Verde B&B Monteverde Costa Rica. This boutique hotel has beautiful rooms, a deck with magnificent views, and includes breakfast. It’s a comfortable hotel that comes at a great price.
Rates begin at $176 USD/night. You can check availability and book a room online here.
Chira Glamping Monteverde – $$$
If you’re a luxury traveler I highly suggest choosing what we call a “destination hotel”. These hotels are an attraction in themselves because of the unique experience they offer. In Monteverde one of the best is Chira Glamping Monteverde which offers luxury camping with the option to have your own private hottub surrounded by nature.
The view from the property is incredible! Rates begin at $375 USD/night. You can check availability and book online with Booking.com.
Getting Around Costa Rica
How you choose to get around Costa Rica is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning your holiday here! How you do it depends on your budget, travel style, and comfort level.
Renting a Car
Without a doubt, the number one way to explore Costa Rica is in a rental car. We book rental cars on the Discover Cars website as we have had good experiences with them in the past.
One of the things you need to watch for when renting a car in Costa Rica is the mandatory insurance that the government requires you to have. There are a lot of very cheap rentals that don’t include this mandatory insurance (TPL) in the original booking price, but there are also ones that do. To avoid additional surprise charges when you pick up your rental car, be sure to rent a car that includes the mandatory insurance when you book.
Thankfully, on Discover Cars it’s easy to tell apart the companies that include the mandatory insurance and those that don’t. The trick is you can’t pick any car on their website. In the picture below, you can see this rental car, with pick up in Jaco, includes the TPL. That means the mandatory insurance is included in the price. Any cover you get above that is extra.
Of course, I still suggest getting the full coverage offered by Discover Cars, which covers you even more.
You can browse cars on Discover Cars here.
If renting a car isn’t in your budget, you don’t feel comfortable driving in Costa Rica, or you just don’t like driving, shuttles are the next best option. There are hundreds of shuttle routes available all over the country, and they are very affordable.
Shuttles in Costa Rica are specifically for tourists and often include pick up and drop off at your selected hotels and airports. The drivers also speak some English, and the vehicles have air conditioning. You’ll also be guaranteed a seat when you book a shuttle (which isn’t the case with the public bus system.)
To get the best price, use the website Bookaway. They compare all the offers and prices of shuttle companies in Costa Rica so you get the best price! Honestly, we have saved so much money using Bookaway!
You can search for shuttles online on Bookaway here.
Lastly, you can use the public bus system. On short journeys, such as from San Jose to La Fortuna or Uvita to Manuel Antonio, this system is great. However, the longer the journey the more hassle and time spent on a bus. It’s undoubtedly best to save the public bus in Costa Rica for short and straightforward trips!
The public buses are definitely the cheapest way to get around Costa Rica, but they are not always very reliable and schedules often change without notice and delays are to be expected. The buses can also be very crowded and hot – so just be prepared!
It’s also good to speak some Spanish if you plan on riding the public bus since most drivers and ticket booth operators don’t speak English.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Paying out of pocket for trip interruptions or medical treatment will add to what might already be a stressful situation. We always travel with SafetyWing travel medical insurance.
The best part is that it costs only a fraction of what most insurance policies charge, which makes it perfect for digital nomads, long-term travelers (like us), and budget travelers. It only costs $45 USD per 4 weeks!
To start coverage, you must purchase it after leaving your home country. We usually purchase it as soon as we land at the airport.
Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada from Colombia before the border closed!
I hope we’ve helped you narrow down which coffee tour to take in Monteverde! There’s something about a cup of coffee on vacation that tastes even better – am I right? And when it’s fresh on a coffee farm, it’s even more delicious!
While you’re planning your getaway to Costa Rica, be sure to have a look through our other blogs. We’ve lived and traveled all across this beautiful country and are happy to fill you in on all the local spots you won’t want to miss. Here are a few popular reads to get you started: