The coolest transfer between Monteverde to La Fortuna side

Everyone who is traveling between Monteverde and La Fortuna loves to know about this unique and adventurous option of traveling. The Big Forest Hike Premium is a way of crossing the cloud forest the way our ancestors used to do, on foot and on horse back. Raw, tropical landscape, amazing views, amazing geography, amazing people. The coolest way to visit and connect two of the most iconic regions in Costa Rica. The cloud forests of Monteverde are world renown so is the neighboring Volcan Arenal with its hot springs. To experience the lone trails in the wilderness of the national parks and reserves protecting the landscapes a good health fitness is required but the rewards of enduring are life lasting memories. A shuttle company can shipped unnecessary luggage to El Castillo and La Fortuna.

Big Forest Hike Photo Gallery

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RECOMMENDED 2014 & 2016

“The adventurous folks at La Gavilana Herbs & Art offer a two-day ‘extreme hike’ of the Big Forest trail between El Castillo and San Gerardo (near Santa Elena).”

Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

The Big Forest Hike is for serious adventurers. It requires a minimum of one overnight stay in the middle of the rainforest. The hike crosses raging rivers and climbs steep mountains.

Forest fog BFHThe Big Forest Hike starts promptly at 8 am in Santa Elena, Monteverde. As you embark on the journey, the adventure follows a three hour horseback ride to the beginning of the trail. You will cross 22 streams and rivers before arriving to the Vertiente Pacifica.

Next four hours of raw hike in the jungles – the breathtaking journey in the deep forested hills and mountains is an experience that leaves many stimulated with how lush and precious the rain forests are that give so much life to our blue planet.

Near the last part of the adventure lands you in pristine beautiful place we call Gavilana Base Camp – Here you will enjoy serene views of the valley, see our food forest, enjoy our camp amenities, like hot/cold shower, kitchen, and rest.

Finally, the last stretch of the journey lands you back on a horse ride to El Castillo, a tiny quaint village with beautiful views of Arenal Volcano and the Lake Arenal. The journey ends around 5pm, and other arrangements can be made for lodging and accommodations. Please feel free to ask us, and we’ll help you plan your trip.

Also we highly recommended that you treat yourself with spa, hot springs, massage etc. after the whole event as you will appreciate it more than ever, and a great way to end this adventure with a joyous celebration.

GUIDED ONLY! Groups up to 8 recommended.

BFH happy campersYour Big Forest Hike Premium Adventure starts at


snacks not included, Base Camp sells refreshment and offers shared kitchen as well as camping for additional $35. Shuttle company ships luggage to El Castillo at $10 per bag. Plenty of places to visit and stay in El Castillo and La Fortuna, such as the beautiful hot springs, that make you feel like you’re at a spa!

Full payment due at time of booking via PayPal or credit card. Cancellation more than 7 days before date of tour forfeits 50% of amount paid. Cancellation within one week of tour start date forfeits full amount paid.

The Big Forest Hike must always be reserved in advance.


Your jungle guide, Mikey!

Your jungle guide, Mikey!

What’s Included?

  • English Speaking Guide

  • Accommodation at Gavilana Base Camp with Dinner & Breakfast

  • Tents and Bedding Provided at Gavilana Base Camp

  • Shared Kitchen for Communal Cooking at Base Camp

  • Shared Bathroom and Shower with Hot Water at Base Camp

  • Use of Firewood at Base Camp

  • Guided Hike to Maximo’s Farm on Day Two

  • Lunch Prepared by Maximo

  • Access to Solar Powered Charging for Phones & Flashlights

Bring jungle gear of your standard. High tech, state of the art gadgets for some, others bare foot, shirtless, with a stick and a towel. Up in the cloud forest it can get cold fast, hypothermia is not a myth, be ready for possible sudden change in temperature. You’ll be crossing rivers and streams, you will be looked for by many insects that will locate you by your sweat, you’ll get wet and dirty and very possibly see snakes and other wild critters. Chances of getting rained on are 50/50. Bring shoes you have already proved to be comfortable.

One small bottle for water is enough, every flowing body of water you’ll be crossing is delicious drinking water released by the matrix of the forest, very healthy for drinking.

Strongly recommend to bring SEALED package with one set of clothing to sleep in dry and a repellent or mosquito net if you are not interested to get visits from friendly and not as friendly insects.

Here’s What Past Hikers Have To Say

“The Big Forest Hike is an extraordinary experience

and the highlight of my trip to Costa Rica.

Before meeting up with Tomas and our guide Miguel, we had visited the hanging bridges park at Arenal. What a contrast! Where the hanging bridges was crowded with loud visitors shuffling over the concrete paths as fast as they could, the Big Forest Hike took us deep into Costa Rica’s rain forests where we were able to take our time and enjoy the solitude of being in the real wilderness.”

– Arran, February 2016

Took the big forest hike and loved it. Some really great hiking. The first day is a good workout. The finca is beautiful. Get up early and walk the open areas to watch the birds. Really the best way to see them. I’m glad I did it. You will be too.
Vernon, March 2015
We had a great time on the hike–it was definitely the most memorable part of our trip to Costa Rica. As strenuous as advertised but our guide, Rudolfo, was really helpful and did what he could to make it easier. Maximo’s was great–excellent food and amazing location. Worth the effort to get there. I recommend bringing comfortable shoes and expect to get wet and muddy.
Nathan, February 2015
My husband and I really enjoyed the camp and big forest hike. It was the perfect rugged mountain experience!
Jessica, December 2015
A very friendly welcome from everyone at La Gavilana – a cup of coffee and a bag of goodies appropriate for the hike. John, the hippy dude, and his dog Buddy walked us up to Tomas’ farm to meet Miguel, our guide for the next 2 days. We had a great hike through the forest to stay at Maximo’s farm for the night and then on to Santa Elena the next day. Miguel was a great guide, giving as much information as we wanted and Maximo was very friendly – it was great to meet a real, old time Costa Rican.
Krestin, March 2016
This is a special hike. If you are looking for something challenging, rewarding and ultimately an opportunity to really disconnect this is an amazing hike. In the 1.5 days I was gone, I didn’t see another person other than the guide Miguel and Maximo, who lives on a small farm in the middle of the rain forest where you spend the night. You are walking through untouched primary rain forest. Miguel the guide is great, very knowledgable about the flora and fauna and speaks very good English.
David, December 2015