Hiking and Horseback Riding from Monteverde, Costa Rica to La Fortuna
This is the standardized, most popular version of our Big Forest Hike. However, we can help you customize the tour to fit your needs and desires while visiting Costa Rica. Hiking the whole way is possible if you do not want to do any horseback riding, and the price will be decreased accordingly.
Travel from Monteverde, Costa Rica to La Fortuna/Arenal, Costa Rica:
You will start at Mirador San Gerardo, a $20 taxi ride from downtown Santa Elena in Monteverde, Costa Rica. This is a great place for taking photos of the magnificent views of the reserves, lake, and volcano. There is a restaurant and lodging here, so be sure to reserve breakfast before the tour if you’d like to eat before hiking Costa Rica. You can also spend the night here beforehand, which is recommended.
We’ll start horseback riding in Monteverde, Costa Rica at 8 am, and we travel on horseback for about 1.5 hours down the Monteverde cloud forest mountains through a typical back country farmland and forest horse trail. Then, we’ll continue on a foot trail, hiking through raw Costa Rica wilderness for about three hours, reaching a camping farm for a rest stop. After that, we’ll go horseback riding through Costa Rican rainforest once again, and that will bring you out of the forest and around Lake Arenal all the way to the town of El Castillo, where the tour ends in the late afternoon. Congratulations, you have crossed the continental divide without using any fossil fuels!
El Castillo offers many lodging and restaurants and transportation services. Travelers can spend the night and take a shuttle the next day back to Monteverde over the lake or a shuttle or a bus to La Fortuna. Don’t miss out on the hot springs, which are a great stop after hiking in Costa Rica. If you wish to continue on into La Fortuna on the same day, you can take the 4pm shuttle or a taxi as long as you plan ahead.
While the above itinerary is preferred, you can also do this trip traveling from La Fortuna/Arenal, Costa Rica to Monteverde, Costa Rica:
Start at 8 am at La Gavilana in the town of El Castillo (or arrange prior for pick up at the place of your choice in El Castillo). We’ll go horseback riding around Lake Arenal, Costa Rica, enjoying great volcano views before we continue on horseback up into the reserve to reach the beginning of the trail. We’ll then continue on a foot trail, hiking through a raw Costa Rica wilderness for about three hours.
Finally, we’ll take another horseback ride up the Costa Rican mountains toward the cloud forest and continental divide for about three hours (allowing for a refreshment stop), ending the tour at Mirador San Gerardo in Monteverde, Costa Rica late afternoon. This is a great place for views (Mirador = Viewpoint) of the reserves, lake, and Volcano Arenal. If you would like, it is possible to reserve dinner and lodging here. Otherwise, you can take a $20 taxi ride to downtown Santa Elena. Congratulations, you have crossed the continental divide without burning any fossil fuels!
You can find more information on traveling from La Fortuna to Monteverde and vice verse here.
GUIDED ONLY! Groups up to 8 recommended.
The cost of the standard version described in the itinerary section is
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.
Luggage transfer at additional cost. Please request information.
SCHEDULE A BIG FOREST HIKE
PayPal or credit card fees
English speaking hiking guide and horseback riding guides
Two horse back rides (a total of about 5 hours)
A refreshment at the rest stop
The tour does not include:
What should we bring for hiking and horseback riding in Costa Rica?
It’s important to come prepared, with excellent health and fitness and the proper jungle gear for any trip horseback riding or hiking in Costa Rica, especially in these wilderness areas. Up in the Monteverde cloud forest it can get cold fast, and hypothermia is not a myth. Be ready for a sudden change in temperature while hiking. You’ll be crossing rivers and streams, many insects will be attracted to your sweat, you’ll get wet and dirty and very possibly see snakes and other wild critters. Chances of getting rained on while hiking or horseback riding in Costa Rica’s cloud forest are 50/50. In summary, be sure to come prepared for all of these situations. Bring proven hiking shoes, or in other words, shoes you have already used and know to be comfortable.
Strongly recommend to bring:
- SEALED package with one set of dry clothing
- Sun protection
- Rain gear
- Proven hiking boots
- Long pants, long sleeves, and layers in case it gets cold
- Bottle of water
- Mosquito repellent
- Food (recommended to bring your favorite trail mix)
If you under prepare, you are risking your health and the success of the whole trip.