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Arenal, Monteverde, and the Northern Lowlands Sights


  • Zoo/Aquarium
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 04/14/2014

Fodor's Review

If your time in Monteverde is limited, consider spending it at Selvatura, a kind of nature theme park—complete with canopy tour and bridge walks—just outside the Santa Elena Reserve. A 100-bird hummingbird garden, an enormous enclosed 50-species mariposario (butterfly garden), a herpetario (frog and reptile house), and insect exhibition sit near the visitor center. The only zip-line tour built entirely inside a cloud forest has 13 lines and 18 platforms, with an optional Tarzan swing at the end to round out the excursion. Tree Top Walkways takes you to heights ranging from 50 meters (150 feet) up to 170 meters (510 feet) on a 3-km (2-mile) walk. These are some of the longest and strongest bridges in the country and run through the same canopy terrain as the zip-line tour.

You can choose from numerous mix-and-match packages, depending on which activities interest you, or take it all in, with lunch included, for $138. Most visitors get by for much less, given that you couldn't take in all there is to do here in one day.

Sight Information


Office across from church, Santa Elena, 60109, Costa Rica



Sight Details:

  • Prices vary, depending on package; zip-line tour $45; Tree Tops Walkway $30
  • Daily 8:30–4:30

Updated 04/14/2014


What's Nearby

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See all sights in Arenal, Monteverde, and the Northern Lowlands

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By flj

  • Experience

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  • Value

  • Don't Miss

May 16, 2009

Selvatura is the best

Selvatura is great! We did the canopy tour, the sky walk, the insect tour, the butterfly garden, and the humming bird garden. First of all, Selvatura picks you up at your hotel and takes you back to your hotel for free. Everyone is nice and can get by with English. Selvatura has quality. The canopy tour was great! There were a lot of zip lines (I think maybe 19) and they were all long. The view was amazing. Sometimes we went in the cloud forest

and sometimes we were way above it. Children and nervous people ride with the experienced instructors. There is also a "tarzan swing" where you swing way out over the trees (it's optional). The skywalk is also fun. It is very long and I wouldn't recommend it to people who lose their footing easily. The bridges are way up in the top of the forest. One bridge had a baby hummingbird in it. On the paths in the forest we saw howler monkeys! The insect tour was interesting. Our guide was very helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly. The hummingbird garden was nice. You can sit and just watch the birds. It doesn't have a tour guide. The butterfly garden was great! There were tons of beautiful butterflies! We even saw one come out of its caccoon! The tour guide was very nice and helpful. I definitely recommend the the canopy tour, butterfly garden, and the sky walk (in order of awesomeness). Selvatura has the best canopy tour in Monteverde. It has absolute quality.

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