How Safe Is Monteverde for Travel?

Updated On January 5, 2024
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Safety Index:
74
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Monteverde, the 83rd canton of Costa Rica, was founded by Quakers from the U.S.

The town had a cooler climate, which appealed to the Quakers, who became known for cheese and coffee production.

The Quakers also preserved the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

It features an awe-inspiring cloud forest that draws travelers from around the globe.

The rich biodiversity and the natural beauty of the 26,000 acres of Monteverde bring thoughts of paradise to mind.

It was voted one of Costa Rica’s Seven Wonders.

The lush plants, trees and flowers, colorful birds, and distinct species attract more than 250,000 travelers each year.

Travelers want to know if it is safe to travel to Monteverde, Costa Rica, especially since there are sometimes changes to travel advisories and alerts.

Warnings & Dangers in Monteverde

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Travelers visit Monteverde for the opportunity to see and experience the cloud forest and other sites. The town, located in Costa Rica’s mountain ranges, is a primary ecotourism destination. It has an overall low risk for crime and other dangers. The preservation efforts and environmental protections by officials make the area less desirable for most criminal activity.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Taxis in Monteverde do not have a meter in their vehicles. Travelers pay a set fee when traveling around the town. Ask the hotel staff to call a taxi for you. You are less likely to be overcharged when you rely on a reputable taxi company. Many travelers walk the dirt roads around town. Remember, the mountain air is thin, so you may want to call a taxi or other public transportation. The bus is slower, but it leaves Downtown Santa Elena to take travelers to Monteverde Cloud Forest and back several times a day. Shuttles that travelers reserve in advance charge a nominal fee. Secure your belongings when you take public transportation.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

Violent crimes occur less frequently in Monteverde, compared to many other areas of Costa Rica. Petty crimes, such as purse snatching and pickpocketing are a risk for travelers. Leave your passport and valuables in the hotel safe or in another safe area, rather than taking them with you when visiting the cloud forest or other sites. Carry a copy in your purse or wallet, not your original passport.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: HIGH

Costa Rica is prone to several types of natural disasters. The country is prone to floods, landslides, and cyclones. Volcanoes may become active. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve exhibits the effects of climate change. Scientists indicate that two species have gone extinct, and others are threatened by climate change. Earthquakes may occur, although they usually occur in other areas of Costa Rica.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Muggings usually occur in other areas of Costa Rica. Muggers target people when there is an opportunity to victimize someone. Some muggings and armed robberies have occurred in broad daylight in Costa Rica. The U.S. Department of State urges travelers to avoid isolated areas on foot, particularly at nighttime. National parks are included in the places where travelers may become targets. Travelers from the U.S. are often the targets of criminals who commit muggings, robberies, sexual assaults, and other crimes. The muggers and other criminals want the cell phones, expensive cameras, and valuables that U.S. citizens often have with them.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

International terrorism risks have increased in many countries. Costa Rica, including in Monteverde, is not an area where there is a substantial terrorism risk. Narcotics-related terror is more common in Costa Rica than other terrorist activities. People who are found executed or who are kidnapped as part of drug trafficking rings or deals gone bad are usually found in San Jose or nearby areas. Check the travel advisory risk level with the U.S. Department of State before departing on a trip to Monteverde. The current Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution risk for Costa Rica may change any day.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: HIGH

The risk of falling victim to scammers is high in Costa Rica. Scammers are likely to assume that travelers who visit Monteverde have money or valuables. Various scams are a threat to travelers. Car rental insurance scams often target travelers. Although the car rental insurance requirement is not a scam itself, travelers are often charged more than the quoted rate when they pick up their rental car. Slashing and puncturing tires on rental cars is another way that scammers steal from travelers. One person punctures or slashes the tires. A “good Samaritan” offers to help, but the good Samaritan is a part of the scam. The person distracts the traveler while the accomplice steals valuables from the vehicle. Do not accept help to change a tire from strangers. Car rental companies will not charge you if they think that you are a scam victim.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Many women travel to Monteverde and have an enjoyable experience. Women are at risk of becoming targets of muggings, scams, and sexual assaults, even though the overall risk to safety is low. Women travelers should travel in groups of at least three other people. Sexual assaults and murders of women have recently increased in Costa Rica.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The tap water is perfectly safe for travelers to Monteverde, Costa Rica to drink. Make sure that you purchase bottled water if you visit other areas. Visitors to some areas drink bottled water because of safety concerns.

Safest Places to Visit in Monteverde

Do not go with anyone who offers to show you how to get to the cloud forest, to restaurants, or other destinations.

Ask hotel staff members, or at reputable shops or businesses.

Avoid visiting the sights at night, particularly by yourself.

Travelers can engage in ecological night walks in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Make sure that you go with a group.

Places to Avoid in Monteverde

Do not go with anyone who offers to show you how to get to the cloud forest, to restaurants, or other destinations.

Ask hotel staff members, or at reputable shops or businesses.

Avoid visiting the sights at night, particularly by yourself.

Travelers can engage in ecological night walks in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Make sure that you go with a group.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Monteverde

  1. Book your trip with a reputable travel agency. Do not book a trip or tour with a company that is not a well-known, reputable company. Protect your safety by planning your trip in advance. Ask questions so that you know what is included in your travel plans or itinerary.
  2. Keep valuables at home or locked away from criminals. Leave your valuables at home. Lock up any valuables that you bring with you in the hotel safe. Burglars do break into hotel rooms in Costa Rica. Although the risk to travelers visiting Monteverde is low, you do not want to stand out to pickpockets, muggers, or other criminals.
  3. Bring the insect repellent. Monteverde is home to many different species, including bugs. Bring the insect repellent and use it liberally when visiting sites and popular destinations anywhere in Costa Rica.
  4. Eat at clean restaurants. Avoid the smaller restaurants. You may want to try the local cuisine, but you may end up sick from unsanitary conditions or poor food hygiene. Eat at clean, larger, and well-known restaurants.
  5. Do not hike or walk alone. Walking or hiking the nature trails or walking through the cloud forest may seem like a great idea. Do not do it. Avoid taking hikes or walks by yourself, even in safe areas, such as Monteverde. You do not want to become an easy target for criminals.
  6. Get around town by riding with reputable companies. Do not hail a taxi yourself or accept a ride from anyone who claims to be a public transport driver. Contact a reputable taxi company on their app or ask the hotel personnel to call one for you.
  7. Do not touch plants or animal species. Do not give in to the temptation to pick one of the beautiful orchids to avoid legal troubles. Do not risk your health or safety by touching any animal species. The smallest species may be one of the most dangerous species. You do not want to become the victim of a colorful but deadly poison dart frog.
  8. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Wear good shoes that provide support for walking through the cloud forest and the dirt roads. Travelers should wear long pants to the reserves, nature parks and while on some tours.
  9. Order alcohol at larger bars and restaurants. Do not order alcoholic drinks at hole-in-the-wall establishments. Exercise caution when drinking in Costa Rica. A few years ago, there were several deaths from methanol poisoning in alcoholic drinks.
  10. Do not take traditional hallucinogens. It is not true that traditional hallucinogens such as kambo or ayahuasca are part of a required ceremonial cleansing. U.S. citizens have become crime victims or have fallen ill or died from these substances.

So... How Safe Is Monteverde Really?

The low overall risk to travelers extends throughout Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Pickpockets, muggers, and robbers still target visitors.

Travelers who enjoy the sites and attractions during daylight hours are less likely to be victimized by criminals.

Staying away from scammers, avoiding smaller, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, hotels, and bars helps to protect U.S. travelers.

The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Department of State urge travelers to be aware of their surroundings.

Travelers should not resist muggers or robbers.

How Does Monteverde Compare?

CitySafety Index
Monteverde74
San Jose59
Santa Teresa72
Manuel Antonio58
Quepos55
Puerto Viejo52
Tamarindo57
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Tourist visas are not required for stays of less than 180 days. A return ticket is required for travelers. Check for updated visa information before the trip to Monteverde.

Currency

Currency

The colon is the main currency in Costa Rica. Travelers may exchange money at any local bank. Avoid higher rates at airports by avoiding airport kiosks.

Weather

Weather

The weather in Monteverde is cool and misty. The mean temperature of 61 – 64 degrees Fahrenheit requires travelers to dress for cooler weather. Pack for the season that you travel to Monteverde. The rainy season is from April through November. The dry season is from December through March.

Airports

Airports

The main international airports that serve travelers to Monteverde, Costa Rica are the San Jose International Airport and the Liberia Guanacaste Airport. Rent a car, take a bus, or take a taxi to get to Monteverde from either airport. Private shuttles are an option, but they are more expensive than other options.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Purchase travel insurance that protects you on your Monteverde, Costa Rica trip. Protect yourself against losses from theft and other crimes, accidents, medical emergencies, or other unexpected expenses.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Monteverde Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 20° C
Feb 21° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 23° C
May 22° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 21° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 21° C
Dec 21° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
262728282625252525252526
Low
°C
141516171717171616161615
High
°F
798182827977777777777779
Low
°F
575961636363636161616159

Costa Rica - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Manuel Antonio58
Monteverde74
Puerto Viejo52
Quepos55
San Jose59
Santa Teresa72
Tamarindo57

Where to Next?

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