Yeison and I have started Airbnb’ing our way around Costa Rica and it’s been a delightful experience. It’s the first thing we use when we need to book accommodation now instead of hotels! Our experiences with Airbnbs in Costa Rica have been that great.
For our Monteverde trip, we used Airbnb instead of hotels, even though one of our favorite hotels in Costa Rica is in Monteverde (but it is more expensive at $150 a night). Since we wanted to stay somewhere outside of town and meet locals, Airbnb was the way to go for us.
And boy, did we luck out with the Monteverde Airbnbs we chose ! It was the reason why our trip to Monteverde was so amazing, no joke. So if you’re looking for an Airbnb in Monteverde to give you a rich local experience, these 2 are excellent. They are perfect for couples like us who don’t want to be in town, have a car and want a unique experience.
Airbnb in Monteverde
Airbnb 1: Las Marias
We spent a long time finding an Airbnb in Monteverde because our first three choices were full (even though we Instant Booked, they cancelled our reservation). However, that worked out for the best for us! We ended up staying at a small house called Las Marias #1 owned by a local family, 3 brothers who also had a tour company in Monteverde called Three Brothers Tours.
Communication was excellent, they emailed us right away to confirm and check in if we needed anything for our trip. We met them at the house to pick up the keys and they showed us around the property. Directions in the house manual were very accurate and the house was easy to find.
Our hosts, Elberth and Alex gave us a bag of San Luis coffee when we arrived as a welcome gift which was so nice. But what it’s even better was that when we told them we were huge wildlife lovers and were hoping to get photos of the Resplendant Quetzal during our trip, they didn’t hesitate to tell us when and where to go to see them as they were both naturalist guides.
The house we rented is one of 3 on a large property about an 8-10 minute drive outside of Santa Elena.
Our cabin had 2 stories, the other 2 houses have 1 story. The top floor is the main bedroom and the bottom floor is the kitchen, bathroom and sitting area. It has a nice view of the surrounding hills where you can see cows and horses roaming around.
This cabin fit sup to 3 people so it’s perfect for couples or a family with one kid. The bed downstairs is a single and the bed upstairs is a full. The kitchen comes fully equipped with everything you need.
From Santa Elena downtown, the house is no more than a 10 minute drive away. The road is unpaved (like most of Monteverde) but the directions are very clear in the house manual.
There is no gate onto the property but it’s tucked away in small road in a neighborhood so we felt safe and secure (we didn’t leave anything in our car and always closed the curtains when we left).
It was incredibly nice to sit on the porch in the morning with a cup of coffee, listening to the birds. We saw rainbow toucans in the trees nearby and were visited by a friendly cat. Elberth and Alex were available whenever we needed something and it was awesome having local naturalist guides as our hosts! I learned so much about Quetzals from them.
We stayed at this Airbnb for 3 nights and then moved onto our next one, Toucan Paradise.
Airbnb 2: Toucan Paradise
Our host, Ivonne was super sweet. She was easy to get in touch with and helped us with directions to find the house since it was further from Santa Elena and we got a bit lost. Her and her husband aren’t Monteverde locals but have been living there for many years. We met her at the apartment which is right next to their house.
The house is about a 20 minute drive from Santa Elena downtown (bad roads again) and since it’s further away, it is even quieter. There’s not much around except for Finca Modelo so you’ll see horseback riders go by the house but that’s it. Super quiet, tranquil and peaceful.
The apartment is right next to Ivonne’s house and you park your car in their garage. They have some goats and 3 big adorable dogs! Ivonne offered us fresh goat milk which was a treat as neither of us had ever tried it before.
The apartment is very nicely furnished with a full bed, single bed, fully equipped kitchen, fridge, couch and TV. A family of 3 could also comfortably fit in the apartment and for 2 people, it had everything we needed.
The view from the apartment is lovely and there is a reason why she named it toucan paradise. Even though we heard a bunch of rainbow toucans, sadly we didn’t see any. Since we went in the peak of dry season, the toucans have to look for food further out.
During the months of June, July, November, December and January, you can see a bunch of toucans eating in the trees on the property, right outside the apartment. (Look at the listing photos on Airbnb to see how many toucans visit their property!)
Ivonne was kind enough to suggest some places to eat close by and on our first day, we had the afternoon to explore. She recommended walking to Finca Modelo, a large property with waterfalls and hiking trails up the hill. I’m so glad we asked her because it was beautiful up there and we would have never thought to venture that way.
Since the house is further outside of Monteverde, we didn’t see anyone and enjoyed an afternoon looking over at the valley, listening to toucans and other birds.
The property has a large gate, which is great for security. However, it was kind of annoying to always open and close it but most gates in Costa Rica aren’t electric so that’s just how it is.
We loved this Airbnb in Monteverde as well but the location was a bit too far for us since we had to go in and out of town a lot for work. It would be ideal for those who really want to be away from town, there is just 1 restaurant close by or you have to drive about 20 minutes into town on the bumpy roads.
Tips for Using Airbnb in Monteverde
- First time using Airbnb? No problem! Read our guide to using Airbnb in Costa Rica so you are prepared. And don’t forget to sign up to get $40 in credit. Get $40 credit.
- For some reason, Airbnb was a bit harder for me to book in Monteverde than other places in Costa Rica. I don’t know if it’s because it’s still new to locals but I tried to book 3 different places using Instant Book and each host wrote back to me that it was not available because they forgot to update the calendar. So make sure you have at least 3 options!
- Make sure to look carefully on the map where the Airbnb is. Remember, Monteverde is the name of the entire area, Santa Elena is the main town and Cerro Plano is the smaller town. So if you want to be close to town, find something close to Santa Elena. Read our guide to visiting Monteverde.
- You’ll need a car to most of the Monteverde Airbnbs as they are fairly spread out. You can walk but since the neighborhoods around Monteverde are kind of rural (really unpaved roads, not many street lights, no sidewalks), I don’t recommend walking at night.
- Both of these Airbnbs require a 4×4, but it is recommended to rent a 4×4 for all of Monteverde. Read this post to see the road conditions in and around Monteverde.
- Bring your own bathroom products as most Airbnbs in Costa Rica don’t provide any (and look on the listing features to check).
- Use Waze for GPS. Some listings had directions, some didn’t. Even at Toucan Paradise, we got lost using Google Maps. Waze is the best.
Visiting Arenal? Check out this Arenal Airbnb perfect for families!