To the northeast of the Central Cordillera, two mountain chains in particular stand out: The Tilarán and the Guanacaste Cordillera; both reach as far as the Nicaraguan border. The first is characterized by its undulating mountains, covered in dense forest. It is here where you will find the Monteverde Reserve, an important destination for those who want to discover natural habitats. Between the two cordilleras is the Arenal Volcano and Lagoon, the volcano is the most active in Costa Rica and in the world. The Guanacaste Cordillera is made up of several volcanoes, partially or totally inactive; five of them are protected by the National Parks of Guanacaste, the Rincon de la Vieja and the Tenorio Volcano. Towards the west of the Cordillera, before the border with Nicaragua, the Peninsula de Santa Elena has a tropical dry forest that descends down to the Pacific Beaches; both are protected by the Santa Rosa National Park.
Via the Northern Interamerican
Those that travel from San José to Nicaragua, via the Interamerican. The highway runs from the west of San José, until it reaches Barranca, Puntarenas, on the Pacific Coast, it then redirects north towards the Nicaraguan border. The route from the mountains to the plains is steep, winding and often narrow. Large trucks circulate on these roads, often traveling at very high speeds. This area is called Cambronero and begins to ascend after passing by San Ramón and ends in the Esparza area, where there are several restaurants next to the road and several fruit stalls. 5 Km from Esparza and 15 Km before arriving at Puntarenas, the Interamerican turns towards the northeast passing by the villages of Cañas and the city of Liberia, before ending at the Nicaraguan border. The northern Interamerican offers the best access to the Monteverde Biological Reserve and Cloud Forest and also offers access to other parks and protected areas in the country.
MONTEVERDE AND SANTA ELENA
Monteverde is one of the most interesting areas and is the most visited by national and international tourists. Its name comes from the small community that was founded in 1951 by the American Quakers as well as the Cloud Forest Reserve situated opposite. The entrance is via Santa Elena village.
From the Interamerican via Santa Elena and Monteverde to the south, the first turnoff is the Rancho Grande, 18 Km to the northeast of the Puntarenas exit, the Rancho Grande bar is located here, and a signpost shows the way to go to get to Sardinal, Guácimal and Monteverde, both on the right hand northern side of the highway, where you will find the gas station. The second exit is 100 meters before of the Río Lagarto Bridge, passing 149 Km, you take a turn off on the tarmac road and you travel for around 35km, passing by several small villages until you get to Santa Elena, there you will continue direct until you get to Monteverde, at 15 Km to the northeast of the Rancho G