Climbing the Ficus Tree in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Climbing the Ficus Tree in Monteverde, Costa Rica 

Monteverde reminded me of a ski town in the summer with its rolling hills, green forests and chill chalet vibes. Compared to the temperatures of Tamarindo where we had just spent three weeks, the cooling breeze of Monteverde was a blessing. 

As backpackers we were always trying to live on the cheap. Anything we could get, whether it was hitchhiking a ride to living off our own rice and beans, we would avoid spending money if we could. Although we did always say "we're spending on our happiness!" So in Monteverde we were looking for some free activities to do and so we found the Ficus Tree. 

Calling it The Ficus Tree might be rather an ambiguous name as it really describes the type of tree it is. A ficus tree needs a host tree from which it grows both upwards towards the sunlight whilst the roots grow downwards. The result is some pretty cool root formations which are great for climbing. 

How to find the Ficus Tree: 

Head up the hill from Santa Elena, past the Orchid Garden and the bus station then just after the Restaurante y Pizzeria Di Kary turn left up the very very steep hill. Bring your water!! Keep heading up the hill then just before the road forks head left towards the forest. You should be able to see a small dirt track going into the forest and down the hill towards the tree!

Climbing the Ficus Tree:

Although it looks pretty high and is maybe not best if you've got vertigo I'd say climbing the tree is still fairly safe. Some other people there had guides to help them up but that would defeat the objective of living cheap eh.. Just use the roots and branches to help you up and it's probably best to wear some kind of grippy shoes rather than just flip flops. At some points it can be a tight squeeze but once you get out the hole at the top there's room for around 7 people (maximum! we were super crammed). You get a nice view over Monteverde and the lush green forests. 

Horizontal ficus tree!?

For our second activity of the day we went out to try find the horizontal ficus tree. This one is a bit harder to find but that makes it all the more adventurous!! If you're coming from the Ficus Tree head back down the hill then at the bus station turn left, past Plaza Monteverde supermarket then as the road bends back sharply to the left, before you reach Ocotea Tours, there should be another dirt track going quite steeply down the hill. It's a bit sketchy but if you make it to the bottom follow the flow of the river and it should lead you to the ficus tree bridge. 

This tree has fallen to land across the river bank and its roots have grown all the way down to the floor. If you climb the hill to the right you can get onto the tree as it has hollowed out to form a small bridge. Again we managed to uncomfortably fit a grand total of 7 people on the tree. 

There are also some trails around this tree which we tried to follow but promptly headed back after seeing a sign warning against a crazy man and his gun eeeek. 

1 comment:

  1. Found this post prior to writing my own experience on visiting these trees and I just have to comment after reading the last sentence as I also saw that sign and immediately turned on my heels after doing so. 😂