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Hotel Fonda Vela
Discover the beauty of Costa Rica's Highlands


We invite you to Hotel Fonda Vela. Dedicated to the idea of eco-tourism in harmony with the earth, the Latin root "Fonda" means a place of rest or nourishment after a long journey. "Vela" or candle, for us represents service and good faith. To this we add peaceful atmosphere that is sensitive to the local environment.

Our seven buildings are scattered about the landscaped property, and we are designed with the natural lighting, privacy and warmth in mind. They all have huge windows with views of our forested reserve allowing the beauty outside to be a part of the cozy interior.

  The suites have a small refrigerator, tables, balcony, queen-size bed on the main floor and a loft with a single bed. All of the rooms are wheelchair accessible.

On the 35-acre property, you will find the lush forests and verdant pastures excellent for birding and hiking. In this tranquil setting, you may see flocks of parrots come to feed in the fruit trees while riding horses graze pacefully below. A 15-minute walk away is the world famous 10,500-hectare Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which incorporates eight tropical life zones. The Santa Elena Reserve is a short drive away, where on a clear day you may observe vistas of the Caribbean lowlands and Arenal Volcano.

Throughout the Fonda Vela you will find the paintings of Paul Smith, the owners' father and original settler of the property. These, and works by other Monteverde artists display many interpretations of the mysterious cloud forest with its veils of mist - encouraging the mind to mediate the meaning of peaceful living with our planet.

In the spirit of conservation and culture for the community and the travelers who visit us, we support the annual International Music Festival. We are proud to announce that this year five concerts are being given at the Hotel Fondavela between July 31 and August 13.

Come visit Fonda Vela and discover the beauty of Costa Rica's Tilarán Highlands.

The Fonda Vela has 25 rooms in 7 separate buildings, which include 17 standard rooms, 6 junior suites, and 2 mountain suites. All rooms have private bath, hot water and 2 queen size beds.

Other services include our elegant restaurant, which seats 100 people, separate bar and TV room. Our meeting rooms seat 50 people and have balconies overlooking the forest. Private hiking trails, guided horse-back riding, and laundry service is also available.

Guided trips to the Monteverde and Santa Elena Reserves can also be arranged.

Monteverde Attractions

  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Monteverde Cheese Factory
  • Monteverde Butterfly Garden
  • Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
  • CASEM-Artisans Shop
  • Hummingbird Gallery, featuring the work of world-renowned photographer Michael Fogen.
  • Guided Horseback trips
  • Unequaled birding opportunities in the home of the Resplendent Quetzal.

How to get here from San José

Take the Inter-American Highway north to the 149 km. road marker. Turn right just before crossing the Río Lagarto, and continue for 39 km to the Fonda Vela.

Room Rates

Valid until November 30, 2004
Standard Room
Junior Suite
Additional Person


  • Breakfast $7.50
  • Lunch $12.00
  • Dinner $16.00
  • +Plus taxes 23%
None of the above prices include the necessary taxes.

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