Taylor-Hotel-Belmar1

One of the greenest places I’ve ever visited, both literally and figuratively, was Monteverde in Costa Rica. It is known for its luscious cloud forest, waterfalls, plant life, exotic animals, eco-friendly initiatives and memorable adventures. Spending at least 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is imperative in order to get the best experience in the area.

During April 2021, I did a week-long trip to Costa Rica with Caitlin of My Darling Passport. Costa Rica had been on my bucket list for quite a few years leading up to 2021 and during this wonderful journey, we got to spend 3 days in La Fortuna and Arenal before making our way to Monteverde where we spent another two nights. We then ended our trip on the coast at Peninsula Papagayo.

Two women enjoying breakfast with a view at Hotel Belmar during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Traveling to Costa Rica was special for me because it is a sacred country that lives off of the “Pura Vida” mindset. During a trip to Costa Rica, you will be greeted with “Pura Vida” by most locals. This famous saying means “Pure Life” in Spanish. It is a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. It also means slowing things down, celebrating good fortune, refusing to take anything for granted, enjoying a laid-back lifestyle and living life to the fullest. In fact, it is more than just a saying, it is a lifestyle!

In this article, discover the best adventures to take during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica. In addition, we stayed at the beautifully, sustainable Hotel Belmar during our time in Monteverde, which you can also read more about below.

 **Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. During my time in Monteverde, Hotel Belmar hosted me for two nights.


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2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Getting to and Around Costa Rica:

A waterfall in the cloud forest of Monteverde

Before I discuss how I got to Costa Rica, I do want to go over the requirements for getting to Costa Rica in 2021. There is no testing requirement to travel to Costa Rica! However, you will need to fill out a Health Pass form within 48 hours prior to departure to Costa Rica. You will also need to purchase a recommended travel insurance. After I filled everything out on the Costa Rica Health Pass form, a QR code was sent to my email where I presented it upon arrival at airport customs.

In addition, with the USA CDC travel requirements for re-entry into the United States (as of January 26, 2021) everyone will need to submit a negative rt-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure back to the U.S. or a rapid Antigen negative test result within 48 hours prior to arrival in the U.S. (You will still need to get tested to come back into the United States even if you have been fully vaccinated.)

The cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica

From Newark Airport, Caitlin and I flew to Juan Santamaría International Airport in the capital, San Jose, with a layover at Miami International Airport. From San Jose, we rented a car and drove over three hours to the La Fortuna and Arenal area. (Since we ended our trip on the Pacific coast of the country, we flew home from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia.) You can find great flight deals through Skyscanner!

Please note that the best way to get around Costa Rica is by renting a car and you do not need an international driver’s license to rent a vehicle there. Also, the best GPS to use for directions is Google Maps. If you choose to take public transportation in Costa Rica, there are numerous bus companies that will take you around the country at an affordable cost. Uber is also available in certain cities in Costa Rica and there are also city taxis as well.

After spending our first 3 days in the La Fortuna and Arenal area, Caitlin and I drove over 4 hours to Monteverde where we spent the following 2 days. Usually, it takes around 2.5 hours to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde, but we went out of our way to check out Rio Celeste in Tenorio Volcano National Park, which I highly recommend seeing during your Costa Rica trip!

Where to Stay in Monteverde – Hotel Belmar

A woman staying at Hotel Belmar during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

During our 2 days in Monteverde, we stayed at the stunning and luxurious Hotel Belmar. It is situated in a charming chalet building located steps from the beautiful cloud forest of Monteverde and it is awarded with five levels of sustainability!

What I loved most about staying at Hotel Belmar is that they have a farm-to-table restaurant where all of the food serviced is fresh from their garden on the property. (Their pesto pasta and dessert tamales, which I talk about below, are incredible!)

In addition, Hotel Belmar also has a brewery and biergarten onsite, juice bar and tearoom, gift shop, spa and yoga studio. They also offer private nature trails, a 3.5-hour guided walk through the mystical forest trails of Curi-Cancha Wildlife Refuge, which offers an amazing opportunity to spot cool wildlife! Click here to discover all of the fun adventures you can do through Hotel Belmar!

Rooms at Hotel Belmar:
A woman sitting on her hammock with a view at Hotel Belmar during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Our 2 nights at Hotel Belmar were spent in one of their Peninsula Rooms. There were two comfortable queen size beds, a large terrace with lounge seating and a hammock. Our room also had views of the cloud forest and the hotel’s stunning gardens.

In addition, our room at Hotel Belmar also had an en-suite bathroom that offered hand-made and organic soaps, lotion, biodegradable shampoo and conditioner. The pillows were feather free and there was also a ceiling fan, in room safe and complimentary WIFI.

One thing to note about staying at Hotel Belmar are that there are no elevators!

Other rooms to choose from at Hotel Belmar are the Peninsula Superior Rooms, which are great for couples or solo travelers as it features a king size bed, private balcony and an open bathroom concept; Forest Rooms, which are in the adjacent chalet building that are equipped with a balcony, king size bed and shower with forest views; Forest Superior Rooms that feature amazing views of the cloud forest and has a glass enclosed Jacuzzi, balcony and a living space that makes it perfect for friends and families; Belmar Rooms that offer a balcony with stunning views, double vanity, a two-person Jacuzzi, king size bed and a glass-enclosed shower; Canopy Room, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the cloud forest and also has a private Jacuzzi, king size bed and shower with great views; Sunset Room that features views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring valleys from a distance as well as the cloud forest and also offers a grand terrace with an outdoor Jacuzzi, spacious bathroom with a double vanity, along with a king size bed and daybed; and Sunrise Room that offers 270-degree views of the cloud forest, a two-person Jacuzzi, floor-to-window ceiling windows on all sides, a seating area, large bathroom with a double vanity and a large open-concept shower that overlooks the forest.

Sustainability at Hotel Belmar:
A hotel room at Hotel Belmar in Monteverde

Hotel Belmar has been rewarded with the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism. They utilize skylight and ample windows throughout the building to maximize the use of natural light and minimize electricity. The hotel also has solar panels for water heating and there are high-tech shower heads that use 65% less water than the conventional ones.

In addition, Hotel Belmar has energy saving light bulbs, a biodigester to treat wastewater and produce biogas for water heating. Chemical-free lawns and gardens, plus more! Click here to learn all about how you can personally participate in these sustainability efforts.

Farm-to-table plays a huge roll in Hotel Belmar’s gastronomy. There is an onsite garden that organically produces kale, broccoli, arugula, radish, celery, lettuce, green pepper, tomato, oregano, basil, tarragon, parsley, coriander, aloe, lavender, sunflower seeds and more. The hotel offers daily complimentary tours for guests that teach them how they utilize the Biointensive method that consists of growing plants in a reduced amount of space.

I absolutely love staying at sustainable hotels and I couldn’t recommend Hotel Belmar more for your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica!

2 Days in Monteverde, Costa Rica – Things to do:

Savor a Farm-to-Table Dish at Restaurante Celajes:

Breakfast with a view at Hotel Belmar in Monteverde, Costa Rica

During our first evening in Monteverde, Caitlin and I could not wait to enjoy dinner at Hotel Belmar’s Restaurante Celajes, which features farm-to-table dinning. For dinner, we both enjoyed a glass of red wine and our main meals consisted of the fresh pesto pasta dish that included a mixed garden greens pesto sauce, homemade pasta, cherry tomatoes and wild mushrooms.

A farm to table pesto pasta dish from Hotel Belmar in Monteverde

Caitlin also had a garden salad with mixed greens, pickled mango, tamarillo, radish, toasted cashew nuts with Panamanian pepper, sesame seeds, nasturtium edible flowers and cacao, served with a citric Curuba dressing.

I also savored dessert, which was a chocolate and pinolillo tamale with watermelon sorbet on the side.

Enjoying dessert tamales during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica at Hotel Belmar

Hotel Belmar also hosts an incredible breakfast every morning at Restaurante Celajes. What is awesome about enjoying breakfast at this lovely spot during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is that you can sit out on the terrace that overlooks the cloud forest while savoring your meal. It is absolutely wonderful!

Restaurante Celajes offers an incredible breakfast menu and during both mornings, Caitlin and I enjoyed their Costa Rican coffee (which is iconic) as well as freshly squeezed orange juice.

Caribbean French toast from Hotel Belmar

During our first morning, I savored the Caribbean French toast, which consisted of banana bread that was made with coconut milk and cinnamon and topped with fresh strawberries, banana, fresh mint, coconut and nuts. It was served with a lavender and sugar cane syrup, which was tasty. Caitlin had the avocado toast that came on whole wheat bread and was topped with mashed avocado, fried egg, Bagaces farm cheese and garden greens. Everything was delicious!

Tropical pancakes for breakfast during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

For breakfast on our second morning, I had the special, which were pancakes that were served with fresh berries, sunflower seeds along with lavender and sugar cane syrup and Caitlin savored the Caribbean French toast dish that I enjoyed the day prior.

Enjoy the Excitement on the Oldest Zipline in the World:

A woman excited to go zip lining in Costa Rica at The Original Canopy Tour

You cannot visit Costa Rica and not go on a zipline excursion! Since we didn’t have time to go ziplining when we were in Arenal, I couldn’t wait to go on a fun adventure during our time in Monteverde. (I went ziplining by myself.)

Now, this wasn’t my first time ziplining before. I did go on a fun tour during my time on the Salkantay Trek in Peru in June 2019. The zipline wasn’t actually part of the Salkantay Trek, but rather an extra add on that you could purchase. I was so glad I did it because it was so much fun!

Since I had such a great experience ziplining in Peru, I knew I was going to enjoy it even more in Costa Rica where ziplining was invented! During my 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica, I had a blast ziplining on my first full day at The Original Canopy Tour, which boasts the oldest zipline in the world!

The canopy zipline was invented in Sarapiquí in 1979 by a U.S. biologist in order to study the rain forest. In 1994, a Canadian entrepreneur opened the first canopy tour in Monteverde! Since then, ziplining has become popular around the world!

A woman enjoying her canopy tour experience during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

For $50 USD per adult and $30 USD per child, The Original Canopy Tour will take you into the rainforest where you will enjoy 2.5 hours’ worth of fun ziplining with a view, repelling down and climbing up a tree and swinging through the jungle like Tarzan.

Ziplining through The Original Canopy Tour was such a blast and our tour guides were super helpful and made sure my group and I were safe the entire time. We couldn’t bring our cameras on this adventure, but the guides were able to take our phones and safely shoot pictures and videos with them. (It’s best that you give your phone to the tour guides because they ensure you don’t drop them. If you try to take your phone out while you’re ziplining and it falls, there is nothing they can do about it.)

There are also three tour schedules – 7:30am; 10:30am, which is what I did, and 2:30pm. It is recommended that you book your zipline excursion earlier in the morning since Monteverde is known for its torrential downpours in the afternoon (which we ended up experiencing after this tour). The Original Canopy Tour also offers free transportation for those staying in Monteverde.

A woman zip lining through the cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

My group consisted of a friend group from Upstate New York and a couple from Spain. Everyone was extremely nice and we all had so much fun on each of the 10 ziplines that we went across. In fact, each zipline was better than the next. I also loved the Tarzan swing at the very beginning! I will admit that repelling down the tree and then climbing back up it was a little nerve wracking at first, but I felt amazing completing the challenge in the end.

I couldn’t recommend this tour more during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica! (Please do not forget to bring bug spray with you on your Costa Rica trip. Since you will be in the rainforest, there are a lot of bugs and you don’t want to get bit and have uncomfortable bite marks on your skin.)

Admire Stunning Nature on the Hanging Bridges:

A woman enjoying the hanging bridges at Selvatura Park during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

One of the most fascinating things to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is walk along the Treetop Walkways Suspension Bridges at Selvatura Park.

It will take you around 2 hours to walk through these cool hanging bridges and you will have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of the Costa Rica cloud forest and nearby mountains. Walking through these bridges will also allow you to admire beautiful flora and fauna and observe fascinating biodiversity! (During our time on these hanging bridges, Caitlin and I saw a variety of tropical birds.)

A suspension bridge at Selvature Park in Costa Rica's cloud forest

For around $40 USD, for an adult ticket, you will cross eight suspension bridges of various lengths that range from 170 feet to 560 feet. Each bridge is 5 feet in width and it can hold up to 80 people. Overall, the Treetop Walkways Suspension Bridges tour consists of 1.9 miles of trails. These hanging bridges are also considered the safest in the world and can be enjoyed by everyone!

(In case you did not know, a cloud forest is a tropical forest known for their fog and low-hanging clouds. The difference between a rainforest and a cloud forest is the elevation. Rainforests are usually at a low elevation and are warmer and cloud forests are at a higher elevation in the mountains, which makes the temperature cooler. Definitely bring a light jacket or rain jacket when you visit Monteverde.)

The cloud forest of Costa Rica

Caitlin and I did a self-guided tour, but if you want to do an organized group or private tour, you can schedule it for 8:30am, 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:30pm. I recommend purchasing a waterproof poncho in case it rains on your tour.

Check out the Foodie Scene in Downtown Monteverde:

In addition to all of the adventures in Costa Rica’s famous cloud forest, you must also enjoy Downtown Monteverde during your 2 days there.

The downtown area of Monteverde is located around a 5-minute drive from Hotel Belmar and it is the perfect place to enjoy authentic food at a local restaurant; have fun at a bar or shop for souvenirs.

After our adventures at Selvatura Park, we were hungry and ended up enjoying delicious Mexican food at Taco Taco. (Thank you to Linnea of Popovers and Passports for the recommendation!)

Fish tacos from Taco Taco in Monteverde

Overall, I loved this quaint spot in Monteverde as it offered delicious margaritas and a fun atmosphere of excited backpackers. (It brought me back to my Southeast Asia trips!) I had the fish tacos and Caitlin enjoyed the vegetarian burrito.

Other restaurants and cafés that were recommended to me were Café Orchid for breakfast/brunch and Tree House Restaurante for traditional Latin American food and live music!

Click here to book a cooking class in Costa Rica.

Taste Craft Beer at Hotel Belmar’s Brewery:

Another one of the main reasons why I enjoyed staying at Hotel Belmar in Monteverde was because they have a tap room and biergarten! Cervezas Artesanales Belmar opened in 2014 and offers a variety of artisanal ales made from spring water of the cloud forest.

You should definitely not miss out on visiting this great spot during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica, even if you aren’t staying at the hotel! This specific brewery is known for their Aurorae Pale Ale, Dos Mares IPA and Nubosa Stout.

A craft beer from Hotel Belmar's brewery

What is great about this brewery is that there is a tasting room where you can actually see the brewery where all of the craft beers are made. Caitlin and I visited the tap room before it closed for the night during our second evening and the bartenders explained the entire brewing process of how Hotel Belmar’s beers are made.

I had the Aurorae Pale Ale that consisted of a blend of mellow hop and earthy lemongrass with citrus notes. Caitlin tried the Dos Mares IPA, which included toasted malt aromas, an amber hue and crisp hops.

Not only does the brewery have a tasting room, they also have outdoor seating near the hotel’s pond where you can admire nature as you sip your craft beer. You can also enjoy artisanal sausages too.

Say Hi to a Sloth:

Visit a sloth sanctuary during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Another one of the best things to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is visit Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary. Even though Caitlin and I ran out of time to visit this specific sloth sanctuary, I highly recommend visiting it if you’re looking to see these cuties during your trip.

Of course, as a responsible travel blogger, it was extremely important for me to recommend an ethical sanctuary to see these adorable creatures. What is great about Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary is that they work with the Caribbean Sloth Sanctuary, which is a foundation that shares an ethical vision of conservation and has worked in the rescue of sloths within their natural habitat for over 20 years.

At Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary, you can see up to 20 sloth specimens. These super adorable animals live in a natural exhibit where they can travel freely. You will be able to take photos, but please note that you cannot hold the sloths because they go through a lot of distress if they are held or touched by strangers, which increases their heart rate.

Visiting Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary is a great educational activity that takes around 45 minutes. The sloths at this sanctuary were rescued and arrived at Selvatura as refugees from the effects of poaching, habitat destruction, illness and more. Click here to learn more!

Visit a Coffee and Chocolate Plantation:

A coffee tour during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Popular staples that Costa Rica is also known for are coffee and chocolate. Another great thing to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is do a coffee, chocolate and sugar cane tour at Don Juan’s.

Unfortunately, Caitlin and I also ran out of time to do this activity, but I did have the opportunity to go on a coffee tour during my trip to Peru in 2019 and it was awesome! On Don Juan’s Coffee, Chocolate & Sugar Cane Tour, you will spend 2 hours picking coffee beans (if you travel to Costa Rica during November to February), learning about the entire coffee making process, visiting a chocolate pressing center and discovering how to actually make chocolate from small cacao beans.

In addition, you will also learn about the sugar cane in Costa Rica and how to extract the sugar from its cane in a traditional way. There will also be numerous opportunities for you to taste coffee, chocolate and pure sugar during this fun tour!


2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the top things to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica and reading about my experience staying at Hotel Belmar. If you have any questions about my trip to Costa Rica, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of Costa Rica:

Currency: Costa Rican Colón (The United States Dollar is accepted everywhere!), Capital: San José, Time Zone: Costa Rica does not follow Daylight Savings. During the summer months, Costa Rica is on Mountain Standard Time and then it is on Central Standard Time during the winter months.

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*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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32 Comments

  1. Kate on May 8, 2021 at 10:52 am

    This looks absolutely amazing! I visited Costa Rica once in high school, and I need to go back. Ziplining is so much fun, and all of that food looked so delicious. Oh and that sloth!! How cute!

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:34 pm

      It really was an amazing trip! I definitely will go back one day and the food really was incredible! 🙂

  2. Kitti on May 8, 2021 at 11:44 am

    This place looks so lush and it makes me want to buy a flight ticket right now. The zipline excursion sounds like a great fun and I’m all for hanging bridges with views. Can’t wait to be able to visit Costa Rica in the near future.

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      It really was such a heavenly place! I totally recommend going to Costa Rica! You would love it. 🙂

  3. Ildiko on May 8, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    This looks awesome. I have always considered a trip to Costa Rica. When I go, I certainly would love to visit Monteverde. The Hotel looks amazing and the food delicious! Would love to try.

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you Ildiko! I loved Costa Rica and definitely recommend doing a trip there at some point. 🙂

  4. Megan on May 8, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    We head to Costa Rica at the end of the month and I’m SO excited! The ziplining looks amazing. I didn’t realize tours went 2.5 hours. What a great deal!

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      You’re going to have an amazing time Megan! The ziplining is such a blast! 🙂

  5. Jamie Sharpe on May 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Truly love Costa Rica. Last time I was there was right after the earthquake so know they have recovered well.

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      It’s such a special country and yes, they are doing pretty well. 🙂

  6. jetlaggedroamer on May 8, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Such a great guide Taylor. Costa Rica has been on my list for so long. Too long to be accurate. After reading this post I want to go even more. It looked amazing zip lining and the food looked so incredible. Now I have to book a trip ASAP!

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:42 pm

      Thank you so much Chrissy! You totally should go to Costa Rica! It is amazing and you would love it. 🙂

  7. Jan on May 9, 2021 at 3:19 am

    That’s totally amazing ! I love the idea of hanging suspension bridges. Never heard of a sloth! The food looks yummy especially when it is farm to table. You have included so many details. I am bookmarking your blog for my future visit to Monteverde costa rica. 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Jan! It’s definitely a great place to visit at some point. So much adventure! 🙂

  8. Anna Merabishvili on May 9, 2021 at 6:31 am

    This is amazing! Costa Rica looks like such a paradise, I would absolutely love to visit after seeing your beautiful photos!

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Anna and it’s such a beautiful place! 🙂

  9. Kayy on May 9, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Costa Rica is definitely high on my list of places to visit . So many relaxing nature spots to explore . I would definitely go zip lining again . Thanks for the great guide with amazing pictures.

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      It really is a beautiful country with so much to explore! Thank you Kay! 🙂

  10. Ashlee Fechino on May 9, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    What a fun trip! All of your pictures are incredible. I loved the green bridge and sloth. We visited Costa Rica in college (about 10 years ago) and loved it. We went whitewater rafting. It was sweet! Great article.

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you Ashlee! It really is a great destination to visit. 🙂

  11. Nina on May 9, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Your photos are stunning! I havent been to Costa Rica in a decade now and need to get back.

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      Thank you Nina! I definitely want to get back in the future. 🙂

  12. Cynthia on May 9, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    I loved Costa Rica, would love to go back and see the sloths!

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      It’s such a beautiful country with a great biodiversity! 🙂

  13. Cosette on May 10, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Monteverder looks so beautiful. Would love to do the hanging bridges see the sloths and do a coffee and chocolate tour. Probabbly a good place to do zip lining for the first time.

    • Taylor Deer on May 11, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      Yes, it is definitely filled with a lot of exciting nature and adventures. Definitely a spot you cannot miss out on. 🙂

  14. Lisa on May 10, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    ahh, this makes me want to visit Costa Rica again asap! Monteverder looks so pretty! Plus, the sloths are so cute!!

    • Taylor Deer on May 11, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      Yes, you totally should! I know I will totally be back in the future. 🙂

  15. Laura on May 13, 2021 at 3:16 am

    What an amazing place! Love that is so lush! Definitely saving it for the future!

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      Yes, it definitely was very lush and beautiful in Monteverde! 🙂

  16. rebecca mckellips on May 26, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    This looks so amazing, I wish I had gone to Monteverde when I went to Costa Rica, I guess it is a good excuse to go back!

    • Taylor Deer on May 27, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      Yes, it’s such a fun spot! 🙂

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Hotel-Belmar1

One of the greenest places I’ve ever visited, both literally and figuratively, was Monteverde in Costa Rica. It is known for its luscious cloud forest, waterfalls, plant life, exotic animals, eco-friendly initiatives and memorable adventures. Spending at least 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is imperative in order to get the best experience in the area.

During April 2021, I did a week-long trip to Costa Rica with Caitlin of My Darling Passport. Costa Rica had been on my bucket list for quite a few years leading up to 2021 and during this wonderful journey, we got to spend 3 days in La Fortuna and Arenal before making our way to Monteverde where we spent another two nights. We then ended our trip on the coast at Peninsula Papagayo.

Two women enjoying breakfast with a view at Hotel Belmar during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Traveling to Costa Rica was special for me because it is a sacred country that lives off of the “Pura Vida” mindset. During a trip to Costa Rica, you will be greeted with “Pura Vida” by most locals. This famous saying means “Pure Life” in Spanish. It is a Costa Rican philosophy that encourages the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. It also means slowing things down, celebrating good fortune, refusing to take anything for granted, enjoying a laid-back lifestyle and living life to the fullest. In fact, it is more than just a saying, it is a lifestyle!

In this article, discover the best adventures to take during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica. In addition, we stayed at the beautifully, sustainable Hotel Belmar during our time in Monteverde, which you can also read more about below.

 **Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. During my time in Monteverde, Hotel Belmar hosted me for two nights.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Getting to and Around Costa Rica:

A waterfall in the cloud forest of Monteverde

Before I discuss how I got to Costa Rica, I do want to go over the requirements for getting to Costa Rica in 2021. There is no testing requirement to travel to Costa Rica! However, you will need to fill out a Health Pass form within 48 hours prior to departure to Costa Rica. You will also need to purchase a recommended travel insurance. After I filled everything out on the Costa Rica Health Pass form, a QR code was sent to my email where I presented it upon arrival at airport customs.

In addition, with the USA CDC travel requirements for re-entry into the United States (as of January 26, 2021) everyone will need to submit a negative rt-PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure back to the U.S. or a rapid Antigen negative test result within 48 hours prior to arrival in the U.S. (You will still need to get tested to come back into the United States even if you have been fully vaccinated.)

The cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica

From Newark Airport, Caitlin and I flew to Juan Santamaría International Airport in the capital, San Jose, with a layover at Miami International Airport. From San Jose, we rented a car and drove over three hours to the La Fortuna and Arenal area. (Since we ended our trip on the Pacific coast of the country, we flew home from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia.) You can find great flight deals through Skyscanner!

Please note that the best way to get around Costa Rica is by renting a car and you do not need an international driver’s license to rent a vehicle there. Also, the best GPS to use for directions is Google Maps. If you choose to take public transportation in Costa Rica, there are numerous bus companies that will take you around the country at an affordable cost. Uber is also available in certain cities in Costa Rica and there are also city taxis as well.

After spending our first 3 days in the La Fortuna and Arenal area, Caitlin and I drove over 4 hours to Monteverde where we spent the following 2 days. Usually, it takes around 2.5 hours to get from La Fortuna to Monteverde, but we went out of our way to check out Rio Celeste in Tenorio Volcano National Park, which I highly recommend seeing during your Costa Rica trip!

Where to Stay in Monteverde – Hotel Belmar

A woman staying at Hotel Belmar during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

During our 2 days in Monteverde, we stayed at the stunning and luxurious Hotel Belmar. It is situated in a charming chalet building located steps from the beautiful cloud forest of Monteverde and it is awarded with five levels of sustainability!

What I loved most about staying at Hotel Belmar is that they have a farm-to-table restaurant where all of the food serviced is fresh from their garden on the property. (Their pesto pasta and dessert tamales, which I talk about below, are incredible!)

In addition, Hotel Belmar also has a brewery and biergarten onsite, juice bar and tearoom, gift shop, spa and yoga studio. They also offer private nature trails, a 3.5-hour guided walk through the mystical forest trails of Curi-Cancha Wildlife Refuge, which offers an amazing opportunity to spot cool wildlife! Click here to discover all of the fun adventures you can do through Hotel Belmar!

Rooms at Hotel Belmar:
A woman sitting on her hammock with a view at Hotel Belmar during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Our 2 nights at Hotel Belmar were spent in one of their Peninsula Rooms. There were two comfortable queen size beds, a large terrace with lounge seating and a hammock. Our room also had views of the cloud forest and the hotel’s stunning gardens.

In addition, our room at Hotel Belmar also had an en-suite bathroom that offered hand-made and organic soaps, lotion, biodegradable shampoo and conditioner. The pillows were feather free and there was also a ceiling fan, in room safe and complimentary WIFI.

One thing to note about staying at Hotel Belmar are that there are no elevators!

Other rooms to choose from at Hotel Belmar are the Peninsula Superior Rooms, which are great for couples or solo travelers as it features a king size bed, private balcony and an open bathroom concept; Forest Rooms, which are in the adjacent chalet building that are equipped with a balcony, king size bed and shower with forest views; Forest Superior Rooms that feature amazing views of the cloud forest and has a glass enclosed Jacuzzi, balcony and a living space that makes it perfect for friends and families; Belmar Rooms that offer a balcony with stunning views, double vanity, a two-person Jacuzzi, king size bed and a glass-enclosed shower; Canopy Room, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the cloud forest and also has a private Jacuzzi, king size bed and shower with great views; Sunset Room that features views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring valleys from a distance as well as the cloud forest and also offers a grand terrace with an outdoor Jacuzzi, spacious bathroom with a double vanity, along with a king size bed and daybed; and Sunrise Room that offers 270-degree views of the cloud forest, a two-person Jacuzzi, floor-to-window ceiling windows on all sides, a seating area, large bathroom with a double vanity and a large open-concept shower that overlooks the forest.

Sustainability at Hotel Belmar:
A hotel room at Hotel Belmar in Monteverde

Hotel Belmar has been rewarded with the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism. They utilize skylight and ample windows throughout the building to maximize the use of natural light and minimize electricity. The hotel also has solar panels for water heating and there are high-tech shower heads that use 65% less water than the conventional ones.

In addition, Hotel Belmar has energy saving light bulbs, a biodigester to treat wastewater and produce biogas for water heating. Chemical-free lawns and gardens, plus more! Click here to learn all about how you can personally participate in these sustainability efforts.

Farm-to-table plays a huge roll in Hotel Belmar’s gastronomy. There is an onsite garden that organically produces kale, broccoli, arugula, radish, celery, lettuce, green pepper, tomato, oregano, basil, tarragon, parsley, coriander, aloe, lavender, sunflower seeds and more. The hotel offers daily complimentary tours for guests that teach them how they utilize the Biointensive method that consists of growing plants in a reduced amount of space.

I absolutely love staying at sustainable hotels and I couldn’t recommend Hotel Belmar more for your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica!

2 Days in Monteverde, Costa Rica – Things to do:

Savor a Farm-to-Table Dish at Restaurante Celajes:

Breakfast with a view at Hotel Belmar in Monteverde, Costa Rica

During our first evening in Monteverde, Caitlin and I could not wait to enjoy dinner at Hotel Belmar’s Restaurante Celajes, which features farm-to-table dinning. For dinner, we both enjoyed a glass of red wine and our main meals consisted of the fresh pesto pasta dish that included a mixed garden greens pesto sauce, homemade pasta, cherry tomatoes and wild mushrooms.

A farm to table pesto pasta dish from Hotel Belmar in Monteverde

Caitlin also had a garden salad with mixed greens, pickled mango, tamarillo, radish, toasted cashew nuts with Panamanian pepper, sesame seeds, nasturtium edible flowers and cacao, served with a citric Curuba dressing.

I also savored dessert, which was a chocolate and pinolillo tamale with watermelon sorbet on the side.

Enjoying dessert tamales during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica at Hotel Belmar

Hotel Belmar also hosts an incredible breakfast every morning at Restaurante Celajes. What is awesome about enjoying breakfast at this lovely spot during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is that you can sit out on the terrace that overlooks the cloud forest while savoring your meal. It is absolutely wonderful!

Restaurante Celajes offers an incredible breakfast menu and during both mornings, Caitlin and I enjoyed their Costa Rican coffee (which is iconic) as well as freshly squeezed orange juice.

Caribbean French toast from Hotel Belmar

During our first morning, I savored the Caribbean French toast, which consisted of banana bread that was made with coconut milk and cinnamon and topped with fresh strawberries, banana, fresh mint, coconut and nuts. It was served with a lavender and sugar cane syrup, which was tasty. Caitlin had the avocado toast that came on whole wheat bread and was topped with mashed avocado, fried egg, Bagaces farm cheese and garden greens. Everything was delicious!

Tropical pancakes for breakfast during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

For breakfast on our second morning, I had the special, which were pancakes that were served with fresh berries, sunflower seeds along with lavender and sugar cane syrup and Caitlin savored the Caribbean French toast dish that I enjoyed the day prior.

Enjoy the Excitement on the Oldest Zipline in the World:

A woman excited to go zip lining in Costa Rica at The Original Canopy Tour

You cannot visit Costa Rica and not go on a zipline excursion! Since we didn’t have time to go ziplining when we were in Arenal, I couldn’t wait to go on a fun adventure during our time in Monteverde. (I went ziplining by myself.)

Now, this wasn’t my first time ziplining before. I did go on a fun tour during my time on the Salkantay Trek in Peru in June 2019. The zipline wasn’t actually part of the Salkantay Trek, but rather an extra add on that you could purchase. I was so glad I did it because it was so much fun!

Since I had such a great experience ziplining in Peru, I knew I was going to enjoy it even more in Costa Rica where ziplining was invented! During my 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica, I had a blast ziplining on my first full day at The Original Canopy Tour, which boasts the oldest zipline in the world!

The canopy zipline was invented in Sarapiquí in 1979 by a U.S. biologist in order to study the rain forest. In 1994, a Canadian entrepreneur opened the first canopy tour in Monteverde! Since then, ziplining has become popular around the world!

A woman enjoying her canopy tour experience during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

For $50 USD per adult and $30 USD per child, The Original Canopy Tour will take you into the rainforest where you will enjoy 2.5 hours’ worth of fun ziplining with a view, repelling down and climbing up a tree and swinging through the jungle like Tarzan.

Ziplining through The Original Canopy Tour was such a blast and our tour guides were super helpful and made sure my group and I were safe the entire time. We couldn’t bring our cameras on this adventure, but the guides were able to take our phones and safely shoot pictures and videos with them. (It’s best that you give your phone to the tour guides because they ensure you don’t drop them. If you try to take your phone out while you’re ziplining and it falls, there is nothing they can do about it.)

There are also three tour schedules – 7:30am; 10:30am, which is what I did, and 2:30pm. It is recommended that you book your zipline excursion earlier in the morning since Monteverde is known for its torrential downpours in the afternoon (which we ended up experiencing after this tour). The Original Canopy Tour also offers free transportation for those staying in Monteverde.

A woman zip lining through the cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica

My group consisted of a friend group from Upstate New York and a couple from Spain. Everyone was extremely nice and we all had so much fun on each of the 10 ziplines that we went across. In fact, each zipline was better than the next. I also loved the Tarzan swing at the very beginning! I will admit that repelling down the tree and then climbing back up it was a little nerve wracking at first, but I felt amazing completing the challenge in the end.

I couldn’t recommend this tour more during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica! (Please do not forget to bring bug spray with you on your Costa Rica trip. Since you will be in the rainforest, there are a lot of bugs and you don’t want to get bit and have uncomfortable bite marks on your skin.)

Admire Stunning Nature on the Hanging Bridges:

A woman enjoying the hanging bridges at Selvatura Park during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

One of the most fascinating things to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is walk along the Treetop Walkways Suspension Bridges at Selvatura Park.

It will take you around 2 hours to walk through these cool hanging bridges and you will have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of the Costa Rica cloud forest and nearby mountains. Walking through these bridges will also allow you to admire beautiful flora and fauna and observe fascinating biodiversity! (During our time on these hanging bridges, Caitlin and I saw a variety of tropical birds.)

A suspension bridge at Selvature Park in Costa Rica's cloud forest

For around $40 USD, for an adult ticket, you will cross eight suspension bridges of various lengths that range from 170 feet to 560 feet. Each bridge is 5 feet in width and it can hold up to 80 people. Overall, the Treetop Walkways Suspension Bridges tour consists of 1.9 miles of trails. These hanging bridges are also considered the safest in the world and can be enjoyed by everyone!

(In case you did not know, a cloud forest is a tropical forest known for their fog and low-hanging clouds. The difference between a rainforest and a cloud forest is the elevation. Rainforests are usually at a low elevation and are warmer and cloud forests are at a higher elevation in the mountains, which makes the temperature cooler. Definitely bring a light jacket or rain jacket when you visit Monteverde.)

The cloud forest of Costa Rica

Caitlin and I did a self-guided tour, but if you want to do an organized group or private tour, you can schedule it for 8:30am, 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:30pm. I recommend purchasing a waterproof poncho in case it rains on your tour.

Check out the Foodie Scene in Downtown Monteverde:

In addition to all of the adventures in Costa Rica’s famous cloud forest, you must also enjoy Downtown Monteverde during your 2 days there.

The downtown area of Monteverde is located around a 5-minute drive from Hotel Belmar and it is the perfect place to enjoy authentic food at a local restaurant; have fun at a bar or shop for souvenirs.

After our adventures at Selvatura Park, we were hungry and ended up enjoying delicious Mexican food at Taco Taco. (Thank you to Linnea of Popovers and Passports for the recommendation!)

Fish tacos from Taco Taco in Monteverde

Overall, I loved this quaint spot in Monteverde as it offered delicious margaritas and a fun atmosphere of excited backpackers. (It brought me back to my Southeast Asia trips!) I had the fish tacos and Caitlin enjoyed the vegetarian burrito.

Other restaurants and cafés that were recommended to me were Café Orchid for breakfast/brunch and Tree House Restaurante for traditional Latin American food and live music!

Click here to book a cooking class in Costa Rica.

Taste Craft Beer at Hotel Belmar’s Brewery:

Another one of the main reasons why I enjoyed staying at Hotel Belmar in Monteverde was because they have a tap room and biergarten! Cervezas Artesanales Belmar opened in 2014 and offers a variety of artisanal ales made from spring water of the cloud forest.

You should definitely not miss out on visiting this great spot during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica, even if you aren’t staying at the hotel! This specific brewery is known for their Aurorae Pale Ale, Dos Mares IPA and Nubosa Stout.

A craft beer from Hotel Belmar's brewery

What is great about this brewery is that there is a tasting room where you can actually see the brewery where all of the craft beers are made. Caitlin and I visited the tap room before it closed for the night during our second evening and the bartenders explained the entire brewing process of how Hotel Belmar’s beers are made.

I had the Aurorae Pale Ale that consisted of a blend of mellow hop and earthy lemongrass with citrus notes. Caitlin tried the Dos Mares IPA, which included toasted malt aromas, an amber hue and crisp hops.

Not only does the brewery have a tasting room, they also have outdoor seating near the hotel’s pond where you can admire nature as you sip your craft beer. You can also enjoy artisanal sausages too.

Say Hi to a Sloth:

Visit a sloth sanctuary during your 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Another one of the best things to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is visit Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary. Even though Caitlin and I ran out of time to visit this specific sloth sanctuary, I highly recommend visiting it if you’re looking to see these cuties during your trip.

Of course, as a responsible travel blogger, it was extremely important for me to recommend an ethical sanctuary to see these adorable creatures. What is great about Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary is that they work with the Caribbean Sloth Sanctuary, which is a foundation that shares an ethical vision of conservation and has worked in the rescue of sloths within their natural habitat for over 20 years.

At Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary, you can see up to 20 sloth specimens. These super adorable animals live in a natural exhibit where they can travel freely. You will be able to take photos, but please note that you cannot hold the sloths because they go through a lot of distress if they are held or touched by strangers, which increases their heart rate.

Visiting Selvatura Park’s Sloth Sanctuary is a great educational activity that takes around 45 minutes. The sloths at this sanctuary were rescued and arrived at Selvatura as refugees from the effects of poaching, habitat destruction, illness and more. Click here to learn more!

Visit a Coffee and Chocolate Plantation:

A coffee tour during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Popular staples that Costa Rica is also known for are coffee and chocolate. Another great thing to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica is do a coffee, chocolate and sugar cane tour at Don Juan’s.

Unfortunately, Caitlin and I also ran out of time to do this activity, but I did have the opportunity to go on a coffee tour during my trip to Peru in 2019 and it was awesome! On Don Juan’s Coffee, Chocolate & Sugar Cane Tour, you will spend 2 hours picking coffee beans (if you travel to Costa Rica during November to February), learning about the entire coffee making process, visiting a chocolate pressing center and discovering how to actually make chocolate from small cacao beans.

In addition, you will also learn about the sugar cane in Costa Rica and how to extract the sugar from its cane in a traditional way. There will also be numerous opportunities for you to taste coffee, chocolate and pure sugar during this fun tour!


2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the top things to do during 2 days in Monteverde, Costa Rica and reading about my experience staying at Hotel Belmar. If you have any questions about my trip to Costa Rica, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of Costa Rica:

Currency: Costa Rican Colón (The United States Dollar is accepted everywhere!), Capital: San José, Time Zone: Costa Rica does not follow Daylight Savings. During the summer months, Costa Rica is on Mountain Standard Time and then it is on Central Standard Time during the winter months.

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*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Costa Rica Look:

32 Comments

  1. Kate on May 8, 2021 at 10:52 am

    This looks absolutely amazing! I visited Costa Rica once in high school, and I need to go back. Ziplining is so much fun, and all of that food looked so delicious. Oh and that sloth!! How cute!

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:34 pm

      It really was an amazing trip! I definitely will go back one day and the food really was incredible! 🙂

  2. Kitti on May 8, 2021 at 11:44 am

    This place looks so lush and it makes me want to buy a flight ticket right now. The zipline excursion sounds like a great fun and I’m all for hanging bridges with views. Can’t wait to be able to visit Costa Rica in the near future.

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      It really was such a heavenly place! I totally recommend going to Costa Rica! You would love it. 🙂

  3. Ildiko on May 8, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    This looks awesome. I have always considered a trip to Costa Rica. When I go, I certainly would love to visit Monteverde. The Hotel looks amazing and the food delicious! Would love to try.

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you Ildiko! I loved Costa Rica and definitely recommend doing a trip there at some point. 🙂

  4. Megan on May 8, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    We head to Costa Rica at the end of the month and I’m SO excited! The ziplining looks amazing. I didn’t realize tours went 2.5 hours. What a great deal!

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      You’re going to have an amazing time Megan! The ziplining is such a blast! 🙂

  5. Jamie Sharpe on May 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Truly love Costa Rica. Last time I was there was right after the earthquake so know they have recovered well.

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      It’s such a special country and yes, they are doing pretty well. 🙂

  6. jetlaggedroamer on May 8, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Such a great guide Taylor. Costa Rica has been on my list for so long. Too long to be accurate. After reading this post I want to go even more. It looked amazing zip lining and the food looked so incredible. Now I have to book a trip ASAP!

    • Taylor Deer on May 8, 2021 at 10:42 pm

      Thank you so much Chrissy! You totally should go to Costa Rica! It is amazing and you would love it. 🙂

  7. Jan on May 9, 2021 at 3:19 am

    That’s totally amazing ! I love the idea of hanging suspension bridges. Never heard of a sloth! The food looks yummy especially when it is farm to table. You have included so many details. I am bookmarking your blog for my future visit to Monteverde costa rica. 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Jan! It’s definitely a great place to visit at some point. So much adventure! 🙂

  8. Anna Merabishvili on May 9, 2021 at 6:31 am

    This is amazing! Costa Rica looks like such a paradise, I would absolutely love to visit after seeing your beautiful photos!

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Anna and it’s such a beautiful place! 🙂

  9. Kayy on May 9, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Costa Rica is definitely high on my list of places to visit . So many relaxing nature spots to explore . I would definitely go zip lining again . Thanks for the great guide with amazing pictures.

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      It really is a beautiful country with so much to explore! Thank you Kay! 🙂

  10. Ashlee Fechino on May 9, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    What a fun trip! All of your pictures are incredible. I loved the green bridge and sloth. We visited Costa Rica in college (about 10 years ago) and loved it. We went whitewater rafting. It was sweet! Great article.

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      Thank you Ashlee! It really is a great destination to visit. 🙂

  11. Nina on May 9, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Your photos are stunning! I havent been to Costa Rica in a decade now and need to get back.

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      Thank you Nina! I definitely want to get back in the future. 🙂

  12. Cynthia on May 9, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    I loved Costa Rica, would love to go back and see the sloths!

    • Taylor Deer on May 9, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      It’s such a beautiful country with a great biodiversity! 🙂

  13. Cosette on May 10, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Monteverder looks so beautiful. Would love to do the hanging bridges see the sloths and do a coffee and chocolate tour. Probabbly a good place to do zip lining for the first time.

    • Taylor Deer on May 11, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      Yes, it is definitely filled with a lot of exciting nature and adventures. Definitely a spot you cannot miss out on. 🙂

  14. Lisa on May 10, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    ahh, this makes me want to visit Costa Rica again asap! Monteverder looks so pretty! Plus, the sloths are so cute!!

    • Taylor Deer on May 11, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      Yes, you totally should! I know I will totally be back in the future. 🙂

  15. Laura on May 13, 2021 at 3:16 am

    What an amazing place! Love that is so lush! Definitely saving it for the future!

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

      Yes, it definitely was very lush and beautiful in Monteverde! 🙂

  16. rebecca mckellips on May 26, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    This looks so amazing, I wish I had gone to Monteverde when I went to Costa Rica, I guess it is a good excuse to go back!

    • Taylor Deer on May 27, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      Yes, it’s such a fun spot! 🙂

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