Monteverde Services & Facilities
Cell phone service is spotty in Monteverde, Cerro Plano and Santa Elena. Downtown Santa Elena is the best bet for strong cell signals, but traveling just 1/4 mile from the downtown triangle can result in poor signal strength. Neither the Santa Elena nor the Monteverde reserve provides any cell phone coverage.
There are several public phones in the Monteverde area, mostly located along the main roads. Note that they are operated by phone card, not coins; purchase a phone card in any pharmacy or grocery store in Costa Rica.
Internet cafes can be found in downtown Santa Elena. Costs range from $1 to $2 an hour. Several hotels offer Internet access in their lobbies, and wireless access is becoming more common. The Tree House Restaurant offers free WiFi or Internet cafe time with any meal purchase.
The Santa Elena post office is located on the road between Santa Elena and Cerro Plano. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Three banks – Banco de Costa Rica, Banco Popular and Banco Nacional – serve the Santa Elena and Monteverde areas. All three are located in the Santa Elena triangle, and the Banco de Costa Rica offers a second ATM on the road between Cerro Plano and Monteverde. To withdraw funds from a foreign bank account, look for ATMs marked ATH.
For minor health concerns, visitors can call the local Red Cross (Santa Elena; 2645-6128), or be treated at one of several small medical clinics (Cerro Plano; 2645-7778). The area has numerous pharmacies, which can treat and prescribe medicines for minor maladies. In an emergency, always call 911.