Both Monteverde and Arenal are areas focused on ecotourism and sustainability, but they each have their own differences. Arenal is focused on the ecotourism brought about by the Arenal volcano and its hot springs. Sustainability is important to Arenal, and they have plenty of measures in place to show that. For example, the hotel rooms require cards to turn on the lights. With that being said, most of the focus of the town is on the tourist attractions they can provide.
Monteverde, on the other hand, is mainly focused on the sustainability practices they can provide. Almost every decision is made with the nature of Monteverde as the main focus, and farms like Don Guillermo’s farm support the local economy more than the tourist locations. There are still plenty of locations for tourists to go in Monteverde, but they have not leveraged their location in the way that Arenal has in order to attract the volume of tourists that Arenal does.
When it comes to the pandemic, the tourist locations were hit extremely hard. Suddenly, they didn’t have any business, for an undetermined amount of time. As a result, many business that hadn’t saved for a scenario like this went out of business.