Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
30 years of sustainable tourism!
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Has earned a reputation as one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the New World Tropics. Positioned atop the Continental divide in Northwestern Costa Rica. The Reserve extends down both the Caribbean and Pacific slopes. The resultant combination of climatic and geographic factors creates temperature and humidity gradients, which change dramatically over relatively short distances.
The elevation varies from about 800 meters in the lowest reaches of the Peñas Blancas river, to 1842 m at the top of Cerro Tres Amigos. Wind sculptured elfin woodlands on the exposed ridges are spectacularly dwarfed, whereas protected cove forests have majestically tall trees festooned with orchids, bromeliads, ferns, vines, and mosses. Poorly drained areas support swamp forest, while parts of the Preserve, dissected by deep gorges, have numerous crystal clear streams tumbling over rapids and waterfalls. The variable climate and large altitudinal gradient has helped to produce an extremely high biodiversity.
The Preserve supports four different bioclimatic communities (Life Zones). There are over 100 species of mammals, more than 400 species of birds, 120 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 3000 species of plants (among them 500 different kinds of orchids), as well as tens of thousands of insect species. Spectacular wildlife includes the Jaguar, Ocelot, Baird’s Tapir, Three-wattled Bellbird, Barenecked Umbrellabird and Resplendent Quetzal.
In 1972 under the threat of homesteading in the surrounding cloud forest, visiting scientist George Powell and his wife joined forces with long time resident Wilford Guindon to promote the establishment of a nature preserve. The Tropical Science Center was receptive to these efforts and accepted institutional responsibility for ownership and management of the protected areas. An initial land purchase of 328 hectares formed the core of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. In 1975 the 520-hectare community watershed reserve founded in the mid 1960´s by members of the Quaker community and named Bosque Eterno S.A. was annexed under an administrative contract to the Preserve.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve is a biological preserve privately owned and managed by the Tropical Science Center (TSC), a Costa Rica nonprofit, scientific research and education association based in San José, established in 1962.
Given the rich biodiversity of the cloud forest, we have the following research facilities: New laboratory with facilities to support fields work and sample storage and preparation. A conference room with audio-visual equipment. Electronic equipment such as computers, printers, and fax and telephone.
Nine distinct trails within the Cloud Forest, with an extension of 13 km. Elevated suspension bridge 100 meters long, over a gorge and tree tops, allow the view of numerous epiphytes. Three shelters within the reserve, each with space for a maximum of 10 persons, and equipped with bunk beds, a gas stove, cooking utensils and potable water. Guided nocturnal tours at 7:15 p.m and lasting about 2 hours. Special tours for birdwatchers. A dormitory with facilities for 43 persons, with emphasis on student groups or researches. A café and restaurant A gift shop with natural history souvenirs A visitors center with T.V. room and special natural history videos.
Visiting the Reserve
Visitors should bring a sweater, rain gear and footwear. The temperature ranges between 10 and 22 degrees Celsius, and average annual rainfall is 3.300 mm. The weather changes quickly, often making the air feel colder.
- Park Entrance fee USD 20.00 per person, Students USD 10.00
Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde