|Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Facts and history
Monteverde is known as a place where the cloud forest is accessible and protected.
It was founded by 11 Quaker (a pacifist religious group) families from the United States(Alabama) in 1951 as a dairy farm. Their small settlement was called
Also due to their religious principles, the Quakers tried to live in harmony with the nature. They started their new lives as farmers in the mountains, where they found fertile land and a mild climate with lots of rain all year around. In order to secure their portable water supply, they bought an area of forest in the 60s; the new reserve was named "Bosque Eterno".
Still, large areas in the region were deforested in that time. This led to the investigation of an association of scientists, which bought 328 ha of the Cloud Forrest in 1972 to protect and explore the primary forest- the Monteverde Reserve. In the next twenty years more and more land in the region was bought by private citizens or companies, and today the Monteverde Reserve has a size of 10,500 ha. In the region of Santa Elena now are several Reserves, like the "Bosque Eterno de los niños" which was bought by children from all over the world(44 countries) and the "Santa Elena Reserve".
Their dairy farm and associated cheese factory now produce over a ton of cheese a day, and much of the 1,500 hectares they purchased forty years ago is part of the Monteverde Cloud forest reserve.
The Monteverde Preserve covers over ~10,500 hectares (~26,000acres) and attracked 50,000 tourists in the year 2002.
It contains an extremely high biological diversity, including over 2,500 plant species (among them 420 different kinds of orchids), trees grow up to 30 to 40 meters high, 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects.
It’s elevation varies from 1,200 to 1,800 meters (3,900- 5,900 feet)
Also note that there is a limit of 120 people at everytime of the the year(in low season there is no problem to enter, in high season you rather come early)
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve is owned and administered by the Tropical Science Center (TSC). The Center, established in 1962, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization(Monteverde is no National Park) with headquarters in San José, Costa Rica. The objective of the Center is to conduct and support scientific research and education, particularly in relation to the understanding and rational management of tropical environments.