Children’s Eternal Cloud Forest
- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Surrounding the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve on three sides, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest forest is the largest private reserve in Central America. It is administered by the Monteverde Conservation League (tel. 506/2645-5003, www.acmcr.org).
The dream of a rainforest saved by children began in 1987 at a small primary school in rural Sweden. A study of tropical forests prompted nine-year-old Roland Teinsuu to ask what he could do to keep the rainforest and the animals that live in it safe from destruction.
Young Roland’s question launched a group campaign to raise money to help the League buy and save threatened rainforest in Costa Rica. Roland and his classmates raised enough money to buy six hectares of rainforest at a cost of $250 per hectare.
Out of this initial success a group of children dedicated to saving the tropical rainforest formed Barnens Regnskog (Children’s Rain Forest). The vision took hold, sweeping the globe, with contributions flocking in from the far corners. The original six-hectare preserve, established near Monteverde in 1988, has grown to more than 22,000 hectares.
It is accessed via the Bajo del Tigre (tel. 506/2645-5923, 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, $20 adults, $12 children), off the main road, just above the CASEM Gallery. This section of the reserve is at a lower elevation than the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve and thus offers a different variety of plant and animal life. Quetzals are more easily seen here, for example, than higher up in the wetter, mistier cloud forest.
Facilities include a Children’s Nature Center, a self-guided interpretative trail, an arboretum, and a visitors center and library. Guided two-hour tours ($20 or $22 with transfer) are offered at 5:30 a.m. (bird-watchers), 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. (night tour).
There are also two field stations: at Poco Sol, on the lower eastern slopes, with eight rooms (six with private bath) for 26 people and 10 kilometers of hiking trails; and San Gerardo, at 1,220 meters elevation, a 3.5-kilometer walk from the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, with accommodations for 26 people and six kilometers of trails. Guides are available by request..
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition