Exploring Monteverde on a Costa Rica Vacation
Visit Monteverde, one of Costa Rica´s 7 Wonders and home to a wealth of history and biodiversity states Costa Rica for Less travel experts
Founded in 1972 the park has roughly 26,000 acres of tropical rainforest, and six main ecological zones, the park has one of the largest concentrations of species per acre in the Americas. But it has only been a marvel of the world for a short period of time.
The modern history of the area is fascinating and quite unique as well. During the United States draft for the Korean War, Quakers seeking peace came to the region to purchase farm land for dairy production. In Quaker ideology, enlisting in the military is contradictory to their pacifist core-belief, therefore the Quakers chose Costa Rica because of the country´s non-violent, army-free constitution.
In 1951, this small population emigrated and started what is today the town of Monteverde. Surprisingly it wasn´t until the 1960s that international biologist started to take note of the importance of Monteverde´s biodiversity. The first Tropical Science Center was founded in 1968 to work on the conservation of tropical areas such as this.
The Center worked with the leader of the Quaker community and national Government to ensure the protection of this forest and it became a national reserve in 1972. Over time, land owners sold or donated their land to the reserve resulting in the over 10,000 hectare land mass it is today. Locals have also benefited from the park´s protection of this particular location as it has relieved farmers and local villages from erosion and weather related disasters.
Since the 1970s Monteverde has built a great reputation for tourism. The Quaker village of Monteverde supported these efforts by starting local bed and breakfast businesses to house the early scientists and eco-tourist of the reserve. Today tourists stay in luxury hotels and are provided professional guided tours through the cloud forests. The town is relatively bilingual due to the bilingual education provided in the Quaker schools making travel easier for visiting foreigners. Adventure packages are also available for canopy tours, hikes, ATV rides, bird watching tours and museums.
Tourist leave overwhelmed with the splendor of this region. The rich biological diversity of the cloud forests has 878 species of Epiphytes and with over 500 species of orchids, it is the largest site for orchids in the world. Over 150 species of amphibians and reptiles live here and this is a major migratory location for North American birds and home to the resplendent quetzal. Costa Rica also has over 100 bat species; Monteverde Cloud Forest is home to more than 50.
If reptiles and flowers are not your forte, you will also have the opportunity to see three types of monkeys as well as marsupials, muskrats, edentates, rabbits, hogs, squirrels, mice, porcupines, agouti, wild pigs, mustelides, pacca, canides, deer, tapir and 6 species of felines.
Recently voted one of the “7 Wonders of Costa Rica” this is a perfect Costa Rica Travel destinations now equipped for all types of tourists!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This guide to visiting Monteverde during Costa Rica vacations was written by a Costa Rica travel expert at Costa Rica For Less, specialists in high value, fully customizable tours and packages.