The Monteverde Conservation League (MCL) is an independent, non-profit association that is dedicated to the conservation, preservation and rehabilitation of tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity. The MCL manages the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and the Bajo del Tigre trail system, which are situated in Monteverde near the Cheese Factory.
- 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The league was created in 1986 by a group of local and international scientists whose aim was to protect the area of forest surrounding the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. In 1987, the MCL embarked on an innovative land acquisition program, in which money that was raised by Swedish schoolchildren went to buy and protect threatened land. Since then, the league has worked with other organizations in more than 40 countries to help form what is now Costa Rica’s largest private reserve, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest (El Bosque Eterno de los Niños).
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest straddles the Continental Divide, encompassing 55,600 acres (22,500 ha) of virgin and secondary forest, as well as several reforestation areas.
Within the Children’s Eternal Rainforest the MCL operates two biological stations. San Gerado — which is situated at 3,660 ft (1,220 m) above sea level and 4 miles (7 km) from Santa Elena — has beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano and offers sleeping for up to 32 people. Additionally, this station has a classroom and over 3 miles (5 km) of forested trails. The second station, Poco Sol, is set at 2,600 ft (800 m) and is surrounded by a premontane (one of many ecosystems found in mountainous regions) forest. It has access to a beautiful lake and waterfall, as well as 6 miles (10 km) of intricate trails. Both stations are open to student groups or independent travelers. Reservations, however, must be made.
Bajo del Tigre, a part of the reserve located in Monteverde, offers a 2-mile (3.5 km) system of trails. These trails are particularly suited to families, as there is an information center, a store, and children’s house with various environmental activities.
Bajo del Tigre is an area of forest in the transitional zone from premontane wet to seasonal moist. Its location and altitude on the Pacific slope give it a habitat that is distinct from other reserves. As such, it is home to a range of unusual flora and fauna, including thirty newly identified species of trees, toucans, motmots, white faced-monkeys, agoutis, and more.
A guided ‘Twilight Walk,’ on which visitors will see a variety of nocturnal birds, insects and mammals, runs daily from Bajo del Tigre at 5:30 PM. Dawn walks can be arranged as well.
The Bajo del Tigre trail system and visitor’s center are open everyday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Prices are $8 for adults and $5 for students, or 1000 Colones for Costa Rican nationals.
Volunteer opportunities may be available with the MCL. For information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org