Monteverde Conservation League
Through land acquisition, they have helped to create the largest private nature reserve in Costa Rica – the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (Bosque Eterno de los Niños or BEN), which spans some 54,000 acres (22,500 hectares) of primary and secondary rainforest.
The MCL's new visitor center and offices are located in the community of Cerro Plano (in Monteverde), some 50 meters before the Monteverde Butterfly Garden. There are signs along the road that will point you to the center.
In Monteverde, the MCL also has a trail system and a visitor center set upon 28 acres of protected premontane Pacific slope forest, called Bajo del Tigre. Here, visitors have the opportunity to observe toucans, mot-mots, white-faced monkeys, agoutis, coatis and more along 3.3 km of trails. No reservations are necessary. The price is $8 for general visitors and $5 for students. Children under 5 are free of charge. If you are coming from Santa Elena, the center is located 100 meters before the Monteverde Cheese Factory.
In La Tigra de San Carlos, the MCL has a children's nature center named Finca Steller. Here, there is a classroom, kid’s house, tree nursery, and trails through both primary and secondary forest. Reservations are required. To do so, please call the La Tigra office at (506) 2468-8380 or (506) 2468-8382. Price is $8 for general visitors and $5 for students. Children under 5 are free of charge.
The MCL has two biological stations located within the reserve as well, San Gerado and Poco Sol.
San Gerardo is located along the Atlantic slope of the Tilarán mountain range at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m). This station can accommodate 32 people and offers facilities for students, tourists and researchers. It has spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano, Lake Arenal, and the surrounding forest. There are trails through both primary and secondary forest, as well as regenerating pastures.
The Poco Sol station can also accommodate up to 32 people and has classrooms, a kitchen, dining hall and lecture hall. There are trails nearby through both primary and secondary forest, as well as regenerating pastures. There is a great variety of habitat here, including a large natural lagoon and several gorgeous waterfalls.
Rates for both stations depend on group size, and there is a discount for students. During a stay at either station, guests receive three meals a day, bed linens, towel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and use of the station and trails. Visitors who bring their own food or sleeping gear will receive a reduced price. Reservations are required in advance.
To get more information on the MCL, please visit their website at http://www.acmcr.org.