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Naturalist's Cloud Forest Haven

Monteverde, Costa Rica
  • House1200 sqft
  • Bedrooms2
  • Sleeps8
  • Bathrooms1
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay2 nights

2 Bedroom, 1 Bath Adjoining The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Our house is located on 40 acres of private property that abuts the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and is one of the last private homes before the Reserve. More than half our land is in primary cloud forest, but there is a large clearing below the house that is perfect for viewing wildlife. In fact, because our place is contiguous to more than 110,000 acres of protected forest, you’re likely to see many more animals here than in most other places in the Monteverde zone. White-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, coatis, gray fox, armadillos, and agoutis are all commonly seen on our land, and several cloud forest specialists, including resplendent quetzals, black guans and brocket deer are also often seen near the house.

The house was built in the mid-1980s by the current owner. In 1981, he visited Monteverde for the first time and during his stay, he and two other biologists had a picnic on the property, taking in the spectacular view of the forest and the Gulf of Nicoya in the distance. A week later, his friends called to tell him that the parcel was for sale and asked if he would like to become a part owner. The three of them purchased the property later that year from one of the original Quaker farmers and since then, each owner has built a house or cabin on the land. None of the dwellings are in sight of the others, which gives you a very private experience.

The house itself is located on a hillside at the end of a 500-foot driveway. It was designed with lots of large, picture windows to bring in plenty of natural light and is oriented toward the southwest with dramatic views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the forest canopy below.

The downstairs includes a living room with a wood stove, a dining room, kitchen, two box seats, a large bathroom and a small utility room with a washer and dryer. There’s also a long front porch, where you can sit looking out at the Gulf of Nicoya and watch up to nine species of hummingbirds visit the feeders. The upstairs includes a roofed balcony and two good-sized bedrooms, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with two full beds. At our place, you will be well away from the bustle of Santa Elena and the main road. You will be able to go to sleep to the sounds of katydids, cicadas, frogs and wake up to chorusing black-bellied wood quail and dueting gray-breasted wood wrens.

Public buses pass by at the bottom of the driveway several times each day and taxis are available at any time. There are several good restaurants just a few miles away as well as a small grocery store and a few gift/coffee shops. The entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is just a ten minute walk from our house. But, of course, that could be much longer if you're looking at wildlife or plants!

If you’d like, we can help you arrange to have a talented local cook or cleaning service visit during your stay.

Recommendations for local guides upon request.

Property Manager

Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders

Member Since 2014
Response rate:
Response time:
within one day
english, spanish
Calendar last updated:
Apr 16, 2018
About Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders

We live in Massachusetts for most of the year, but we spend a portion of each year in Monteverde. Fred first visited Monteverde in 1981; Laurie came in 1986. Since then, we have both worked on different biology projects in the area (bellbirds, quetzals, dragonflies) and for a short stint, Laurie worked as a guide in the Reserve. We got married in 1994 and in 2000, our daughter was born. Since 2004, we have led more than three dozen natural history trips to Costa Rica. Fred is now retired from a career as a science teacher, but is currently studying native bees in MA and working with others on electronic field guides to the dragonflies and damselflies of Costa Rica and Ecuador. Laurie produces natural history features for public radio and for ten years, prepared a weekly natural history series called Field Notes which aired on WFCR 88.5 FM in Amherst, MA. Some of her previous stories can be heard on Living on Earth. She currently works as a private environmental consultant.

Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders purchased this House in 1981

Why Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders chose Monteverde

This is a very special piece of property because it borders the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and is one of the last houses before the Reserve entrance. At nearly 5,000 feet in elevation, at times the property is literally bathed in the clouds, with mists from the Caribbean blowing west toward the Pacific.

What makes this House unique

Quiet, private and extraordinary wildlife opportunities.


    • Internet
    • Kids Welcome
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Parking
    • No Smoking


      • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
      • Bedroom 1
        1 queen
      • Bedroom 2
        2 double
      • This house comfortably sleeps 4-6 people. There are 2 bedrooms upstairs. There are also two box seats downstairs that could be used for sleeping.


      • 1 Bathroom
      • Bathroom 1
        toilet, combination tub/shower
      • The bathroom is on the first floor.

      Location Type

        • Mountain View
          Impressive views of the Gulf of Nicoya and Nicoya Peninsula.
        • Rural
          Ideal for anyone with an appreciation for the natural world.


            • Adventure
            • Away From It All
            • Family
            • Romantic


                • Catering available


                    • Clothes Dryer
                    • Hair Dryer
                    • Internet
                      wi-fi available
                    • Linens Provided
                    • Living Room
                    • Parking
                    • Telephone
                      local calls only
                    • Towels Provided
                    • Washing Machine
                    • Wood Stove


                        • Coffee Maker
                        • Dishes & Utensils
                        • Kitchen
                        • Microwave
                        • Oven
                        • Pantry Items
                          We can arrange to have groceries delivered prior to your arrival.
                        • Refrigerator
                        • Stove
                        • Toaster


                            • Dining Area
                            • comfy seating for 8 people


                                • Books
                                  A great collection of natural history guides; some literature too!
                                • Games
                                  Scrabble, bananagrams, cards.


                                    • Balcony
                                    • Deck / Patio
                                    • Lawn / Garden


                                        • Long-term Renters Welcome
                                        • wheelchair inaccessible


                                            • churches
                                            • museums
                                            • restaurants

                                              Leisure Activities

                                                • bird watching
                                                • eco tourism
                                                • horseback riding
                                                • walking
                                                • wildlife viewing

                                                  Local Services & Businesses

                                                    • ATM/bank
                                                    • groceries
                                                    • massage therapist
                                                    • medical services

                                                      House Rules

                                                      Check-in: 4:00 PM

                                                      Check-out: 11:00 AM

                                                      Cancellation Policy

                                                      100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                      54 Reviews


                                                      Latest reviews

                                                      A Wonderful Spot in the Cloud Forest

                                                      Catherine P.

                                                      Our time at Naturalist's Cloud Forest Retreat was the highlight of our mid-March trip to Costa Rica. The physical setting, a 10-minute walk from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and itself home to white-faced capuchins, various hummingbird species, coatis, and agoutis, was the best part of the experience. However the home itself is delightful and accommodating, a handsomely built and comfortably furnished wooden structure with amenities (laundry facilities, good wifi, a good woodstove) to make the traveler feel at home.

                                                      We very much appreciated the help, the company, and the stories of Raul, the caretaker, and the catered home cooking provided by neighbor Lillian. This place is amazing: don't miss the chance to make it part of your Costa Rica experience! Thank you, Fred and Laurie, for the privilege of staying at your place. We will come back again!

                                                      Great location, Nice Views, but some problems

                                                      Jim A.

                                                      This house is in a beautiful setting with amazing views. The house is easy to find with the directions that were sent. We were met by Raul, the property manager, who showed us around the house and property. The driveway to the house is steep and was a bit daunting the first time, but we soon became used to it. A high clearance, 4-wheel drive is a must for most driving in Costa Rica, including this driveway. The house was clean and fairly well stocked, but the kitchen cooking utensils could be augmented. It is cool in Monteverde and the only heat source in the house is a wood stove. The stove worked well, but the wood was carefully doled out by Raul. There were times when we had no wood, because Raul was not available for restocking. We did have a problem the first night with the kitchen stove lighting. It turned out that the propane was turned off at the tank. Through that experience we found that the propane tank was in the house in a closet and, if not careful, could leak. The thought of a potentially leaking propane tank in the house was not very comforting as it is a real safety hazard and a big no-no. That is the reason for the poor rating. As noted, the bathroom is downstairs and both bedrooms upstairs, not the best arrangement but we made it work. The land around the house is very nice with birds, monkey, agouti, and coatimundi in abundance. It was great being able to walk to the Cloud Forest Reserve, particularly since parking is very limited there. The house is about 20 minutes outside of town with major grocery stores and restaurants. Without the dangers of the propane tank, the rating would have been higher.

                                                      Owner's Response:

                                                      We're glad to hear that, in general, you enjoyed most of the aspects of our place--the view, the wildlife, its proximity to the Reserve-- but we were disappointed and concerned to hear about the problems you experienced.

                                                      We attended to both of them immediately. A brand new regulator was installed on the propane tank and we asked our property manager to build a much larger firewood box and always keep it full.

                                                      Beautiful cloud forest experience!

                                                      Beth S.

                                                      Wonderful experience, staying within the cloud forest! We loved the house and it's surroundings. Such a pleasure to watch the sun set with hummingbirds, caotis, and gorgeous scenery. Enjoy it!

                                                      Beautiful, Natural Setting

                                                      Sara S.Minneapolis, MN

                                                      Our family of six loved staying in this home! We enjoyed being immersed in nature and being so close to the Monteverde Reserve. The grounds were fun to explore. Laurie was very welcoming and helpful from the beginning, giving us lots of suggestions. Raul helped us set up our morning guided hike in the reserve, a night hike and a zipline experience. Lillian prepared a wonderful meal, which provided leftovers for the next day--casado con pollo, with guacamole and salsa. The home was well-equipped with towels and kitchen supplies. We had a wonderful experience in Monteverde and would recommend this home to those who are looking for a quiet, private home surrounded by nature. Thank you!

                                                      Great Visit

                                                      Don C.Santa Cruz, CA

                                                      Fantastic location, great birding, and Raul was super friendly and helpful

                                                      Needed more time!

                                                      Mary H.Houston

                                                      We only had two nights and one full day to enjoy the lovely setting and home. The house was comfortable, with almost everything we needed. It would have been nice to have another roll of paper towels and we really needed some plastic wrap or aluminum foil. The housekeeper/cook, Lillian, cooked two dinners for us. It was wonderful to have dinner ready to heat up when we arrived back after a long day.

                                                      The house needed more light. At night it was hard to read and the kitchen was too dark to see well.

                                                      We loved watching the hummingbirds from the balcony. We also walked about 20 minutes to the nature reserve to see the hummingbird gardens. Take your camera. The birds put on a colorful show! There's also a nice gift shop in the reserve.

                                                      The roads in Monteverde are gravel and full of potholes.We were glad that Marcos was our driver and guide. Much easier than renting a car, and we learned a lot from him. The owners will put you in touch with Marcos. He was a delightful person who has an incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna, along with interesting stories about the area. HIghly recommend!


                                                      Monteverde, Costa Rica

                                                      One of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, the Monteverde area now includes plenty of options to keep you occupied during your stay (guided nature walks, ziplining, night hikes, language schools, bat museums, orchid gardens, shopping, etc.) But alternatively, you may just want to relax on one of the porches and watch hummingbirds at the feeder, or go birding in the front pasture, or take a walk along the back trail. There is a notebook in the house that lists our recommendations for the area.


                                                      54 Reviews
                                                      Wonderful 4.9/5
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                                                      For booking assistance, call 888-640-7927

                                                      Property # 513485vb