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Naturalist's Cloud Forest Haven

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,200 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

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.

More Details

Property Manager
Fred Morrison or Laurie Sanders
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 20, 2017

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 Puntarenas

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.

Guestbook comments from the manager

We absolutely loved the house and its location. Everything was just perfect. We really enjoyed the area.
Feb 2014
  • 1 of 3


Monteverde House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Catering available
  • Breakfast - Booking Possible
  • Lunch - Booking Possible
  • Dinner - Booking Possible
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • The bathroom is on the first floor.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 double
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
  • 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.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • 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


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(45 traveler reviews)

Naturalist's Cloud Forest Haven
average rating of 4.888889 based on 48 reviews

Fantastic Retreat!

  • 5 of 5

We have just returned from our wonderful relaxing stay at Naturalist's Cloud Forest. We were a couple doing photography and hiking. The location couldn't have been more perfect! Laurie arranged for a private driver to pick us up at the San Jose airport for the 3 hour drive to Monte Verde. We didn't rent a vehicle and made out fine walking, hiking and having Lillian prepare a few delicious meals. I did bring a few breakfast items and canned goods with me to supplement.

The weather was ideal, not too hot. A little cool in the mornings but that gave us time to work on our photos before we headed out hiking.

The grounds keeper Raul arranged a few guides for us, one for Monte Verde and one for a night hike. Both guides picked us up at the end of the driveway.

Monte Verde is a short walk away. We returned on our own another day. We really enjoyed Curi Cancha and would highly recommend it for hiking and seeing wildlife.

The house is ideal. It is even nicer than the photos show. We had more than enough room and could easily have shared the house with 2-4 more people. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of water for showering. We enjoyed sitting on the upper deck and photographing the amazingly beautiful hummingbirds.

Thank you Fred and Laurie, we hope to return again! We appreciated the good communication and all of the planning you put into making our stay perfect.

  • Submitted: Apr 19, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A treetop retreat!

  • 5 of 5

The Monte Verde Cloud Forest Reserve entry may be just 500 mts. away, but at this site you are LIVING in the cloud forest. Quiet and secluded we were treated to visiting wild

life and dozens and dozens of hummingbirds, as we lounged on the 2 covered porches. The wood interior offered large windows in every room as well as 2 window seats to watch the forest from indoors. Raul, the gracious manager, showed us all the amenities and how to make nectar for the hummingbird feeders. He even showed us where we could see tarantulas at night.. When the sun set, we fired up the small stove with the provided wood and enjoyed cozy evenings listening to the sounds of the forest. I loved the serenity immensely and wished we had booked more days. Taking a tour from San Jose to see the Reserve is just not enoungh. Spending private time with beauty of nature is the BEST.

  • Submitted: Mar 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A Monteverde Dream

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I stayed here with 4 of our friends and we had a blast!!! The house is a cozy cabin style place but there was plenty of room for 6 of us to sleep and live comfortably. The view from the porch is epic looking out over the Gulfo de Nicoya, and the hummingbird feeder on the second story is a unique experience. I am talking like 12 species of hummingbird flying right up in your face!! Also, plenty of coatis and agoutis climbing the house and meandering through the yard. We saw more wildlife at the house than in Monteverde reserve, but if you want to hit the park bright and early in the morning this is the perfect spot to stay! The park entrance is a 10 minute walk up the road. We also went to Curi Cancha reserve which we highly recommend...about a 20 minute walk down the hill. Not too far from town and a great walk if you grab a cab back up to the house. And last but not least was the amazing staff!! Raul helped us with anything we needed including restaurant recommendations and booking a shuttle back to San Jose. He was one of the friendliest people we met on our whole trip! And I cannot recommend the food provided by Lillian enough!! Everything was so delicious we had her cook for us twice!!! I plan to definitely stay here again if I make it back to Monteverde!

  • Submitted: Mar 13, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Extremely peaceful, hummingbirds like I have never experienced!

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay here !!!the well equipped kitchen the comfy beds and pillows, fluffy towels lots of hooks and storage. Most of all the outdoor space. The massive grassy area in front of the house for climbing up and down lying on the hill watching the clouds float by. Most of all we loved the paths at the back and every day we went to see the massive trees..a wonderland of plants and bugs, the smell of the forest..... I can't imagine the grief the owners must feel when some of those giants fall.

We saw all the regulars..coatis and agouti and the resident tarantula and a the park.

Roul was wonderful and very informative.

We will be back !!!

  • Submitted: Mar 13, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Ellicott City, MD, USA

beautiful home at the best possible location to see wildlife and enjoy nature and quiet!

  • 5 of 5

This home is wonderful! I highly recommend it! Plenty of room, and best location to see lots of wildlife. You don't have to enter the park, you're there! Raoul is a super host there. We ordered a dinner and it was very good also. Short walk to coffee, park entrance. Wish we could have stayed longer!

  • Submitted: Feb 15, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautiful view but had some issues

  • 3 of 5

The house is a rustic two story cabin on the side of a mountain with a lovely view out the front over the Nicoya Pennisula. While it was fairly clean and the kitchen well equipped, there were a few things that we were disappointed with. There were three of us staying, my sister, elderly mother and myself. It was not very clear that the only bathroom in the house is downstairs while the two bedrooms are upstairs. Our mother ended up sleeping on a foam couch downstairs for three nights as a result. So not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. We were also given wood for the stove but there was no kindling or other means of lighting the fire since the wood was either green or damp so we had to layer up as it is cool and damp in the Cloud Forest and the house. There were only three bath towels and one wash cloth for three people so we ended up using kitchen towels for hand towels. There were also some type if small red stinging bugs in one of the upstairs bedding, that bit me several times during the night. Very uncomfortable. Cabin could use some overallbupdating. Our stay was not all bad as we enjoyed feeding the many hummingbirds and had the the recommended cook do two meals which were very good. Would recommend for those without mobility issues and who like a more rustic down to nature experience.

  • Submitted: Jan 22, 2017
  • Stayed: Jan 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Ginger, It’s a shame that your experience at our place was not all that you'd hoped for. We understand that the weather was awful during your stay and in fact, January 2017 had some of the worst wind and rain in many years. Regarding your comments: * The wood stove can be tricky to light and we're sorry to hear that you weren't able to get a fire going. We wish you’d contacted our house manager to help you. * Concerning hand towels, there are lots of extras in the upstairs closet and we regret that you didn’t find them and were inconvenienced. * We've edited our VRBO website so that it's clear that the one bathroom is on the first floor and the bedrooms are on the second floor. * As for the insect bites, we were very surprised and sorry to hear about that. We have no idea what caused them, but have spoken to our cleaning staff.
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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.


Rates & Availability

Monteverde House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Dry Season/Peak
Dec 18 2016 - May 15 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
May 16 2017 - Nov 30 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $15 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $150

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

Enter dates for accurate pricing

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