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Located amongst forests and cow pastures Monteverde’s culture is just as diverse as its surroundings.  The village of Monteverde was settled in 1951 by North American Quakers, who went on to establish the famous Monteverde Cheese Factory, however there were already several Costa Rican families living in the Santa Elena and San Luis regions.

As you move from one small town to the next, it is possible to appreciate how economical growth has developed in different ways and practices and how this has influenced the communities. Monteverde is now a touristic area, and the Quakers are not the only foreigners to have fallen in love with the area, many people who initially came for a visit have decided to set roots here. This cultural mix and tolerance in a place with beautiful surroundings has helped make Monteverde a great place to study, live and visit. 


The District of Monte Verde

This political definition, which is two words, represents the boundaries of the municipal district. This district was established in 2003, with a local governance structure established that same year. Monte Verde is located within the province of Puntarenas.


The Monteverde Zone

A relatively recent moniker, the Monteverde “Zone” encompasses the area of economic activity related to tourism. In the past, the main economic driver of this zone was dairy, and was popularly known as the “milkshed.” The Zone transcends both district and village boundaries. For example, many major “Monteverde” attractions actually fall outside of the political boundaries of Monte Verde and are technically part of different provinces, despite the fact that the services and businesses supporting them are located in the district. 


The Monteverde Cloud Forest

It is estimated that only 3% of the earth’s surface is covered by rainforest and only a very small percentage of that can be considered cloud forest, one of the rarest and most fragile environments on the planet.  Cloud forests are located at the pinnacle of the mountains where they are bathed almost continually in mist, an environment of close to 100% humidity.


During the dry season North-Easterly trade winds carry the moisture from the Caribbean to bring life giving sustenance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest containing more than 2,500 species of plants, over 420 of which are orchids. More than 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals co-exist to create one of the richest most bio-diverse ecosystems in the world. The Monteverde Institute’s campus adjoins the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve considered to be among the most exceptional environments in the New World Tropics.