The Reserva Biologica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde or Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve came about through the efforts of the village of Monteverde. Monteverde was founded in 1951 by a group of Quakers from the United States who wished to make a statement of not supporting war and militarism through their taxes. They chose Costa Rica because at that time, the country had no army. The reserve was originally a piece of land about a third of their property that they wished to preserve to protect the watershed area above the village. However, during the 1970s, the group of squatters began to threaten the forest. With the help of the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund, the group was able to purchase 328 hectares of land adjacent to their preserved area. Additional land was subsequently added to the reserve during the mid 1980s, making the total land area under protection at 10,500 hectares.
People visit the Monteverde Reserve to walk amongst the cloud forest and observe the wildlife, primarily the elusive quetzal, a rare bird that used to be revered by the ancient people of Central America. Also within the forest are huge trees draped with orchids and ferns. There are also numerous birds, insects, and other wildlife. All in all, there are more than 2,500 species of plants, 400 species of birds, and 100 species of mammals within the forest area of the Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve.
The reserve only allows a maximum of 160 people inside at a time. During the peak season of the dry months, the limit is always reached before 10 am. There are no such lines during the off-season, which is in May thru June and September thru November. The off-season is also the wet season, wearing rain gear and boots is advised. Overnight accommodation is available either inside the reserve itself or at the village of Monteverde.