Santa Elena Reserve, Guided Excursion
|Duration: 4 hours|
|2012 Price||$49 per person|
|2013 Price||$55 per person|
Includes: The services of a Naturalist Guide in a group of no more than 9 guests, round trip transportation and entrance fee.
Santa Elena Reserve is one of the hidden treasures of the Monteverde Region. Because it is not as popular as the Monteverde Reserve, you are less likely to run into large groups of people where you will be able to explore their extensive trails system and forests.
Located high on the Caribbean slopes of the Cordillera de Tilarán (5, 000 feet, 1,500 m), the Continental Divide of Costa Rica, Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the first community managed reserves in Costa Rica. With the help of Youth Challenge International, a Canadian Non-profit Organization, the Costa Rican government, and the Santa Elena Community, the Reserve officially opened in March 1992.
The philosophy of the Reserve is unique in that long term sustainability is not only a concern of the Reserve, but of the community as a whole. Proceeds from entrance fees, guided tours and the souvenir shop are either reinvested in the management of the reserve or are channeled to a local high school to help upgrade technology, and fund courses in environmental education, biology, agriculture, languages and tourism. In using the Reserve as a natural classroom, students and teachers harness an unlimited educational resource that can be used for anything from studying tropical plant ecology to leading tours.
The Santa Elena Reserve comprises an area of 310 hectares or 765 acres, and together with the Children's Eternal Rainforest, the Arenal Conservation Area and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve constitutes a continuous conservation area of approximately 28,000 hectares or 69,000 acres. Plans are underway to raise funds to buy and restore adjacent farmlands for future inclusion into the Santa Elena Reserve. Conservation efforts in the area are concentrating on establishing forest corridors radiating from the central conservation area down to lower altitudes as many of the forest fauna, such as the Resplendent Quetzal, American Pumas, Jaguars, Ocelots, and Red Brocket Deer require large territories in which to forage and breed.